Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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I'm looking for well-written books with engrossing plots that are somewhere on the spectrum between garbage-mass-market-airport book and important-but-arduous literary book. They're for my mother, who really has no genre preference, just wants books that are entertaining but not Danielle Steel-level writing quality. I would like to avoid anything too grim this year. [more inside]
In my teens, in a spirit of irony, I read a few older etiquette books. This story might or might not be from Emily Post, but it's from something of that era. [more inside]
Not a baseball question. A writer friend of mine is starting a storytelling series in our town and has requested that those of us who are interested in participating should email him pitches for a short, 6-10 story we'd want to tell on stage. [more inside]
Through my job, I've been engaged to take a PDF of raw text and turn out a novel manuscript. No copyediting or proofreading involved, just taking this 200+ pages of text and formatting it into a novel. I'm not even 100% sure what this entails except that it doesn't involve any graphic design. Does anybody have any advice about this? I've never done this before so I'm not sure how else to do it besides googling "Google Docs Novel Template." I'm obviously extremely clueless but any help/advice/material hints appreciated!
Can you think of words that essentially mean "like or of [type of animal], without containing the name of that animal itself? For example, "murine" for mouse-like. More examples below: [more inside]
I'm looking to expand my vernacular of appropriate rural American proverbs, like the things you'd hear at a crusty tavern in small town USA. Examples: No pockets on a casket. Same circus, different clowns. Don't let your tongue get your teeth knocked out.
We have a wonderful children's book by Gerald McDermott called "Jabutí the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale from the Amazon." I think the story would make a great play for a children's theater that I work with, but I cannot find the source, and Mr. McDermott is dead, so I cannot ask him. [more inside]
I am doing some branded content work where for SEO reasons sentences need to be 20 words and under. I would like a website, app, etc where I can post my copy into a window or something, click a button, and it highlights either entire sentences that are too long, or highlights from the point they exceed the sentence word count.
When she got riled up, my grandma would call my pop something that sounded like - I think - "scusdamadh." Maybe that last consonant was a rolled r with a dropped vowel after it - it's hard to know. Gram and Pop were both the children of early 20th century immigrants from southern Italy so spoke a little bit of that older Italian. [more inside]
Someone who speaks English almost fluently but as a second language has asked me for some resources to help her brush up on prepositions in formal and business writing as she is feeling rather rusty. I am looking for any recommendations, preferably online, and especially any used by ESL teachers, that I could direct her to.
I heard about RoughDraft and knew I needed it. But it looks like 1. it's discontinued and 2. even so, it was for Mac or iPhone only. I need something like it; a bare-bones word processor that won't let you delete anything (doing strikethrough instead is fine) but will eventually let you export the document. [more inside]
My mom is looking for Spanish language literature to help improve her fluency while also staying entertained. She's had trouble finding stuff she enjoys. Can you help? [more inside]
How do I develop a character I wrote for a story RPG when I won't actually be playing the RPG? Or in other words, how do you indulge in getting to know a character just for the sake of knowing them? [more inside]
Can you tell me what it says on this Russian snuff box from 1820? [more inside]
What are some sounds in non-English languages that native English speakers have a hard time perceiving or producing? For instance, Japanese-speakers might not distinguish between the English "l" and "r" sounds. When English speakers try speaking other languages, what sounds do they have difficult with correctly hearing or speaking, because those sounds don't exist in English?
There was a link I think I saw on Metafilter a couple of years ago to a word game whose name I remember as something like "higity pigity." [more inside]
Letter-writers of mefi: how do I write a good postcard for a five-year-old, especially if I don't know them all that well? [more inside]
I’m interested in finding examples of fiction written as a monologue addressed to the reader, so that the reader feels like another, unnamed character. [more inside]
Does the phrase “Damn the man!” predate Empire Records? I feel like it has to, but I can’t find any information regarding the phrase’s origins. My Google-fu is not strong with this one.
I'm looking for interesting and reasonably short books about food for a gift. This is for someone especially interested in wine, mushrooms, fermented foods and veganism. [more inside]