Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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November 1

Need allergy card translation in European Portuguese, please

Unexpected trip to Lisbon and I need to have the following to present at restaurants: Allergy Alert I cannot eat any food which contains: Fish Sesame Lentils Peanuts Any kind of nut I would be very grateful for help with this, especially that last phrase. Thank you so much!
posted by uans at 2:20 AM - 9 answers

October 27

What's the most derivative, cliche novel writing software or ... ?

Asking for a friend who's trying to find "... novel writing software--or, say, a book or a website--that will guide me through structuring the most derivative, cliche, plot-and-character driven kind of novel? I want to mess with it... or maybe not. Based on my research so far, Novel Factory seems like a good option, but I'd like to know what else might be useful."
posted by philip-random at 10:59 AM - 4 answers

October 26

How old is this very old manuscript page?

I want to know how old this is. The information I currently have on it is a small label that says "Breviary / psalter on vellum hand painted circa. 1300 France". I don't think it's that old but I'm not an expert. Anything you could tell me about it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 10:35 AM - 4 answers

October 21

Do you have a favorite pen for writing in arabic script?

I love fine writing instruments -- especially fountain pens -- and I also happen to be casually studying the Persian language a.k.a. Farsi. The fountain pen I like to use for Latin alphabet and script doesn't work well for the Arabic script; it seems the nib's too thin. (It's a Monteverde Fine nib.) Using a fudepen actually works better, but I don't imagine that is a normal solution. [more inside]
posted by bertran at 8:26 PM - 13 answers

October 20

YA-SF recs

Please recommend YA Science Fiction novels, comics and/or graphic novels . LGBTQ+ themes are welcome, though not mandatory. [more inside]
posted by signal at 9:12 AM - 14 answers

October 18

Help me find this quote!

It’s about the ocean AND the mountains. [more inside]
posted by sillysally at 9:39 AM - 1 answers

October 15

Gift suggestions for someone trying to learn Hebrew?

Courses, books, flash cards, etc. that can help someone learn Hebrew? [more inside]
posted by cycleback at 9:33 AM - 4 answers

October 14

Please Help Me Find This Poem About the Moon

Please help me find the title and author of this poem. My partner put an audio version of it on a CD for me probably 8 years ago - long gone of course. Details below! [more inside]
posted by PuddleWonderful at 6:48 PM - 4 answers

October 13

Mr. 40, E and Mr. $hort, Too?

What is the correct way to refer to persons in writing with non-"traditional" names, say, stage/performance names like the rappers "Too Short" and "E-40"? [more inside]
posted by stillmoving at 6:46 AM - 15 answers

October 11

Nice fiction to read aloud

My boyfriend and I are looking for a novel to read aloud together — preferably YA fantasy, but other fiction is good too. Something interesting enough to hold adults' attention, but simple and peaceful enough to read at sleepytime. More details inside. [more inside]
posted by Banknote of the year at 9:16 PM - 20 answers

October 6

Add your 2 cents to help coin a phrase

I want a term that refers to a lineage of sorts, for holding a perspective or values or philosophy that one learned from someone(s) not necessarily known in person. I've heard the phrase "intellectual ancestor(s)" which doesn't strike quite the right tone for me. [more inside]
posted by dancing leaves at 7:41 PM - 14 answers

October 4

Cozy, satisfying historical fiction for Fall

As Fall begins in the Northern Hemisphere, I am hoping to curl up with some historical fiction that could be described as cozy. For example, scenes in firelit rooms while it rains outside; passing long, chilly nights; comfy interiors; hearty meals. [more inside]
posted by delight at 4:58 PM - 30 answers

October 3

"Neutronyms" for words referring to the past or future

I recently needed a word that is like "retrospect" but for the present instead of the past. [more inside]
posted by jjray at 8:30 PM - 26 answers

Recommend me a writing coach?

I've been working on a new book for, at this point, almost a year. I still haven't quite found the right groove (though I get closer and closer), and I keep revising the same 25,000 words over and over. It has been a hell of a year, personally, but I still need to finish this book ASAP, and for the first time I don't know what I need to do that. It's freaking me out. Hivemind, please help: can you recommend anyone who might be able to help me with this?
posted by schadenfrau at 6:54 PM - 5 answers

October 2

positive fictional depictions of fat women

I'm reading the Shell Seekers, and it's a beautiful, pleasurable read so far, except for one thing that's rankling me: the repeated contempt for overweight women, the exaltation of the naturally slender, and the correlation of female overweight with poor character. This is something I have noticed in other otherwise kind-natured books as well. Help me find some counterpoints. [more inside]
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:02 PM - 28 answers

September 29

Help me identify this short story

Back in high school in the late '70s, we read a short story in English class. I only remember fragments, it was about a traveller who got lost, maybe in the Himalayas? Definitely somewhere in Asia, in the mountains. He was rescued by buddhist monks or nuns (maybe?), and the thing I remember most clearly was that they cleaned out his nose with some type of swab after they rescued him. I seem to remember this was part of a reader or anthology of short stories we had. If it helps, this was in Canada.
posted by nanook at 5:20 PM - 2 answers

Looking for stories about people living in isolation and happy solitude

Could you recommend books, short stories, essays, graphic novels etc. featuring people who are alone (ideally physically isolated) and enjoy their solitude, or come to enjoy it? Examples and more details inside! [more inside]
posted by cimton at 11:15 AM - 24 answers

September 28

Reverse engineer alphabetical English words to Mandarin?

How to organize a Mandarin vocabulary book to look up new vocabulary words easily, when the Mandarin alphabet is so different than English? [more inside]
posted by shortyJBot at 5:28 AM - 6 answers

Looking for role models?!

Lately I feel like my peer group are all going off doing ridiculous things - buying expensive houses, other spending decisions and just generally doing stuff in a way that diverges from my own perspective on how I want to live my life. I would say that I'm fairly accepting of these differences but I still feel like I'm putting a lot of mental energy into contrasting these different ways. Discussing and justifying our path with my partner (who's on the same page as I). Lately we felt that it would be good to have some positive role models of people who did things in a slightly different way. Head inside for a request for personal input and biography recommendations - so if you liked Murakami's "running" or Chris Hadfields "life on earth" please add your 2c. [more inside]
posted by mathiu at 4:55 AM - 13 answers

September 26

Pronouncing ‘jojoba’

When I was at the dermatologist, I asked about jojoba oil and pronounced both the j’s like j’s, like ‘JoeJonas.’ I’d never heard anyone say ‘jojoba’ aloud before. The doctor said, “I think it’s ‘ho ho ba..” and seemed embarrassed for me. Am I some kind of idiot? [more inside]
posted by dianeF at 5:39 PM - 52 answers

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