Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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I enjoy writing short stories but I'm very aware of the fact that my female voice is somewhat lacking. Help? [more inside]
I think a lot of (speculative fiction author) Robert Sheckley's work is brilliant and masterful. Especially the stuff he published in the 1950s and 1960s. But I've wondered for years why there was such a sharp decline in quality in it around the 1970s and thereafter. Does anybody know? [more inside]
I'm starting a group that will be pursuing Freedom of Information requests (mostly under state laws, not federal FOIA) to have genealogically and archivally relevant materials released from local and state archives and governments and put online for free access. But we need a name for this new group! [more inside]
Is there a number generator that will read the number out in Mandarin? [more inside]
I want to learn copyediting basics. I have writing skills and great attention to detail, but no formal copyediting training. What resources are out there? I'm looking for short-term things like courses, manuals, and workbooks, not full degree or certificate programs. [more inside]
I was so enthralled with it that I mentioned how wonderful it was to a visiting friend. He asked to borrow it, and then disappeared with it into the wild east of Estonia or maybe Moscow and I've never heard from him again. He also owes me two dollars. [more inside]
I need ideas for how to word a brief inscription honoring someone's work of N duration, for X cause/ Y institution. Failing that, any ideas for compact inscription-y alternatives to the words "dedicated," "service," or both? [more inside]
Explain the nuanced difference in meaning between "also" or "too" in this sentence: "We repair your motorcycle too." vs "We repair your motorcycle also."
Inspired by this thread about unintentional historical double entendres, I'm looking for a science fiction short story that was published twenty or so years ago. [more inside]
I'm embarking on an overambitious personal writing project to profile the career of a pair of multidisciplinary artists who've been kicking around underground for 20+ years with next to no fanfare outside of their scene. Can you link me to some SUPER in-depth profiles of other working artists to give me an idea of what to aim for and what to avoid as I work on this? (Really long, career-spanning pieces would be best, but shorter stuff is OK. Bonus points if it's about someone you don't care for/about but the writing was so compelling that you loved reading it anyway, like this incredible profile of Carrot Top in Esquire.) What are some investigative profile best/worst practices when it comes to building something huge from scratch? What do readers love/hate to see in projects like this? [more inside]
A friend of mine is interested in books on surfing - like memoirs of surfers, or fiction that involves surfing. He's interested in "a good read," not a how-to manual. Can you name any good books about - or involving - surfing that would make a good read?
I'm going to an event this week where people sit around and eat and drink and read poetry, either their own or by others. Since it also happens to be the organizer's birthday, I'd like to read a birthday-related poem, something by a contemporary poet. [more inside]
Would the Japanese text of a Murakami novel bother elaborating that oyakodon is "rice topped with chicken and eggs" - or is that bit of text added by the translator for the benefit of foreign-language (English, in this case) readers? [more inside]
We're eloping! In addition to celebrating after the fact with friends and family during our Wedding Celebration Tour, we'd like to send out a card offering to let people sign up online for their FREE PRIZE, a postcard mailed to them from our overseas elopement destination. We'd like it to sound and look as cheesy and silly as possible. [more inside]
My niece has just graduated from high school and is going to college in August. I would like to get her a meaningful book as a graduation present. Difficulty level: the kid might be gay but isn’t sure. [more inside]
Please suggest good summer reading for tween girls (11/12) who also happen to be going through their parents' divorce. [more inside]
Fanny's room is described has having "three transparencies, made in a rage for transparencies, for the three lower panes of one window, where Tintern Abbey held its station between a cave in Italy, and a moonlight lake in Cumberland" I'm just curious, what are these? Would they have been purchased, say of the Turner painting, or made by the cousins? Where can I see transparencies from this period?
Chinese instruction manual translation help needed. [more inside]
I'm trying to figure out the proper Hindi translation for "courage, dear heart". Google Translate gives me a few options, depending on whether I capitalize, add commas, etc, etc, and I'm trying to figure out the difference between them so I can figure out which is correct. I'd really like to get it right! Translations below the break: [more inside]
Could I have some chapter book recommendations for a inquisitive 5 year old who will be starting kindergarten this fall? Her interests range from magical horses to robots, but she is generally open to anything that isn't too scary. The BFG was well received, but The Wind in the Willows doesn't seem to hold her attention.