611 reputation
312
bio website none
location United States
age 21
visits member for 3 years, 4 months
seen Dec 7 '13 at 1:44

Now majoring in math, linguistics, and Asian studies, with a concentration in Japanese, at University of Tennessee, with minors in English, German, history, and computer science.

I read a lot, and all over the place, content-wise. I also have a bad tendency to use German grammar in my English writing...which actually works pretty well for me.

It's not my fault I was only formally exposed to grammar when I started learning German.

Calculus is totally sexy, and I would probably marry Gottfried Leibnitz if he were still alive. And just to cement my awesome dorkiness to the world: I decided I wanted to study linguistics after I read The Lord of the Rings and found out Tolkien was a philologist. That was the only reason I ever went on a language kick. Before that I was an art/history nerd, with emphasis on the art. Who knows why?

Fate is inexorable.


Apr
8
comment Why does using this “-ing” verb construction make my writing weaker?
I have a problem with this, although I accept that your first two edits are better than my original, the last one changes the meaning from my original sentence rather drastically! I agree that simplicity rams home a point better than prettified complexity, but it's best to make sure you ram home the right point. ;)
Apr
8
comment Why does using this “-ing” verb construction make my writing weaker?
I agree in principle, but there's a lot of context to this sentence that I left out. "Trying" was meant to imply the frustration and dissatisfaction I found trying to delve my own language in that way, which is, of course, part of why the scholarship committee should give me lots of money so I can stay in college and learn linguistics! So, I ended up using "in an attempt to" to keep that level of meaning, but without the context, "in order to" is better.
Apr
8
comment Why does using this “-ing” verb construction make my writing weaker?
I'm glad I'm not the only one who uses that construction, and while I agree that on its own it doesn't necessarily help a sentence, and the one I wrote isn't the greatest anyway, I know, I still don't wholly get how/why it's a bad thing. Possibly a distinction between fiction-writing (where I picked it up) and essay-writing...? A jump like that can be useful in the right context...Thanks for answering, though. I was beginning to feel a bit unloved after half an hour. :p
Apr
8
comment Why does using this “-ing” verb construction make my writing weaker?
...That makes a lot of sense. I have had my most "fun" writing compared to the Old Testament before. I'm guessing she said past action because I was talking about the past, but you're right. So, the main reason it's considered weaker comes down to its being less fashionable? Also, thanks for the grammatical explanation!
Apr
8
awarded  Student
Apr
8
asked Why does using this “-ing” verb construction make my writing weaker?
Apr
8
comment Books to improve writing skills
The second I read this question, I wanted to write "All of them." Your way is better, though. ;)
Mar
30
revised Common words to avoid when writing formally
improved consistency
Mar
30
comment Common words to avoid when writing formally
@ Kelly C Hess: Ah! Thanks for pointing that out! Originally, I typed "It might be thought that..." and then I changed my mind without changing the rest of the sentence to match. Sorry.
Mar
29
awarded  Editor
Mar
29
revised Common words to avoid when writing formally
clarification, I hope.
Mar
29
comment Common words to avoid when writing formally
It's basically a style thing...If you constantly use the verb "to be" it starts seeming repetitive, almost like when you use "and" too much. Neither is a bad thing to use, but if they're overused...? Then, IMHO, it becomes a bad thing and makes the writing seem immature. I'm probably pushing it too hard in my answer because I really do think avoiding "to be" when you don't have to use it is a good habit, but it's hardly a rule, anymore than avoiding lots of "and" sentences is a rule...Hope that makes sense. I'll go edit in a disclaimer that it's a good habit, NOT some inviolable rule .
Mar
29
comment Common words to avoid when writing formally
@jae: Yeah, sometimes "to be" is the best option...and it probably would be in the death example. That's just what I get for answering on the verge of unconsciousness! Still, I think that overusing "to be" is a good way to make your writing seem simple and immature.
Mar
29
answered Common words to avoid when writing formally
Mar
29
comment Common words to avoid when writing formally
I don't like overdosing on latin either, and I think this advice is a superficial sort of salve... but it can give a formal gloss to a paper. Always use caution, though. A lot of "synonyms" are only synonyms in the grossest sense. If you get a Germanic word that fits perfectly, use it. Don't use a less perfect smart-sounding word just because it sounds smart, especially if you're unfamiliar with it. As I said, the formality of latin is superficial, and if the latin screws up your meaning and makes you sound like an idiot...? No amount of supposed "formality" is going to rescue you.
Mar
29
comment Common words to avoid when writing formally
You could post this at the writers.stackexchange site too. This seems like something they might like.
Mar
25
comment Where to find some good examples of combat or action scenes?
Gemmell's Troy trilogy is absolutely amazing as well. The first two books, IMHO, have some of his best battle scenes...Mrs. Gemmell completed the third book after his death, and while she did an astounding job, the battles did suffer a bit...I'm afraid we disagree about Dumai Wells. It's a decent battle, but I don't remember it as well as, say, Rand holding the Stone of Tear after it fell, which was awesome...Not criticising, just sharing my opinion.
Mar
23
awarded  Commentator
Mar
21
comment Are complex sentences uncommon or unwanted in English?
Moderation/variety is key. Too many short sentences just start to seem boring, choppy, unintelligent...The point of your paper is the most important thing, obviously, but if it's not interesting linguistically, it affects the whole paper and not at all pleasantly.
Mar
21
awarded  Nice Answer