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bio website johansens.us
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visits member for 2 years
seen Dec 19 at 21:59

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?
Mar
5
revised Do empty pages need a number?
added some additional thoughts
Mar
5
comment Do empty pages need a number?
It's something of a paradox, too: If they print "this page intentionally left blank" on the page, than it isn't blank, is it? It has the text "this page intentionally left blank" on it.
Feb
24
comment Blog Contributions Copyright
@unor Though re-reading your post, it sounds like this may be a fine legal distinction. Under American law, you can sell a copyright to someone else, meaning now he can use your work freely and you cannot use it without his permission. You say that under German law, you cannot sell your copyright, but you can sign a contract saying that you can't use the work any more but the other person can. What's the difference? Oh well, I suppose there could be hundreds of pages of technical distinctions in the law.
Feb
24
comment Blog Contributions Copyright
@unor Fair enough. I am speaking of American law. I don't claim to know what other country's laws say. There are international treaties about copyright that, I think, make the law very similar through most of the world. But I am not a lawyer, certainly not an international lawyer.
Feb
12
answered Should I translate foreign names of companies, organisations, political parties etc?
Feb
12
comment Using “he/she” instead of “it” for animals
We routinely refer to animals as "it". Sometimes, if a person knows the gender, they will refer to an animal as "he" or "she". A beloved pet is usually "he" or "she" to the owner. Someone knowledgeable about this species might use "he" or "she", especially if discussing mating habits, etc. Most other animals are "it". BTW I've never heard the rules LaurenIpsum mentions about cats -- not saying they're wrong, just I'd never heard them before -- so I would have referred to such cats as "it". (And by tomorrow I'll likely have forgotten which was which so I'll be back to "it".)
Feb
5
answered When should one *not* present events in chronological order?