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11

Lauren gave the single most universal method - let me expand on that. Note there doesn't have to be a literal character for the cabbagehead - a virtual one will do. Get some quotes from 'MYTO for dummies'. Get a cautionary work safety series series "Accidents resulting from and involving mishandling MYTO". Outright break the fourth wall having the omniscent ...


10

Firstly, it's always a good idea to clearly indicate whether the message reflects an actual error, or simply a warning which the user may choose to ignore. Secondly, try to minimise use of "jargon" terms such as translate, higher precedence, and overrides. Warning: The 'name1' concept1 is assumed to be a type of 'name3' concept3, not a 'name2' concept2. ...


10

Actually, both commas should be removed from that sentence. The first one is a comma splice; it should be removed and replaced with a period, to create two complete sentences. That alone will help break up your unwieldy passage and make it easier to read. The second comma should be removed because you don't put punctuation after the conjunction near the end ...


9

Introduce a cabbagehead character. "Cabbagehead" is a term from Phil Farrand, who wrote the Nitpicker's Guides to various Star Trek series. He points out that particularly in NextGen, it became necessary for one person to abruptly (and temporarily) develop the IQ of a head of cabbage, so that the other characters could explain the situation and the audience ...


8

To me, the difference is not whether the story has a logical explanation, but whether it could have an explanation in this universe. Another way to say it: Fantasy may violate what we know to be true of the universe. Science fiction may not. A monster, an alien planet, or "magic" could be either fantastical or science fictional, depending on whether it ...


7

Lauren's and SF's answers give good advice for dealing with the necessary explanation. My additional advice is: make sure it's really necessary. Driving a car is a pretty complex task (ask anyone who's taught a teenager :-) ), and there are cases where it might be important to describe in detail the revving of the engine, the easing-out of the clutch, the ...


6

Your use of English is very good, yet your arrangement could be better. The sentence near the end that starts "Why "Tomate"? Tomate is the French..." should be closer to the beginning, if not at the beginning. Avoid using generic terms like "one" when referring to a potential user (you do this in the beginning - "How can one focus..."). You use the word ...


6

This is nicely personal and humorous. The key problem is the omission of articles (a, an, the), Articles can be tricky in English. X Y is an aspiring software craftsman, designer, and father on paternal leave. Also, if you really want to say "a father," then you'll also have to say "a designer" to keep the three items parallel. This is a somewhat ...


5

If you want to keep the same format, I would go with: Cannot translate 'name1' concept1 to 'name2' concept2 because an existing translation from 'name3' concept3 to 'name2' concept2 takes precedence. Using your fruit example, it would look like this: Cannot translate the 'Fred' apple to the 'John' orange because an existing translation from the ...


5

This started short, and then got long pretty quickly. Feel free to use as many of my suggestions as you want, or none at all. :) 1) First off, I find your site VERY hard to read. White on black works for a small group of people, but dark on light is more universally accessible according to every usability study... ever. I also had trouble distinguishing ...


5

To me, the science in science fiction is what differentiates the two. That is usually represented by devices of some sort. Nor does it necessarily need to be a silicon-based device, a carbon-based biological based device would equally foot the bill. But there is always some device that is what makes the special power of the world (be it a method of ...


5

Do parentheses inhibit clarity? They do and they don't, it's all down to individual use. When used well and skillfully, parentheses fulfill a function that no other punctuation or construction can quite imitate. Their function is similar to em dashes (a woefully overused punctuation mark) and can also be used to mask off digressions (which can detract from ...


4

If the process you're trying to describe is complex or can be looked at in two different ways, you can explain it pretty much in those words. Because inside your story, the same tension and double-definition exists - so that can be how people think of it and describe it. Consider these two possibilities: If the nature of the convergence is widely known and ...


4

I would abbreviate your degrees; chances are your audience will understand them. And then I would break down a few of your sentences into shorter sentences. Here's an edited version (impressive resume by the way!): Andrew earned his BS and MBA from the University of New Mexico and his MS in Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He primarily ...


4

I like what Theodore Bernstein says in "The Careful Writer" (original copyright 1965): There is some evidence that the use of parentheses has become more common in modern writing, particularly in critical and expository writing. Parentheses seem almost to have become a mark of "sophisticated," knowing style. They do have their uses in simplifying ...


4

Relative clauses ("which overides it") make the reader work. They have to go back and forth in the sentence trying to match up the "which"s and the "it"s. By the sounds of it, you are doing something very abtstract and technical so the reader is working hard enough already. Don't worry about dumbing it down! Without the relative clause it might go like this ...


4

Your first sentence is great, it grabs the reader. Sadly, it has almost nothing to do with the rest of the essay, which therefore becomes kind of a let-down. In handling such an abstract concept, you need to concretize it. Think of how it would be done in a magazine: "Bob Smith, a freshman at a well-known Ivy League school, had troubles studying on his ...


4

Edited based on comments: Given the following function declaration: f_get_vend_code(v_nut_id varchar2) return varchar2; I would write the description as follows: This function takes a nut ID (NUT_ID) and returns the vendor's seller code (WINGNUT_SELLER_CODE) for this form. If NUT_ID is not set (blah blah blah). If the function cannot find a ...


4

Maybe break it into two sentences? When you send this function a NUT_ID, it returns a WINGNUT_SELLER_CODE. This code is from the'THREADED_NUTS' screen in the 'Vendor' field. I almost always use "that". (Every copy editor I've ever encountered seems determined to eradicate all uses of "which".


4

I think Philip K. Dick said it best: Fantasy involves that which general opinion regards as impossible; science fiction involves that which general opinion regards as possible under the right circumstances. This is in essence a judgement-call, since what is possible and what is not possible is not objectively known but is, rather, a subjective belief on ...


3

Evidently you have clear ideas about what you want the essay to accomplish, and a reasonably good understanding of what you are writing about. Your revised essay probably reaches most of the goals you set. However, it seems rather wordy to me. If you trim away empty phrases, you will improve the essay's readability and at the same time make room for more ...


3

"The real power is information" only really makes sense if it's being used to contradict what is normally considered to be "the real" power. For example: "Some say true power in business is money, but the real power is information." "Magic beans are considered by most to be the source of power in business. This is not true. Information is the real power." ...


3

Sentences always are too long when they're wordy. Lauren did a nice job of tightening the sentence and makes an excellent point about zero sum. Depending on the context, the sentence might be tighten even further: "As players move around the board, they buy, rent and sell properties from and to each other, trying to maximize their wealth."


2

I found the white text on the black background to be very difficult for me to read your post. I did my best to get through the content and thought the material itself was fine, but the choice of text and background made it strenuous for me to stay focused. I cannot comment on if the material was concise, because I don't know much about the material in ...


2

Is it easy to follow? I didn't really find this paragraph to be very clear. So if I was somehow able to obtain someones log-in code as above, and I knew what its separate components were. I could just take off the first 4 digits (1237) and substitute in the current time whenever I wanted to generate a verified code. Also, I wasn't sure why you had ...


2

The structure of your essay is fine, but your intro is irrelevant and your conclusion is redundant. I know the advice runs "Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em, tell 'em, and then tell 'em what you told 'em" but you don't literally use the words "I said X." For shortening it, let's just try the first paragraph: Studying with partners sometimes ...


2

What you have here is a story. I think the writing is good. The text is ideal for an about page. However, I think your true goal is getting people to use the application. Sorry if I am making a bad assumption. To influence people online you need to get to the point immediately. And you need to talk to them about them, not about yourself. Look at the number ...


2

First impression: The sentences are too long winded. Comma, comma, comma. The worst one begins with "Among this new wave". You can really use more than three sentences per paragraph. Break the sentences apart. That enhances clarity. I wouldn't use the iceberg metaphor. First it's overused, second it is normally used to show negative things ("The government ...


2

Whenever this question comes up I always say that the clue is in the name. It's SCIENCE fiction. That means that the story must absolutely rely on science in order to be told and if it doesn't, it's probably fantasy. Now that doesn't mean that the science in the story has to be real, neither does it have to make sense (except within the logical parameters of ...


2

Real difference: Science fiction pretends to be possible. It says We haven't managed to pull this off yet, but we still might someday! Or else, it says We never pulled this off, but if history had gone a little differently, we could have! Fantasy flat out says This shit is impossible, but it's happening anywayyyy!!!! Secondary difference which is a ...



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