4,701 reputation
113
bio website johansens.us
location Michigan
age
visits member for 2 years
seen 18 hours ago

18h
comment What is the benefit of using formal terms instead of informal ones?
Sure, because mis-spelling a word is not profound and important. You need a combination of content and tone to achieve an affect. Either alone is not sufficient.
1d
comment Book Title Generator that takes input?
Okay, so just curious now: What do you need a book title for? What, do you need a title for a fictitious book citation somewhere, that sort of thing?
1d
comment Book Title Generator that takes input?
Hmm. If you know what your book is about, wouldn't it be easier to make up a title that describes it than to get a bunch of randomly-generated titles and try to pick one that matches your book? If your creative enough to write a book, aren't you creative enough to make up a title for it? If you're stuck on one word, like your first idea for a title uses the same word twice and you need a synonym, then you could look up synonyms for that one word.
Dec
10
comment What is the benefit of writing formally?
@Kyth'Py1k How does dressing differently acknowledge something's importance? And yet most people would not wear sweat pants to a wedding, because that would be considered inappropriate. Some things are just human nature. If you don't understand why people enjoy kissing or eating a fine steak, I don't know how I could explain it to you. If you don't understand why people dress, act, and speak differently at formal events, I don't know how I can explain it to you. It's just how people are.
Dec
9
comment Are 'how-to write fiction' books full of it?
Well, it's certainly true that it would be a very rare person who could read a book on how to do something and then be an expert. I wouldn't want to be operated on by a doctor who had just read a book about surgery and had no other training or experience. But surely on any subject, including writing, there is useful information and advice that the person who is good at it could give to the beginner.
Dec
9
comment Are 'how-to write fiction' books full of it?
There are authors who are paid to write books?! Wow.
Dec
9
comment What is the benefit of writing formally?
One minor note: "@" is used by accountants and sales people when expressing a quantity and a price or value, especially in a long list. Like if you were listing the contents of a warehouse, you might write "Model 327B, 20 @ $5.50 = $110.00; Model 824X, 32 @ $8.25 = $264.00" etc. That would certainly not be considered formal writing. I agree I can't think of a use for an "@" in formal writing except to express an email address.
Nov
19
comment Demo data in screenshots! What are the best practice?
@kindall Sure, but be careful clients don't get confused. I once used "Sir Isaac Newton" as a sample name, and the client said that they didn't want "Sir" in front of the name.
Nov
10
comment Use of punctuation within quotes with single words or letters
@LaurenIpsum How would bolding or italics have helped? I suppose you could put the text to type in bold and other text in ordinary weight, so the first period would be bold and the second period would be lighter. But I don't think that would stand out visually very well.
Nov
10
comment Use of punctuation within quotes with single words or letters
I once wrote instructions for use of a software product where I wrote, 'Do not include a decimal point in the number. Don't type, "10."; type "10".' The editor at corporate, following the style guide, put the final period inside the quotes, so it read, Don't type "10."; type "10." Which I'm sure made it completely clear to the reader.
Nov
10
comment Use of punctuation within quotes with single words or letters
I agree that it's awkward and unclear, but that's the "American" convention. The "British" convention is to only put the punctuation inside the quote marks when the punctuation is part of the quote. As an American, it pains me to admit this, but the British convention makes a lot more sense to me. If no one is imposing a style on me, I always use the British style. But of course if you are writing for a publication or for a class that adheres to a particular style guide, you should follow that style guide.
Nov
7
comment Why do heroes need to have a physical mark?
@AE Sure, each character should have a distinctive personality. But I think it would be quite a stretch to suppose that each character's distinctive personality would show through with every word they say or every single action they perform. Stories where the author tries to push that idea -- e.g. EVERYONE has a distinctive accent or way of speaking -- get hackneyed real fast. Giving the reader some convenient tags to distinguish characters seems like a good idea to me.
Nov
7
comment Is a glossary needed in a novel?
@AE Yes. Like the OP gives the example of "keris", a kind of dagger. If IN THIS STORY there is no particular importance to it being a keris and not any other kind of dagger, I'd just write, "He was stabbed with a dagger" or whatever. If it's important that it's a ceremonial religious item, then I might write, "He was stabbed with a keris, a ceremonial religious dagger." If that's insufficient to make the significance clear, then maybe there's call for a footnote, or for adding a paragraph to the text explaining it.
Oct
27
comment Stories based on news: are they allowed?
Same in the U.S. You can freely write a story "inspired" by a real news story. Just change all the names and shuffle some facts around. You probably want to change some of the facts anyway to make the story more exciting/romantic/whatever. If you want to use real names, etc, and write a fictionalized account of real events, the danger is not copyright violation -- as long as you don't copy a news story word for word -- but that people that you made up facts about could sue you for libel. Whether they really would, and whether they would win, would depend on the details of the case.
Oct
10
comment How to write “number of cups per user” for short using symbols?
If the x-axis is user id, then a line graph would be totally inappropriate. You are not showing a trend, you are showing a bunch of discrete values. I'd use a bar chart.
Oct
6
comment Stranded Society Speaking Same Language
It's true that the Kennedy twins didn't start from scratch. Nevertheless they did apparently invent their own language from limited raw material. Does that prove that someone who had to start from absolute zero would invent their own language? No. But it's interesting. See the link about deprivation experiments for examples of people starting from zero.
Oct
3
comment Stranded Society Speaking Same Language
Oh, re-reading the article I see how you got that interpretation. Try this one: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poto_and_Cabengo
Oct
3
comment Stranded Society Speaking Same Language
Hmm, I found several articles on the Kennedy twins, and none says that they "learned German from their grandmother". They all say that they were neglected, no one spoke to them, and so they invented their own language. Some say that this language was a mixture of German they presumably overheard from their grandmother and English overheard from their parents and some original elements, but not entirely invented from zero.
Oct
3
comment Stranded Society Speaking Same Language
... article: Note how the writer dismisses claims that the children learned to speak on their own as obviously inaccurate observation or even fabricated. While of course healthy skepticism is always warranted, this represents a fairly typical human phenomenon: You draw your conclusions first based on your intuition or world view. Then perform the experiment, and if the results match what you have already decided must be true, then this is proof that you were right all along. If the results don't match what you have already decided, than the experiment must be flawed. :-)
Oct
3
comment Stranded Society Speaking Same Language
RE abandoned/neglected children inventing a language: Here's one case I was thinking of, that was in the news decades ago: web.archive.org/web/20020106135506/http://tlc.discovery.com/… Here's another I stumbled across: newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/67939. I recalled reading about a Pharoah who deliberately had two children isolated to see what language they would speak, and found this article that discusses that and a couple of similar experiments: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_deprivation_experiments Interesting note about that ...