Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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April 25

How to say "awww!" in different languages?

Today it occurred to me that many, if not all, languages must have an equivalent to the English "awww" (number of "w's" varies) in response to something adorable. Am I right? What words/sounds for this do people know of in other languages? Please include details about intonation too, if it's distinctive.
posted by Mechitar at 9:42 AM - 9 answers

April 24

Czech to English translation of an old postcard

My great-great grandmother in what is now the Czech Republic wrote this postcard and sent it (around 1913, I think) to her son who had emigrated to the US. Attempting to transcribe the message into Google Translate, I've misidentified enough of the handwritten characters to make a nonsense of it. Can you do any better?
posted by theory at 10:58 PM - 8 answers

April 23

Examples of novels or novellas told through poems?

What are some examples of book-length verse, preferably in chapters or sections, published in the last 15 years? [more inside]
posted by jander03 at 8:04 AM - 17 answers

Poetry identification - beast of blood and bone

I'm looking for some help identifying the poem in the first two minutes of this programme. It sounds like a Middle(?) English poem that has been partially translated to my untutored ear which may be preventing me from successfully googling fragments of it. The repeated "Beast of blood and bone" is similar to the Middle English poem "Foweles in the Frith" but it's not that.
posted by atrazine at 6:05 AM - 6 answers

April 20

dealing with last-minute publishing terror

I've been in a state of low-level anxiety for the last several months regarding an academic journal article I am not qualified to write about and really struggled with. Now I have to do the final proofs, I'm paralyzed with horror. I seriously don't want this to be published. But I can't back out. Please help give me strength to see this through and not care about what happens after... [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 2:29 AM - 16 answers

April 17

Where to publish SFF literary criticism in 2019

My book reviews have turned into essays. Where could I publish them? [more inside]
posted by toastedcheese at 9:51 AM - 5 answers

April 16

How to submit a KDP or e-book or e-short story on Amazon?

I want to submit some chapters of a book I'm writing to KDP or the e-book version on Amazon. I have both short stories and a book I'm working on. Does Amazon KDP accept short stories and poems? And for a book, can I submit my first 10 chapters and see if readers enjoy it, then add to my book in the months ahead? Or does the book have to be completely done? Thanks!
posted by lynnie-the-pooh at 11:36 AM - 6 answers

April 15

Obrigado? Obrigada?

We're traveling in Portugal and want to say thank you. I identify as male, partner as female, both native English speakers and we're getting conflicting information as to the use of "obrigado" & "obrigada." [more inside]
posted by Floydd at 9:10 PM - 7 answers

April 10

It's all downhill from here - good or bad?

I've always read (and used) the phrase "it's all downhill from here" as a way to say that things are about to get better. But I often see the exact same phrase used as the exact opposite meaning. So what is it for you? [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 2:47 PM - 60 answers

April 9

Looking for someone to read a bit of Chinese for me

I'm curious about this book [more inside]
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 1:58 PM - 6 answers

Help me tawk like a New Yawkah

I need to figure out how to speak with a New York accent. I'm a hippie Californian. I stink at this. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:47 PM - 12 answers

April 8

If I want to publish a book, should I NOT publish in a magazine?

I've written a book and would like to find a publisher. It seems like publishing a compelling excerpt in a magazine or journal would be a great way to get fans and provide credibility to a publishing house. Would publishing an excerpt actually make it harder to publish the larger work as a book? [more inside]
posted by jander03 at 1:02 PM - 6 answers

April 7

Cleg handed?

Reading Henry Green’s novel Living I came across an unfamiliar term I’ve had no luck finding a definition for. About a character Green writes that “it had always gladdened him she was not cleg handed like her mother had been.” What does “cleg handed” mean? From the context I’m guessing it means clumsy or something like that but was hoping for something more specific. The novel is set in Birmingham and features some local dialect.
posted by otio at 7:39 PM - 10 answers

April 6

Twitter thread on harsh truths about publishing?

At some point in the past year or two, I read a long series of funny tweets structured as a numerical list (50? 100?) of expose-style facts about creative writing and the publishing industry. The posting account was a male author who just had a book out (sci-fi or fantasy, I think). Can anyone help me find this thing again? [more inside]
posted by gallusgallus at 3:12 AM - 3 answers

April 5

Vulnerability hangover

What are other words or phrases in any language that describes the feeling of being raw and sensitive even embarrassed after a big event or milestone such as a performance. Also seeking anecdotal stories if you've felt this way and how you coped with it. [more inside]
posted by jj's.mama at 12:07 PM - 26 answers

"Red hair? That's not red, it's orange."

How do people in different languages and cultures refer to red hair? Or related shades like auburn and strawberry blonde? [more inside]
posted by Gordafarin at 2:17 AM - 18 answers

April 4

Looking for uplifting, cheery books for kids

My 11 year old likes to read and loves a good book. Lately, the well-rated stuff I have picked up for him he has loved -- but he's reported they've been pretty sad with close family and friends dying. (I didn't know it when picking them up) He's had more than his fair share of close family die lately so I am looking for a few light-hearted books. Books he's read and liked lately - Crispin, Maniac Magee, Freak the Mighty, and Circus Mirandus. He seems to read at about his grade level.
posted by beccaj at 9:13 AM - 18 answers

Compiling a iPhone-based Italian grammar for vacation

I speak a little Italian, but am far from fluent. I’d like to compile a personal grammar with self-selected vocabulary and basic conjugations for regular and irregular verbs. I’ll have the grammar on my iPhone, but do not expect to have access to the internet other than hotel WiFi. Any suggestions on how to do this? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:00 AM - 2 answers

trying to find a poem again

I'm trying to find a poem again that I read years ago. It's short, maybe only one stanza. I think it might have been written by Robert Graves. The bits I can remember go like this (not sure it's the right order): Expect nothing. Exist on crumbs. Not for you she smiles, but for the birds. [something something something] and the lonely word of honour pledged. [more inside]
posted by colfax at 5:22 AM - 2 answers

April 1

Book recommendations for 13 year old avid reader

Young Cocoa is having trouble finding books for pleasure reading. With a school break coming up, we need some recommendations. He likes looooong books or series. His favorite genres are humorous fantasy/wordplay (Douglas Adams, Jasper Fforde) as well as historical fiction, memoir, and some character-driven/idea-driven sci-fi (The Martian, Dune) and speculative fiction (Ted Chiang). He dislikes a lot of current realistic YA fiction because it feels formulaic. He doesn't like Terry Pratchett. He doesn't like the situations in a lot of adult fiction: [more inside]
posted by cocoagirl at 9:28 AM - 48 answers

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