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Questions tagged [vocabulary]

This tag should be used for questions that deal with different aspects of a writers' vocabulary, such as asking for techniques to expand one's own vocabulary, how to present the vocabulary of characters to the reader or how to check your own word usage so that you don't repeat yourself too often.

3
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0answers
79 views

Alternatives to y'all? [migrated]

I am trying to write one of my first stories right now and I keep getting stuck on one thing. I have lived in Texas my whole life and so I am used to saying "Y'all" to refer to a group small or large. ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

How to describe movement in zero-G?

Within the setting of my personal project (a hard science fiction) I need to be able to describe movement in zero-G extensively. Because I wish to write a whole narrative involving very little ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Use of 'nigh' in fiction [closed]

First post here. Some background first: I write follow ups to my Pathfinder table session from the perspective of my character. These are shared, and read along with other player's own contributions....
-1
votes
3answers
207 views

How do I write implied rape in my book? [closed]

I'm writing a book and I want to write a chapter where the antagonist beats the protagonist and, well, I want to imply that he rapes her without really writing details about him raping her or writing ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Using profanity

I'm working on a war novel (sci-fi). My initial plan was for my MC to start out with a very clean language, almost comically clean, and as the plot progresses and the situation gets more FUBAR, his ...
6
votes
1answer
142 views

How can you identify head-to-dictionary words?

More than one of my beta readers feels a certain WIP of mine has too many words that need looking up. Much as I'd like to assume they just have unusually small vocabularies, it's more likely I've ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to avoid using “he/she/it” repetitively in action

Please do not make this a duplicate, I know there's a couple of questions like this, but they are not quite like my question, and their answers don't answer my question to the fullest, hence me asking ...
9
votes
2answers
807 views

How to use word frequency data?

I just found the 'word frequency' tool in Scrivener's text statistics, but so far all I've done with it is read down the list (it occasionally generates amusing sentences) and check that words like "...
13
votes
9answers
1k views

How to expand my vocabulary?

I wanted to write something for a long time. But what I think is, in writing the choice of words plays a very significant role. From where I can learn this thing? I think I don't have enough words in ...
1
vote
1answer
509 views

Word for this behavior? Frustrated exhale through the nose [closed]

To describe the action of inhaling through one's nostrils and then blowing it back out as an expression of frustration? Or just blowing out through the nose without inhaling with the same ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Author-recommendation for styles similar to Lovecraft? [closed]

I enjoy the verbose and elevated use of words Lovecraft is inclined to employ. I'm hoping to read other authors who have a similar style, especially when such a technique is used to create strong ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I incorporate Vocabulary in my writing that I already know?

I seem to have this problem where I know a lot of words but can't always seem to think them up when I write an article or a story. I know the meaning of most of these words, but when I write, some ...
4
votes
3answers
140 views

Appropriate use of outdated vocabulary and terms?

I'm in the process of planning a story right now, without the intention of sharing it it with others, but I would like it to be comprehensible if I do. It's set in the 1880s and is formatted like a ...
1
vote
2answers
180 views

What is a polite way of saying someone is posh? [closed]

What's way of saying someone is posh that isn't rude? And without being over-aggrandising?
0
votes
3answers
57 views

Overusing “with the aim of…” in a scientific paper

I'm currently writing a scientific report and repeatedly found myself sneaking sentences like "with the aim of..." or "with the purpose of" in my text. Despite how trivial this problem may seem, it ...
2
votes
3answers
143 views

How find an appropriate vocabulary

I'm a newbie reader and often find myself needing to open the dictionary at least once every few pages. Although I'm a newbie, my vocabulary is at least of an average proficiency so I wonder what it's ...
1
vote
1answer
205 views

How do I explain personal details to my professor without being inappropriate?

I am writing an email to my professor in hopes that I can make up an exam that I missed. I missed the exam under fairly extreme circumstances, catching the flu and not being aware it was on that day, ...
-2
votes
1answer
6k views

Reminding my professor to update a grade? [closed]

I am writing an email to my professor as a reminder to update my grade on a particular assignment. I had an assignment that is graded based on a written essay and a presentation. I submitted the ...
3
votes
5answers
197 views

Using profanities in novels

I've recently read two quite "hard core" novels, both by famous authors. One was erotic fiction and one was a thriller which was very violent and gory. At the end I realized something: the F*** word ...
1
vote
3answers
64 views

Redouble, double, or double again?

I have seen double and double again a lot. Redouble, not so much. I found out that redouble can mean to double again, to double, or in general to intensify whether that is double, triple, quintuple, ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Acquiring vocabulary to write fiction

I am a non-native speaker, learning the English language, and I am already fairly good in reading and writing technical texts. I also enjoy reading fiction books much, but there's one thing that hits ...
4
votes
2answers
282 views

In fiction, is the use of old-fashioned verbage or voice (ex. Tolkien, Le Guin) advisable?

If my genre lies somewhere in the fantasy-fiction spectrum, is the use of a more "dated" narrative style/vocabulary going to narrow my audience to a harmful extent? I've always been drawn to the ...
1
vote
2answers
183 views

What is a good alternative for 'Yours truly' while quoting yourself?

I wish to use a phrase/word after a quote, to indicate that it was me who came up with it (i.e. a phrase to quote myself) This is for a blog post. Is there any way to do so without telling ' "......" -...
1
vote
0answers
214 views

How to improve my English writing? [duplicate]

I know the title of this question is too broad. But I think this is the apt title for my doubts. I am a non-native speaker of English language. Even then I love to write in English whenever I get ...
6
votes
1answer
831 views

Word Clouds and Phrase Clouds

I'm familiar with word clouds (or tag clouds) as used on blogs or on sites like Delicious. It seems to me that a tool similar to that could be of use to writers like me, who don't have an editor, when ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What are some rich but respectful ways to describe various skin colors?

Say I have a kid's book with children of varying skin tones: a boy with British/Germanic background, a girl with Indian parents in the middle point of Indian skin tones, a girl with a Germanic ...
1
vote
4answers
222 views

Improving my English

I'm keen in writing stories of my imagination. However, my Grammar is not up to the mark. Even I use very simple words and not complicated words like the ones who use in Novels. I read many great ...
3
votes
2answers
252 views

Resource on archaic English

I know there are similar questions around (like this and this) but they don't really have an answer that works for me. Are there any specific resources that would give me an idea about writing in ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I improve my knowledge of English well enough to write in it?

I have a long-term goal to write a non-fiction book: a critical book about the current state of humanity's moral methodologies and how humanity is better off dead. Much like Friedrich Nietzsche but ...
2
votes
2answers
593 views

Am i using “he/she” too often during action scenes?

I'm not sure if I am being too overly critical of what I write or if I am actually falling into that "He/She" echo. By that I mean, using "he" or "she" over and over during the action, or combat in ...
5
votes
5answers
981 views

How do authors gain strong familiarity with archaic and extremely rare words?

I keep thinking about this because I've lately been reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, and it's just ridiculous. I have to look up 1-2 words per sentence sometimes, something I'm only used to ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

How many different words are in the average novel?

I realize there's going to be a bit of variation here from one author to the next and depending on length of the novel, but the range shouldn't really be too large. The thing is, I really have no ...
1
vote
3answers
332 views

Looking for a verb that means “making something looks very simple by ignoring its complexity or details” [closed]

I'm looking for a verb that means "making something looks very simple by ignoring its complexity or details". Here is the text that I'm composing: "Reducing" complicated social problems to bad ...
7
votes
10answers
9k views

Effective ways to enrich your active vocabulary?

I come across words like rectitude, like laudatory, like indigent, and being an experienced reader with a strong grasp on my native language, I know what they mean. They're words that I know. But ...
6
votes
1answer
8k views

Avoiding unintended rudeness or accusatory tones in reminder emails

I am in one of the newsletter teams of my company. Last week, I had mailed the Vice-President of our company to write an article for our newsletter, to which he replied in affirmative and mailed me ...
1
vote
5answers
594 views

Is the following piece of text comprehensible and written in good style?

I am a PhD candidate and I am having difficulty in communicating effectively in writing. Specifically, this post is a piece of text submitted for critique and, in addition, explains what I am trying ...
2
votes
1answer
252 views

How to express in a better way? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to overcome the fact that I can't write? Normally I have good ideas to write, but when I come to writing those on paper it seems I don't have much vocabulary or good ...
6
votes
4answers
227 views

Less universe-specific synonyms for “squib”?

I write primarily fantasy; recently, it's been brought to my attention that I use the terms "muggle" and "squib" informally fairly often in roleplay. If I were to publish something, I'd not want to ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Where can I find a good vocabulary list?

I'd like to expand my vocabulary and already do several of the things recommended in the Tips for expanding my vocabulary question. In addition to that, I've been spending some time with a flashcard-...
20
votes
9answers
2k views

Tips for expanding my vocabulary?

Looking back through my texts, I noticed that I often use a lot of the same words and resort to using quite a basic vocabulary. I was wondering if there are any good exercises or anything else for ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

What linguistic tools do you use?

I've got a Flip Dictionary, a Thesaurus, my trusty Strunk&White, and I use the almighty GOOG(le) should I ever be unsure of the definition of a word. What does everyone else use? Is there some ...