516 reputation
29
bio website
location United Kingdom
age 60
visits member for 3 years, 6 months
seen Sep 28 at 12:35

Got a degree in language & literature a long time ago, but I don't read much fiction/creative writing these days.


Oct
9
comment When is it acceptable to refer to an undefined group of people in academic writing?
@Lauren: But OP isn't asking whether evidence should be produced. He just says he thinks the students should always have specific individuals or groups of people in mind. Valid evidence may not identify any such specific subset of "people"; whether or not such evidence exists and is cited is irrelevant to OP's question. Is it acceptable not to specifically identify the particular people/type of person when referring to "some" people?
Oct
8
comment When is it acceptable to refer to an undefined group of people in academic writing?
@Lauren: I don't see how "without any backup" is relevant. OP's first example could just as easily have said more women over the age of 50 carpool to work, with or without supporting evidence. I've no idea what if any trends there are in carpooling, but it's at least possible women over 50 are exactly average in terms of having taken it up. In which case actually specifying them should be considered misleading, and the generic people should be preferred.
Oct
8
comment When is it acceptable to refer to an undefined group of people in academic writing?
Can you give any reasons why you want to avoid the "less clearly defined" references? It just seems arbitrary and pointless to me.
May
29
comment How do I organize a paragraph that lists several steps after an introduction?
Don't worry about the punctuation. Worry about why you've included the word "like" in the first sentence, and whether or not native speakers would find that acceptable in formal texts.
Apr
22
comment “…and the fire from the stove engulfed him” or “jumped on him” or “covered him” or “devoured him” or what?
@David: Not necessarily. But in this case, I believe the OP isn't even a native speaker of English, and there's surely no doubt that leap out is far more common in his context than any of engulfed/jumped on/covered/devoured. I also think it's unlikely a native speaker would say/write He opened the stove and the fire from the stove... Firstly, it would invariably be flames, and secondly, repeating the stove is bordering on "unnatural". OP's version doesn't reflect "creative use of language", so much as lack of familiarity with natural English.
Mar
28
comment Should I write about how the character solved some riddle or let the reader solve it himself
+1 for excellent suggestion!
Jun
21
comment How do I cite Google Public Data in my bibliography (APA format)?
This "cut-down" APA6 guide may help.
Apr
23
comment Title Choice: “The Girl [Without/Who Didn't Have] A Soul”
@SomeNorCalGuy: I vote to close according to what I want to see answered on ELU, rather than according to what the faq says, or how others interpret it. OP's first question (Do they mean exactly the same?) struck me as trivial/pointless. The second (Which sounds better as a name for a short story?) seems like a "creative writer seeking advice" question to me - so I'm quite content it was migrated, even if you don't want it here after all.
Apr
22
comment Title Choice: “The Girl [Without/Who Didn't Have] A Soul”
@Neil Fein: I didn't migrate it - I'm not a mod, so I have no power to do anything like that. But I think I'd have voted to close if it had stayed on ELU, regardless of any feasible extra details OP might supply. Having said that, I think it is answerable on writers.se as it stands - imho, the xxx who didn't have a yyy is something of a "stock format" particularly for children's short stories. But you're a mod on writers.se, whereas I'm only an occasional visitor, so I'm certainly not going to argue with your decision.
Apr
18
comment Title Choice: “The Girl [Without/Who Didn't Have] A Soul”
This should go on writers.se
Mar
16
comment Trying to indicate that the frequency is annoying
I actually don't think that's an accurate rephrasing for exactly what OP wants to convey. This version could easily apply when the speaker isn't in fact annoyed at all, but for some completely unrelated reason wants to point out that it's being asked too often. Perhaps he even likes answering this question because he's done it so often he finds it easy - but his boss thinks this is a non-productive activity, and is planning to change the mechanism by which such questions are routed through to the speaker.
Mar
15
comment Need help to rephrase this sentence to prevent a run-on
Belongs on writers.se
Mar
13
comment Deaf speechmarks?
Another alternative would be to use different speech demarcation symbols - put the signings <between characters like this, for example>.
Mar
13
comment Deaf speechmarks?
I think this should be on writers.se, but I suggest using a different typeface (italics if you've nothing better).
Mar
6
comment “The company from Redmond” vs “The Redmond company.”
I think in practice you'd be more likely to see "Redmond-based company" rather than plain "Redmond company".
Feb
20
comment I want to explore the psychology of a ruthless, macho killer. What mistakes should I avoid?
@Carl Seleborg: The reader needs to be skilfully encouraged and guided, obviously, but he'll enjoy the tale more if he's been "actively engaged", even though he won't normally be consciously aware of this. The bonus for you if you get this right is that the reader fills in exactly the kind of "background details" that seem right to him - rather than always taking yours, which may not always work so well for everyone else.
Feb
9
comment ESL Writing How to quote article sentence?
Just write shorter sentences. CB was the author of xxxx. His argument was xxxx. I think this is really off-topic bordering on proof-reading.
Jan
19
comment How does one include sign language in a dialogue?
@HNL: I have no experience of submissions to editors, and I don't expect that to change, since I don't do creative writing. But if I did, I'd expect to do it on my own terms - if the editor didn't like my font, I'd either find another one who wasn't so hidebound, or just forget about editors and publish myself directly onto the net. Whatever - I was only trying to help. One can't help but notice that books from established authors use fonts creatively in this way when the need arises, and it seems insane that the author can't write directly in them. Jobsworth for later typesetters, perhaps?
Jan
18
comment How to start a book off?
Start with something you know you're definitely not going to keep in the finished version, like It was a dark and stormy night.... Assuming that gets you moving, you can just go back and change the beginning. There's not really any chance you'll forget to do that - but if you did, the first person you show it to for comments is bound to mention it!
Jan
18
comment How does one include sign language in a dialogue?
Per both answers, italics is a quick and easy way to do it. But if there's going to be a lot of this type of dialogue, you might consider using a distinctive font for the signed communications. And as a rule use a clarifying verb like "signed, indicated, gestured" for the first one in an interchange whenever it's been several pages since the last one. After that, use non-specific verbs like "suggested, replied, answered" and avoid verbs "said". But you might get away with the occasional "shouted" or similar in a metaphorical sense (perhaps in quotes to alert the reader to what you're doing).