Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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June 25

What is this journaling prompt I've forgotten?

I'm almost certain I came across a journaling prompt on the green a few years ago, with three (or more?) daily objectives. [more inside]
posted by mymbleth at 2:01 AM - 1 answers

June 22

👍🏼 or 👎?

I am white. When interacting in public, should I use the emoji skin tone that most closely matches my own, or should I stick with yellow? [more inside]
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:46 PM - 28 answers

Initialisms or acronyms as different parts of speech

Can I use initials to refer both to a noun and to a verb? As in, I define a term -- "gandy dancer (GD)"-- and later, when referring to gandy dancing, I use "GD"? [more inside]
posted by Francolin at 12:19 PM - 9 answers

June 19

Can you identify this font?

Can you identify the font in this (cleaned up) image? The person I'm asking for swears the PE is a built-in ligature and this font has a lot of ligatures. [more inside]
posted by fleacircus at 12:00 AM - 5 answers

June 18

Word to describe "X Make Up Y" word relationships

Is there a word or phrase that refers to what I can only describe as “organization level” word groups (AKA things that make up other things)? i.e. cells->tissues->organs is an ideal example, but another one would be atoms->molecules->compounds(?). I’m having trouble coming up with others that follow this structure, or when flipped is "is made of" (organs are made of tissues). [more inside]
posted by theRussian at 11:25 AM - 24 answers

June 17

"Librarian" in as many geek languages as possible?

For a project I'm working on, I'd like to gather as many translations of the word "Librarian" as possible in sci-fi/fantasy languages...think Quenya and Klingon, Dothraki and Dark Speech. [more inside]
posted by griffey at 6:39 AM - 14 answers

How do you balance reading for pleasure with work/grad school?

Help this part time grad student and freelance journalist to balance reading for pleasure with work. [more inside]
posted by dostoevskygirl at 5:12 AM - 16 answers

"Winning" a scene?

Looking for writing resources: I'm having a hard time finding anything substantive about "winning the scene" in writing that doesn't link to this Tony Zhou video about Silence of the Lambs. [more inside]
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:11 AM - 5 answers

June 15

Forgotten Bookfilter Yet Again

Another book long forgotten. I've been trying to remember this one for years to no avail, and have been meaning to make this ask since I first saw it done. Also, I have my suspicions that it might be a little skeevy or problematic, I was 14 when I read it so my memory isn't great though. [more inside]
posted by AnhydrousLove at 7:32 PM - 6 answers

Dutch Translator Needed

Can anyone help me translate this document into English?
posted by bajema at 9:19 AM - 18 answers

June 14

What is the term for the protagonist of an autobiographical novel?

Is there a specific literary term for the character in autobiographical fiction who represents the author? In other words, Sal Paradise is Jack Kerouac's what? "Alter ego" is the best I can come up with, but I feel like I've heard a more specific term. Related question: Is there a different term for characters in autobiographical fiction who represent real people other than the author? In other words, Old Bull Lee is William S. Burroughs' what?
posted by tom_r at 4:18 PM - 8 answers

Why can't I remember this book title? See if you can help

Please help me remember the name of an old scifi novel about an alien that sucks knowledge out of other people's brains, killing them. [more inside]
posted by CuJoe at 2:28 PM - 2 answers

Did these words evolve in pairs?

I was listening to a song recently that included rhyming pairs when / then and where / there, and I realized that, in English, both of those question words reflect their definitive counterpart. Did they, for lack of a better word, 'intentionally' evolve that way, or is this purely a coincidence? [more inside]
posted by hanov3r at 11:49 AM - 15 answers

What are some good verbs to described walking with crutches?

I have a character who uses crutches temporarily while her broken leg is healing. She puts no weight (for medical reasons) on the leg while walking. 'Limping' might be the obvious one, but I worry that I'm entering some ableist territory. [more inside]
posted by angrycat at 2:49 AM - 25 answers

June 13

What are "jubee lips"?

From this article, "But I had already noticed those signature serious eyebrows, the jubee lips, the rounded jaw." Is this New Zealand slang?
posted by dilaudid at 7:37 AM - 7 answers

June 11

Help me find this 20thC travelogue about 2 women on a passenger ship!

Looking for a travelogue written sometime between 1920 - 1960. [more inside]
posted by apparently at 4:23 PM - 4 answers

Received Pronounciation or General American accent for LA Spanish?

I want to integrate some accent work into my Spanish language education. Unfortunately I live in the Yucatán and I’d rather not end up with that as my default. Is there a neutral(ish) accent that is recognized across Latin America? Something that newsreaders and sportscasters use for international programming? Or if not for all of Latin America, at least for Mexico?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:59 AM - 7 answers

Biographies of not-famous relatives of famous people?

Have there been any notable biographies by children or relatives of famous people, who themselves were not famous at all? Particular biographies reflecting on celebrity and fame and life living in the shadow of a more famous relative? Perhaps for a twist, even people who were highly skilled/talented but unacclaimed?
posted by vizsla at 7:22 AM - 34 answers

June 10

Short story identification question: Harried wife/mother on a holiday

Looking for a specific short story concerning a family in a country house on holiday. [more inside]
posted by tractorfeed at 12:02 PM - 10 answers

June 9

simile suggestions for "as inextricale/inseparable as" or

My brain needs help. I know I've heard a good analogy for expressing that separating one thing for another would be like (i.e., as difficult as) separating [X] from [Y]. But I'm wracking my brain and I can't fill in the blanks for X and Y. I'm looking for something that would be instantly obvious how impossible it would be to extract one thing from another after they're mixed. Any ideas?
posted by leticia at 4:00 AM - 16 answers

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