The tag has no usage guidance, but it has a tag wiki.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

16
votes
9answers
2k views

Tips for expanding my vocabulary?

Looking back through my texts, I noticed that I often use a lot of the same words and resort to using quite a basic vocabulary. I was wondering if there are any good exercises or anything else for ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

What linguistic tools do you use?

I've got a Flip Dictionary, a Thesaurus, my trusty Strunk&White, and I use the almighty GOOG(le) should I ever be unsure of the definition of a word. What does everyone else use? Is there some ...
6
votes
4answers
189 views

Less universe-specific synonyms for “squib”?

I write primarily fantasy; recently, it's been brought to my attention that I use the terms "muggle" and "squib" informally fairly often in roleplay. If I were to publish something, I'd not want to ...
6
votes
5answers
187 views

Acquiring vocabulary to write fiction

I am a non-native speaker, learning the English language, and I am already fairly good in reading and writing technical texts. I also enjoy reading fiction books much, but there's one thing that hits ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Where can I find a good vocabulary list?

I'd like to expand my vocabulary and already do several of the things recommended in the Tips for expanding my vocabulary question. In addition to that, I've been spending some time with a ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Avoiding unintended rudeness or accusatory tones in reminder emails

I am in one of the newsletter teams of my company. Last week, I had mailed the Vice-President of our company to write an article for our newsletter, to which he replied in affirmative and mailed me ...
5
votes
8answers
5k views

Effective ways to enrich your active vocabulary?

I come across words like rectitude, like laudatory, like indigent, and being an experienced reader with a strong grasp on my native language, I know what they mean. They're words that I know. But ...
5
votes
5answers
644 views

How do authors gain strong familiarity with archaic and extremely rare words?

I keep thinking about this because I've lately been reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, and it's just ridiculous. I have to look up 1-2 words per sentence sometimes, something I'm only used to ...
4
votes
2answers
148 views

In fiction, is the use of old-fashioned verbage or voice (ex. Tolkien, Le Guin) advisable?

If my genre lies somewhere in the fantasy-fiction spectrum, is the use of a more "dated" narrative style/vocabulary going to narrow my audience to a harmful extent? I've always been drawn to the ...
4
votes
1answer
338 views

Word Clouds and Phrase Clouds

I'm familiar with word clouds (or tag clouds) as used on blogs or on sites like Delicious. It seems to me that a tool similar to that could be of use to writers like me, who don't have an editor, when ...
3
votes
5answers
161 views

Using profanities in novels

I've recently read two quite "hard core" novels, both by famous authors. One was erotic fiction and one was a thriller which was very violent and gory. At the end I realized something: the F*** word ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

Resource on archaic English

I know there are similar questions around (like this and this) but they don't really have an answer that works for me. Are there any specific resources that would give me an idea about writing in ...
3
votes
2answers
973 views

How do I improve my knowledge of English well enough to write in it?

I have a long-term goal to write a non-fiction book: a critical book about the current state of humanity's moral methodologies and how humanity is better off dead. Much like Friedrich Nietzsche but ...
2
votes
2answers
305 views

Am i using “he/she” too often during action scenes?

I'm not sure if I am being too overly critical of what I write or if I am actually falling into that "He/She" echo. By that I mean, using "he" or "she" over and over during the action, or combat in ...
2
votes
2answers
685 views

What are some rich but respectful ways to describe various skin colors?

Say I have a kid's book with children of varying skin tones: a boy with British/Germanic background, a girl with Indian parents in the middle point of Indian skin tones, a girl with a Germanic ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How many different words are in the average novel?

I realize there's going to be a bit of variation here from one author to the next and depending on length of the novel, but the range shouldn't really be too large. The thing is, I really have no ...
1
vote
5answers
504 views

Is the following piece of text comprehensible and written in good style?

I am a PhD candidate and I am having difficulty in communicating effectively in writing. Specifically, this post is a piece of text submitted for critique and, in addition, explains what I am trying ...
1
vote
3answers
127 views

Improving my English

I'm keen in writing stories of my imagination. However, my Grammar is not up to the mark. Even I use very simple words and not complicated words like the ones who use in Novels. I read many great ...
1
vote
3answers
277 views

Looking for a verb that means “making something looks very simple by ignoring its complexity or details” [closed]

I'm looking for a verb that means "making something looks very simple by ignoring its complexity or details". Here is the text that I'm composing: "Reducing" complicated social problems to bad ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

What is a good alternative for 'Yours truly' while quoting yourself?

I wish to use a phrase/word after a quote, to indicate that it was me who came up with it (i.e. a phrase to quote myself) This is for a blog post. Is there any way to do so without telling ' "......" ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

How do I explain personal details to my professor without being inappropriate?

I am writing an email to my professor in hopes that I can make up an exam that I missed. I missed the exam under fairly extreme circumstances, catching the flu and not being aware it was on that day, ...
1
vote
1answer
212 views

How to express in a better way? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to overcome the fact that I can't write? Normally I have good ideas to write, but when I come to writing those on paper it seems I don't have much vocabulary or ...
1
vote
0answers
126 views

How to improve my English writing? [duplicate]

I know the title of this question is too broad. But I think this is the apt title for my doubts. I am a non-native speaker of English language. Even then I love to write in English whenever I get ...
0
votes
3answers
52 views

Redouble, double, or double again?

I have seen double and double again a lot. Redouble, not so much. I found out that redouble can mean to double again, to double, or in general to intensify whether that is double, triple, quintuple, ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

“The signal on the Zibby is dead” - what is the meaning of “Zibby”? [migrated]

I am line editing a book about World War II and the Battle of the Coral Sea. The action is taking place in the front and rear cockpits of a Devastator torpedo-bomber aircraft. The pilot and gunner ...
-2
votes
1answer
64 views

Reminding my professor to update a grade? [closed]

I am writing an email to my professor as a reminder to update my grade on a particular assignment. I had an assignment that is graded based on a written essay and a presentation. I submitted the ...