Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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I was just reading this thread asking for good mysteries for children. I wanted to chime in with a great story/series which of course I cannot for the life of me now remember. As I recall it was at least two, maybe more short stories or novellas. The letter Q always seemed to be involved (nod to James Bond no doubt?). There was one which I think was entitled The Four Quarters which featured a kidnapping solved by triangulating homing pidgeons. [more inside]
"Charlie" is a much more common shortening of "Charles" than "Charley." But the North American phrase for an involuntary spasm in the calf muscle is always spelt "charley horse." How's come? [more inside]
One of my kids gets to go to Australia next year thanks to a kind relative. This same relative wants kiddo to prepare for the trip by reading about Australia. What books would be good for the kid that age to read? I'm looking for recommendations for non-fiction about Australia (or portions thereof) as well as fiction set in Australia. Kid is 11, will turn 12 relatively soon, and reads at least a couple grade levels ahead.
I want to have Just One Rule in my MS classroom this year, under which all other rules fall. What I have so far is "make learning your #1 priority." I like the concept but I'm not wild about the phrasing. Help me punch it up! [more inside]
I have a freelance writing/editing life with a workflow that varies and a schedule I regulate, at least in part. I have nice gaps of open time, some days more than others, but my schedule is nicely flexible. [more inside]
My 11-year-old niece is a big fan of How to Train Your Dragon. What other age-appropriate books revolve around dragons? [more inside]
For a piece that I’m writing, I’m looking for the titles of well known of literature that could double as the heading of a real estate listing. [more inside]
I'm create a communications style guide for a civil engineering company, which is mainly for their proposals but will likely be used for other communications. These are proposals for engineering services for municipal, residential, and commercial developments, ranging from 5 - 50 pages. I haven't worked in this field before, so I'm wondering what standard text I should choose as the underlying style reference? [more inside]
Our office building manager has decided he wants to order a custom sticker to place on the ceiling of our elevator, which is in need of a little facelift. He wants to have a "fun" or "feel-good" quote to brighten people's day when (if) they look at it. Only he doesn't know what text exactly. I'm in charge of the graphic design for said text, but i'm personally not convinced we should have a text there at all, so i'm turning to the hivemind to convince me with your great ideas. [more inside]
I'm trying to flex my writing muscles a little more often. Specifically, writing in the creative non-fiction / memoir / personal experience category. What are your favorite writing prompts? [more inside]
Some people can tell the most boring story and keep an audience on the edges of their seats. On the other hand, when I try to tell people about the most interesting things I've experienced (and there are some pretty interesting ones), it tends to land with a thud. I seem to have no natural talent for storytelling, but I'm hoping it's something I can learn to improve. [more inside]
What are your favorite long magazine features (or books) on topics related to psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology? Looking for work that blends serious reporting with excellent writing.
" Because children and innocents all over the old are killed by America in foreign wars etc. , grieving for "white" Americans or Europeans ( while NOT grieving of all the other nameless innocents who are killed) is hypocritical." This statement is obviously problematic and not entirely reasonable but I'm trying to determine if it falls within some logically false argument, I can't quite think of one it fits into. Thanks for the help.
I need a word that describes an action taken by someone who has been tricked into participating in a scam, but who is neither intentionally participating nor directly affected by it. Think of a person who receives a misdirected package and is asked to send it on to the "proper" recipient. (The scam would be that the misdirected package is actually stolen, or contains contraband, or something like that.) [more inside]
This is a long shot, but I'm trying to find a collection of writing about nuclear anxiety I read 10+ years ago. Few remembered details below the fold. [more inside]
What is the easiest and most constructive way to learn German? Would it be best to start with the prononucitations first, since they seem the most difficult to grapple with? Should one learn how to spell it first or speak it first? Is a tutor worth the financial investment and time? How long does it usually take to learn casual German? Thanks.
This thought experiment from 1981 is making its way around social media because of its obvious timeliness for current events. Seeing it again reminded me that I've never read Nancy Collins' 1991 short story, Iphigenia, which is based on the same premise. [more inside]
What other books would you put in the same category as "My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry" and "The One-in-a-Million Boy"? [more inside]
I've been hankering for some stories written in the form of letters, diary entries, and related literary detritus of late. Can anybody recommend good ones? I've read Dracula, lots of Lovcraft, and the Newbury-winning Nothing but the Truth. [more inside]
This is from"The Fallen Idol" by Greene. I 'd like to know about some vocabularies. [more inside]