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seen Sep 17 at 18:08

Jun
16
comment How to deal with common Earth references in a non-Earth setting?
... to an alien? Maybe what we call "red" looks like blue to them and vice versa. But for that matter, how do I know what colors look like to other people? Anyway, my point is that there are not different colors on an alien planet in the same sense that there could be different species of plants.
Jun
16
comment How to deal with common Earth references in a non-Earth setting?
Well, technically I think that "as a physicist" you would agree with me that color is a basic phenomenon of physics. A biologist might point out that the ability to perceive any given color is not the same thing as the color, i.e. the wavelength of light rays, existing. Which is why I said, "I suppose an alien might not be able to see the color blue." I had the idea of color blindness and the range of colors that any given creature can see in mind when I wrote that. Yes, aliens might be able to see colors that we can't, and vice versa. And who could say what any given color looks like ...
Jun
13
comment Writing dialogue for a non-English speaker in English?
... So talking about a national economic trend as making someone happy just sounds strange. Also, "achieve happiness" is awkward. We generally don't think of happiness as something that you work for directly so that you could say you "achieved" it. Rather we think of it as the indirect result of other activities. To say, "You should work hard trying to become happy" sounds like the kind of pop psychology advice you might get from a TV talk show host, not something normal people routinely say.
Jun
13
comment Writing dialogue for a non-English speaker in English?
It's subtle and complicated -- that was my point. A native speaker might have said, "Industrial robots improve the standard of living" or "... improve human life." "Happiness" is normally used to refer to personal things, not large-scale economic trends. Usually it's used to talk about relationships or personal achievements and not money. While someone might say, "I was very happy when I got a pay raise", this is at the edges of what is considered "normal". Someone is more likely to say, "My wife and I were so happy when the baby was born" or "Spending time with my friends makes me happy." ...
Jun
12
comment How to write a prophecy?
@babou Well, I don't recall anything in the Biblical account saying that pharaoh was trying to circumvent a prophecy, just that he was trying to wipe out the Jews. But whatever, I suppose we're getting off on a tangent.
Jun
10
comment How to write a prophecy?
@babou What prophecy in the Bible was paradoxically fulfilled by someone trying to prevent it? I can't think of an example of that.
Jun
10
answered How to write a prophecy?
Jun
6
comment Methods for writing from an alternate gender/age/cultural viewpoint?
@TristanWarner-Smith Or if it's awkward or difficult to talk to people of the desired "group" -- if, say, you want to write about Hindus and you don't know any Hindus -- find things written by members of this group. And let me make clear, not "about" them, but "by" them.
Jun
6
answered Methods for writing from an alternate gender/age/cultural viewpoint?
Jun
6
comment Methods for writing from an alternate gender/age/cultural viewpoint?
+1 on characters being written for the reader rather than for members of the character's "group". As a man, every now and then I see a romance movie and I very often think, Umm, yeah, this guy is a woman's idea of the ideal man, not any actual man. Like, he apparently makes a lot of money, but he never seems to have to leave her side to actually spend time at a job. He's strong and self-assured but always gives in to whatever she wants. Etc. :-)
Jun
6
comment Is it considered faulty language to use Spivak pronouns in an essay?
@LaurenIpsum Try doing a Google search on "ey". The first few pages of results are about the company Ernst & Young and "engine yards". thefreedictionary.com defines "ey" as "an island" or "egg". If the reader knows these are called "spivak pronouns" a Google search will turn them up fast enough, but how many would know that?
Jun
5
comment Writing dialogue for a non-English speaker in English?
I'm not sure what you're asking. Are you saying that you are trying to write dialog for someone whose English is not very good? That you are trying to convey the sense of Hindi phrases that don't translate well into English? That you are writing dialog for someone who is not well educated?
Jun
5
comment Writing dialogue for a non-English speaker in English?
Especial ditto on the last two paragraphs. I recall a documentary I saw in school 40 years ago about industrial robots that was made by a Japanese company. At the end the narrator gave a summary that concluded, "And thus, through the use of industrial robots, people can achieve happiness." The class all roared with laughter. If you looked up dictionary definitions of each word in the sentence, it would seem perfectly rational. But the word choice was just ... wrong, for reasons that would be very hard to explain to a non-native speaker.
Jun
5
answered Parenthesis Types in Fiction
Jun
5
comment Is it a bad writing practice to end a paragraph with question?
Ditto. This is the sort of thing that I wouldn't even think about. If you are writing a paragraph and it naturally seems to end with a question, then do it. I wouldn't try to do it and I wouldn't try to not do it. But as this answer says, if you find yourself writing ten paragraphs in a row that all end with a question, then unless this is intentional parallelism, I'd recast some of them. Just like if I found myself using the word "exactly" in ten sentences in a row, unless it was intentional parallelism, I'd go back and seek an alternative word for at least half the cases.
Jun
5
answered Is it considered faulty language to use Spivak pronouns in an essay?
Jun
5
answered Delaying narrative/actions
Jun
4
answered What concrete steps do you take to write for a specific reading level?
Jun
4
revised How to deal with common Earth references in a non-Earth setting?
added 898 characters in body
Jun
4
answered How to deal with common Earth references in a non-Earth setting?