Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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This year, I'm turning 50 and my goal is to finish one post-apocalypse novel before my birthday (given that I started writing in that genre age 12). So, without telling my story here, and thus rendering it unnecessary to write, please tell me... [more inside]
I've been trying to remember both the wording and the source of a quote I once heard to the effect of "If you want to make a loud noise, be so quiet you can hear the crickets, then take away the crickets." I heard (or read?) this in the context of writing poetry, and I feel like it may have been connected to Basho in some way--but I might be thinking that just because he wrote about crickets a lot. I have googled to no avail, but I may just suck at googling.
My dad would like a Chinese translation of this phrase, as you might see it on a sign: ALL HAIL THE ORANGE EMPEROR. Mandarin or Cantonese is fine, he just wants it to look cool as a sign and translate accurately if someone can read it. [more inside]
I am trying to remember a term for a specific zone designated around a bomb during its diffusal. Something about only certain people being able to pass through, or exchange places during the disposal operation. The term may apply to the rules followed in that zone, rather than the zone itself. [more inside]
tell me about this word please: footarackasacky [more inside]
I think the novel was published within the past three years or so and written by a female author, maybe with a first name starting with D? I'm sure it focuses on a science fiction convention and beings from other dimensions coming into the hotel and various intrigues. Ring any bells?
In the subject line of a regulatory filing that is being submitted to multiple dockets, do I say "Docket Nos. XXX & YYY" or "Dockets Nos. XXX & YYY"? [more inside]
I'm looking for a translation of a few bits on a particular Azerbaijani Wikipedia page. [more inside]
We tend to see much of the pre-Roman ancient world through Athenian eyes, because Athens produced so much literature, history, philosophy and sculpture. But there was a big world beyond Attica that gets misrepresented as a result. I'm looking for books or articles that correct this distorted view. [more inside]
I'm looking for cautionary tales about authors who wrote fiction with thinly-veiled or semi-autobiographical or explicitly acknowledged characters based on their real mothers. [more inside]
Does the age of first language acquisition differ by language? [more inside]
In grade school, we did some grammatical analysis that isn't quite sentence diagramming. What is it? [more inside]
I have three accent questions: 1. What modern accents are closest to the sound of English before and after the Great Vowel Shift? 2. Where (as exactly as you can place it) did the stereotypical salty seaman accent come from? 3. What accent do dictionaries use in their IPA pronunciation guides? (And do prescriptive and descriptive dictionaries approach pronunciation differently?)
I'm looking for quotes that refer to the idea of perceiving another person-- either perceiving a person clearly and correctly or perceiving a person incorrectly. Bonus points for quotes that are literary. [more inside]
December 30, 2016
When I learned Russian many years ago, I was taught a Soviet-era word that meant something like "failure to over-fulfil your production quota" (in the context of the Stakhanovites/shock workers). It's very apposite to a situation I'm in, and I can now neither remember it, nor assemble a google search to find it. Can anyone help a tovarishch out?
December 24, 2016
With the topic being in the news, I recalled a fairly lengthy and detailed primer that made the rounds a few years ago on the subject of identifying misinformation, propaganda and bullshit. It may also have had tips on proper research and how to find good sources of information, and was primarily focused on the media. I can remember it's title, though, and I can't find it! Does anyone have it bookmarked or know it?
December 22, 2016
I do a lot of work-related communication with people whose English is less than 100% fluent, and sometimes there are miscommunications that I think result from incomplete comprehension of the things that I say. I'd like to do what I can to minimize that. [more inside]
December 20, 2016
So years ago I found this small bit of poetry which really seemed/seems to nail that question. I had it taped to a bathroom mirror, somehow it got lost in the shuffle of my life, moving here there etc and etc. I can remember the first bit, about the introvert, and I remember the general gist of the bits about the extrovert and the ambivert. I have no idea where I clipped it from, no idea who wrote it, search engines are not helping, I'm hoping that you can. [more inside]
December 19, 2016
My friend is writing a book, in which a character makes a list of things that are absurdly complex in a delightful way. But we need more, especially from the non-US/UK world! See inside for some examples... [more inside]
December 16, 2016
Any recommendations? I'm particularly looking for reasonably priced paperbacks - novels, short stories, anthologies.