Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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December 30, 2020

「ねこ」あとでわからん

Can anyone help me decipher the highly stylized hiragana on this scroll? [more inside]
posted by Cogito at 5:47 PM - 7 answers

December 29, 2020

Word for a trick parallelism?

Friend just showed me a humorous headline: ”Padres Give Up Prospects for Yu Darvish While Cubs Give Up.” I seem to recall there’s a term (possibly a very new one, invented in the internet age) for this kind of silly parallelism, where the same word is used twice but it means something different the second time. What is it? [more inside]
posted by stoneandstar at 10:12 PM - 7 answers

Vaguely-Remembered Short Story: Cessna, Chimpanzee, Cigarette Lighter

I'm trying to find a short story from the 80s, possibly published in Harper's, in which an older woman, a younger man, and a chimpanzee go for a ride in the man's small plane... [more inside]
posted by spacewrench at 9:57 AM - 5 answers

December 28, 2020

Best books about the Franklin expedition?

I just finished watching The Terror and now I'm curious to read more about the Franklin expedition. According to Google, there are three million books on the subject, so I was wondering which ones are the best for a general reader. Any recommendations?
  • readable prose is important
  • in-depth descriptions of each part of the ship, not as important

posted by betweenthebars at 5:08 PM - 12 answers

onomatopoeia but for meaning

Is there a word or phrase that means that a piece of writing demonstrates what it describes. For example, I have forgotten what it is, but there's a word meaning overly long or complicated, which is itself a long and complicated word. But I'm looking for a word or phrase that generalizes this idea. [more inside]
posted by eviemath at 9:52 AM - 7 answers

December 26, 2020

awesome new sci-fi

Please recommend awesome new sci-fi. [最新男同志69可播放,含羞草成人网站,香蕉视频网站more inside]
posted by signal at 11:00 AM - 29 answers

December 25, 2020

Full copy of RAF Pigeon Service Manual

I recently came across the Pigeon Service Manual — not primarily a guide to servicing pigeons, but a guide for members of the Royal Air Force Pigeon Service describing how to care for, train, and deploy carrier pigeons. [more inside]
posted by wesleyac at 11:52 PM - 4 answers

December 24, 2020

Can you translate this handwritten Japanese text to English?

Hi MeFites, can anyone help translate this handwritten Japanese text to English? [more inside]
posted by shortskirtlongjacket at 9:25 PM - 6 answers

December 22, 2020

Best non-Mars book/s by Kim Stanley Robinson?

I just finished the Mars series by KSR and loved it! I loved the technical science details but most of all I loved the rich interior lives of the characters. Which KSR book/s should I read next, and why? [more inside]
posted by DTMFA at 11:02 AM - 19 answers

December 21, 2020

Good layman's book on historical linguistics + archeology?

Some time ago I read a neat book about, among other things, the Yamnaya people, who are believed to be the source of all Indo-European languages. There is limited archeology. But scholars can examine which words are common to all IE languages. Presumably the Yamnaya had those things. E.g. apples, and cart axels. Apples suggest an origin near Kazakhstan; cart axels suggest how they spread. To continue learning, what should I read? [more inside]
posted by musofire at 8:05 PM - 7 answers

December 19, 2020

Recommend me some beautifully written books

I'd love recommendations for books in English that incorporate figurative writing and that are lovely to read. Looking for fiction in novel format (not short stories) that is not from a white, male, or western point of view, and no sci-fi or similar. [more inside]
posted by sizeable beetle at 8:51 AM - 18 answers

December 18, 2020

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

Give me the most interesting writing about the most boring topics you can find! [more inside]
posted by yeahlikethat at 10:28 AM - 21 answers

What are the most boring topics?

Everything can be made interesting if you try hard enough, but which topics would you need to try really, really, really hard? [more inside]
posted by Cozybee at 12:45 AM - 70 answers

December 17, 2020

Not Who Done Its

Help me find mysterious novels not mysteries. [more inside]
posted by Xurando at 1:33 PM - 37 answers
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December 14, 2020

Non-stressful non-fiction for night time

Over lockdown, I've found that I sleep best when reading non-stressful writing in bed. What is your favourite soothing, accessible, and ideally funny non-fiction? Ideally historical. [more inside]
posted by unicorn chaser at 2:46 AM - 25 answers

December 13, 2020

YA girl soldier genre

Help me understand and avoid the YA genre that includes The Hunger Games (2008), Divergent (2011), and The Poppy War (2018). [more inside]
posted by aniola at 3:20 PM - 23 answers

December 11, 2020

Divided by a common tongue

I can't believe I'm asking this, but: You live in a country where you write today's date as "11 December". How do you read that? The eleventh of December? Eleventh December? Eleven December? Something else? Do you ever use "December (the) eleventh" when speaking? (Please specify the country whose English you speak in your answer, and thank you!)
posted by trig at 5:32 AM - 72 answers

December 10, 2020

How is the name "Silone" in "Joshepine Silone Yates" pronounced?

I've heard two different pronunciations of the family name, "Silone", as in Josephine Silone Yates. One is sih-LOAN, and the other SILL-on (I found the latter here). Which one would Josephine Silone Yates most likely have used herself?
posted by Kattullus at 4:14 AM - 5 answers

December 8, 2020

Identify this JFK alternate history?

Seen once in a bookstore maybe five years ago. [more inside]
posted by Epixonti at 10:27 AM - 5 answers

December 6, 2020

最新男同志69可播放,含羞草成人网站,香蕉视频网站P words

Please share with me all words that start with the letter p and are related to pirates, puffins, walking*, and anything else relevant to this IRL thread. Please and thank you! [more inside]
posted by aniola at 7:00 PM - 33 answers

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