Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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May 16

Help me explore French critical texts (art, language, literature)

I haven't read a lot of French criticism and would like to change this. Texts I've read and liked: Derrida's Monolingualism of the Other, Bourdieu's Language and Symbolic Power (I've read extracts), Barthes's A Lover's Discourse. I'm interested in texts that relate to art, linguistics, literary theory, and identity. Also, probably should mention that I specified French criticism because I can read French (slowly and badly — but it works!). [more inside]
posted by bigyellowtaxi at 10:02 AM - 9 answers

Wording an idea succinctly

I’m writing a book proposal that requires a very brief summary of my book, like a couple sentences. I’m having trouble with that, even after outlining and reverse outlining and bouncing ideas off others. I’m aware that my topic might need refinement, but this is my actual question now: what strategies have you found helpful for condensing big ideas into an elevator speech?
posted by mermaidcafe at 7:43 AM - 15 answers

May 13

Help me with "as" in a sentence

Let’s say a sentence is drafted as follows: “We must champion the interests of the 99 percent as vs. those of the 1 percent.” [more inside]
posted by NotLost at 8:46 PM - 18 answers

May 12

Words coined to be opposites of existing words

What are some words that were coined to provide antonyms to words that didn't previously have antonyms? Some examples of what I am looking for are stabile, prepone, cis, and allistic.
posted by aws17576 at 2:45 PM - 23 answers

May 11

Is 450 words too long for an email?

I'm trying to clear up a big misunderstanding. Got myself into a pickle with my sub-par communication skills.
posted by jumanjinight at 7:14 PM - 22 answers

All (of) the _x_ in (the) _Y_. More examples?

I'm seeking out new and all those old stock phrases with this structure: All the Time in World. So far all I have is [more inside]
posted by Rash at 1:49 PM - 29 answers

May 7

Loved Goodbye, Columbus. What should I read next?

I’m finally done with university deadlines and want to read! The last book I read and loved was Roth’s Goodbye, Columbus. What should I read next? I’ve ordered The Human Stain and The Professor of Desire (both by him).
posted by bigyellowtaxi at 7:39 AM - 16 answers

May 5

Breast, heart , mind. Why does Maugham say breast?

I'm learning English. My question is from The moon and six pence. Why does Maugham write ' The suggestion sent a ray of hope in all their breasts ,but I would have nothing to do with it.'? Why not their minds nor their hearts? To me the breast sounds a bit strange. I'd like to know the differences in nuance. Thank you.
posted by mizukko at 8:14 PM - 18 answers

Why have the young people chosen to elevate "yeet"?

There are certain youth slang words that have always been around:"groovy", "cool", "awesome", "gnarly" and "lit" all work the same way, as a compliment. Then there are those words inspired by new developments: Social media led to "flex" and "low-key" and "high-key" and "virtue signal" and "humblebrag." But what explains "yeet"? Why is sudden expulsion suddenly so popular? Does it have something to do with the "eet" sound? Is it a reflection of how instantaneous technology has made processes, like "delete"?
posted by Borborygmus at 12:59 PM - 35 answers

May 2

Where can I find a list of notable upcoming Academic Books?

I'm looking for any blogger or magazine out there has lists of upcoming academics books released in the social sciences and humanities although other disciplines are also welcome. There are such lists books for example but usually they're focused on either a particular year or month or season and are not specialized for more non-fiction or academic titles [published by Harvard University Press, for example, but this can W.W. Norton or other more commercial publishers]. [more inside]
posted by caudal at 11:33 PM - 5 answers

What are interesting poems or poets that use gender-neutral pronouns?

I am especially interested in work that uses spellings like "ze" and "hir," rather than the singular "they." Bonus points if at least some of the poems are about gender issues.
posted by mortaddams at 9:18 AM - 5 answers

May 1

Looking for kids books with unreliable narrators

My 10y.o. daughter loves to read, and recently she's been talking about different kinds of narration -- first person, third person, a narrator that has their own personality versus one that just presents the perspective of the main character, etc. I'd love to give her a book at her reading level that has an unreliable narrator. [more inside]
posted by Winnie the Proust at 5:03 AM - 23 answers

April 28

How important is ISO 17100 certification for translation companies?

I'm reviewing competitive bids from translation companies for a research study, and trying to figure out whether it matters that one has ISO 17100 certification and the other doesn't. [more inside]
posted by quiet coyote at 9:20 AM - 3 answers

April 26

Ghosts that haunt and daunt us -- a question about Goethe's Faust

I'm looking for insight into a particular passage in Goethe's Faust. Specifically, I'd like to understand the context of a line about the nature of signed documents and a reference to "wax and leather" in the scene where the notorious bargain is made. Hope me, scholars of MetaFilter! [more inside]
posted by nosila at 8:55 AM - 16 answers

April 21

Books about the breakup of Yugoslavia

Before Osama bin Laden, before 9/11, before ISIS, before the End of History, there was Bosnia. Years ago, there was a fair amount of primary content regarding Bosnia on the internet, but I don't think I ever saw anything that brought it all together. And now a lot of that information is gone. Does anyone have any recommendations for books about the breakup of Yugoslavia in general or the war in Bosnia more specifically? I am particularly interested if the book covers the flow of events: the whos, the whats, the wheres, and the whens. Illustrations with maps and such would be a plus.
posted by Stuka at 12:20 PM - 12 answers

April 20

Quote from Larry Flynt about trusting people

Trying to find a quote from Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt -- from about 20 years ago I think. [more inside]
posted by zenpop at 12:02 PM - 2 answers

April 19

Name this book-making contest

My local public library plans to start a write and illustrate your own book contest geared toward students from elementary school through high school. But surely there's a better name than "Write and Illustrate Your Own Book Contest"? Suggestions, please?
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:22 AM - 12 answers

April 18

another question from your favorite inept aspiring writer!

I received an Honorable Mention in a writing competition last fall and the pub is going to publish said piece in their Spring 2021 edition. I signed a contract in November 2020 giving them permission to publish and they said they'd be in touch in March to finalize everything and give me a chance to update my bio if necessary. I have not heard from them since, and am not sure if reaching out is pushy or or not. [more inside]
posted by nayantara at 9:03 AM - 3 answers

April 13

what helped you grieve?

What book or piece of writing helped you to grieve? I wish to gift a book to a distant friend who is about to lose their mother after a swift illness. Here's some characteristics i'm looking for, but please don't let it limit your sharing of ideas: - written by a woman/NB/queer person/people - feminist approach - philosophical or sociological e.g. not a self-help book, or a 'science of grieving book'... more like an Audre Lorde or bell hooks style. - poetry or prose or graphic novel - could be old or contemporary
posted by MT at 10:03 PM - 13 answers

April 12

Book ID: five kids, orphaned and hiding it, 70s

A friend of mine on Facebook is trying to remember a book about orphans living on their own, which she read circa 1980-ish. [more inside]
posted by Orlop at 7:39 AM - 14 answers

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