Questions tagged [word-choice]

This tag should be used for questions about choosing the right words for the context of your writing. Questions about etymology and grammar are off-topic.

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5
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1answer
577 views

What is this linguistic device called?

Consider these two sentences: I was considering taking a taxi, but realized that Uber was cheaper and more convenient, anyway. I was considering taking a taxi, but then I was like, "Hey, Uber ...
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1answer
65 views

Does anyone know any specific words that can be used to describe a character flying?

I feel like I've used words like "floating" and "hovering" too often, to the point of tedium.
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0answers
41 views

as well as vs like [migrated]

Can you help me with these two problems in this sentence? When I learnt that it could help raise money for stray animals, I made up my mind like the other almost 50 participants. Doesn't as well as ...
3
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2answers
81 views

Good time to get your dream out of the drawer?

I'm trying to properly phrase a main sentence on a banner. Imagine that you had a dream to do something but it had to be put aside (let's say into a drawer) to wait for a better times. Now, I want to ...
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2answers
38 views

"Wicked sharp" - is this exclusively something a New Englander would say?

I have a character in my novel who describes a creature's talon as "wicked sharp". My wife says this is something she would only hear in New England (and my character isn't from there). I'm ...
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2answers
75 views

Avoiding two sentences ending with same word?

How can I avoid that these two sentences end up with medical system? I do not want to use a synonym for medical system to avoid ambiguity. I further do not want to change the word order of sentence ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Ways to show someone is whispering without using "he whispered"

I've seen a lot of advice that says you should scrap all non-'said' dialogue tags. I can see the value of this, but I'm not sure how to make it work in every instance. It's pretty easy to show things ...
2
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2answers
108 views

Turn 'Why' into a two syllable word

'Why' is a straight forward question asking the reason for something. "You should go to college." "Why?" Or "Why should I go to college?" BUT... "You should meet my ...
3
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1answer
117 views

Writing unique character-based dialogue?

I have read this on many sites and articles: "When writing dialogue, you should give every character their own unique dialogue so that it would be recognizable without writing their names." ...
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3answers
101 views

Equivalent expression to "cast pearls before swine"

I'm translating a novel that has an expression that means "cast pearls before swine." i.e., it would be wasted on them. She caresses the top of his head as she protests that a roast pig ...
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5answers
209 views

I want to explain something in a novel that shouldn’t exist in it

In my novel, the world is made entirely out of islands, but I don’t know how to explain this without using the word islands. In that world, there are only islands so they are just called countries. ...
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1answer
42 views

Is it acceptable to call my grandmother, nanny in my essay

I’m writing a senior reflection paper and I refer to my grandmother as nanny just as she called her grandmother. However I’m wondering if that is too informal for an essay. Also maybe a little ...
0
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1answer
81 views

using a word for another meaning

Sorry if it sounds stupid but here's the question: I have a character who thinks the Italian word "pronto" has a similar meaning as "stupid" no matter how much others tell him the ...
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0answers
43 views

how to write the word "so as if it is slurred or exagerated [duplicate]

How should I write the word "so" as if it is slurred or exaggerated for example: I'm sooo sorry. I've been so miserable and lonely.
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3answers
69 views

Single term for "as a corollary"

In academic writing, I often have to say something like "We found that the percentage of X questions increased by 10%, and as a corollary, the percentage of Y questions decreased by a similar ...
0
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1answer
70 views

City of [city name] or [city name] city?

I’m wondering what is more appropriate when referring to a city, let’s say Damascus for example. Is it better to say “city of Damascus” or “Damascus city”? Or are they both interchangeable. I know for ...
0
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1answer
72 views

"Pros" and "Cons" Separately

I am writing a paper. I am wondering can I use "Pros" and "Cons" as the title of two subsections separately? In other words, is it acceptable to use "pros" and "cons&...
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2answers
98 views

Know a personal name’s pronunciation but not its spelling

Suppose I heard three local residents talking about the bridge construction on a radio or podcast show. Cara Deleon: I don’t know if it is Kara. Muhammad Alif: I don’t know if it is Mohammad, ...
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2answers
169 views

How can I avoid repeating words while still writing clearly?

Since I'm the type of person that doesn't use a word over and over again, it turns my masterpiece into a synonym dictionary (Kind of like a thesaurus.) If I used the words 'informal conversation' two ...
7
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3answers
3k views

What should phrases like “um” or “erm” be replaced with?

It is generally considered bad practice to include these in your writing, so what should be used instead? How would you show that your character is pondering something, or unsure about something, ...
2
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2answers
100 views

In an action scene, what is it called when a flying/thrown object changes rotation quickly after hitting something?

I am writing an action scene in which a character is thrown/falls and while they are flying through the air either the top or bottom half of their body hits an immovable object mid air, causing them ...
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0answers
68 views

When to use adjective forms of anatomical nouns in scientific writing?

Consider the following anatomical parts of crustacean: carapace, abdomen, and areola. In much of published literature, you'll see the phrases "carapace length", "abdomen length," ...
2
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2answers
55 views

How do you understand and what is the connotation of “to dwell on a dream”

I understand the phrase to dwell on a dream as to think about that dream after waking up, maybe often or maybe sometime after I had dreamed it. I also like the possibility that one can interpret ...
2
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2answers
110 views

What's an alternative, more generic word for "sky"?

I am looking for a word to describe what we see when we look up. For us, it's the sky. But, if you are, say, under the sea, that would be the surface of the sea. I need a word that can be used in both ...
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4answers
5k views

Is calling a character a "lunatic" or "crazy" ableist when it is in reference to their erratic behavior?

I am considering writing a line of dialogue in which character A calls character B (not to their face) "a lunatic". In the context of my story, it is clear that character A has a simplistic ...
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2answers
49 views

What is the correct usage of "sometimes" as a prefix?

For example, if one might describe themselves as an "occasional writer;" or, identifies as a writer, yet only "writes occasionally." Would "sometimes-writer" be a more ...
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2answers
70 views

"not as well educated as..." vs "Not so well educated as..." [closed]

I am writing a scholarship essay and one of my sentences is: "Although both of my parents have bachelor’s degrees now, they were not as well educated or stably employed when I was growing up.&...
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1answer
51 views

What is the difference between "be embolden" or "be emboldened"?

In the context of a riddle, I am writing a couple of verses that should rhyme. The first verse ends with "golden"; looking for rhyme words, I found the word "embolden", so I wrote &...
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2answers
109 views

Use of the word "implement" discouraged in writer's workbench. Why?

I'm using the writer's workbench, which is a collection of tools that helps identifying errors in my writing. One tool, 'Diction', tells me that the word "implement" shouldn't be used, and ...
4
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3answers
256 views

Any resources for writing in Anglish?

"Anglish" is a variation on modern English that avoids or replaces all words that have non-Anglo-Saxon roots. I'm working on a story where I'll need to convert a lot of dialogue (just for a ...
12
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10answers
2k views

Character with two names

I have a character with two names. Well not two distinct names, but rather two forms of the same name. My story is set in the later Roman Empire, but the characters are Romanized easterners living on ...
0
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1answer
79 views

Is it wrong to describe multiple scenarios with the same words, and if it is, how can I avoid it?

First of all, I don't believe my question is a duplicate of this question, but tell me if you think it is. (I don't think it's the same, as that question is using one particular example and is asking ...
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2answers
124 views

What should I call each book in a series of similarly-themed books?

I am putting together a 'playbook' which contains resources related to a key growth driver for the operations team of my company. It is a series of playbooks designed to provide resources / guidelines ...
2
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1answer
65 views

Consistency related to use of comma before 'and'

I am writing in British English so do not use a comma before 'and' in a list. E.g The basket had oranges, apples and bananas. (In American English, there would be a comma before 'and') However, I ...
3
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3answers
108 views

Should I use "people" for non-human creatures with humane mannerisms?

First off, my question is not this question. I am asking about a creature resembling a human and not a bug. Also, I put this question on World-Building SE and it was recommended I post it here, but if ...
3
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2answers
10k views

Words use to describe racing heartbeat

I think that it is too simple just to use "my heart pounded." I prefer something a little bit more elaborated. What sentence can I use besides from "my heart pounded?" Maybe you ...
2
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5answers
174 views

What pronoun to use for a sentient, self aware AI?

I have a sentient AI in a story. He sentience aspect is mostly an unexpected result and some characters in the story do not believe it. When they refer to the AI, should they use the "it" ...
1
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1answer
107 views

Saying that someone is lying in a response to a court [closed]

I was accused by a neighbour of some things that I can easily prove were not caused by me. I told her many times she's wrong, emailed her many times how the things actually happened and I can easily ...
1
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3answers
127 views

How widely-used is the term "omnibus?"

I know "omnibus" to be a term describing multiple novels put into a single book, but I've never really heard or read the term anywhere else. Because of this, I'm curious: how widely used is ...
1
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1answer
74 views

Struggling with using correct tenses, please help! [closed]

I am writing my first book, which I am very passionate about, but there are small details in the art of writing that have me second guessing myself, and then comes the confusion. I am writing in deep ...
2
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1answer
70 views

Self Congratulation [closed]

I am looking for a positive connotation of self-congratulations. It's a part of a write-up where I wanna emphasize that we should take pat ourselves on the back for our achievements and acknowledge ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

A phrase similar to murmurs of laughter [closed]

I am writing an essay and one thing I am talking about is that I hear small laughs among the crowd while I nervously give a speech. I used the phrase "murmurs of laughter" but a peer said ...
0
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4answers
210 views

Ways to write a person crying without using words like "sniff", "boohoo" etc

There is a specific kind of scene that I want to write, where the protagonist has just killed his brother and he starts to cry. But I don't want to explicitly state that he's crying, either by stating ...
2
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1answer
36 views

How are the limits of regional vernacularism/slang should be employed in a novel that is true to the area and time?

What's an acceptable amount of non-standard English that can be used to depict the language of a certain area of the South (Louisiana) without turning off readers? My current work in progress has ...
0
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1answer
55 views

Will a copyeditor refine both dialogue and plot?

I am a big-picture kinda guy. I have ideas and I love details, but I hate to get stuck up in the microscopic level grunt work - managing accents, tones and environment details that are not so central ...
1
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1answer
76 views

Phrases used to refer to “a large number/amount of something.” How do you choose one among many others?

I always ask myself, when writing, which word or phrase to use to describe a large number/amount of something because the English language has a huge variety of expressions as in the below examples. ...
3
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1answer
90 views

This is a PREREQUISITE of that, so that is WHAT of this?

Anyone have a sensible word to finish the title above? I'm creating a semantic web, and some of the flip-sides to directional relationships are hard to track down due to their scarce usage. The ...
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0answers
27 views

Use of "set down" in a formal document

I was recently asked to translate a Spanish letter of recommendation into English. Not being an English native speaker, I was bound to make a few mistakes. According to a reviewer, one of these was ...
0
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1answer
82 views

Aside from judging by ear, when should repetitions (he, she, they, a character's name, etc.) be excised?

In a recent issue of the London Review of Books, a professional translator of French into English writes, "In the field of translation studies, it is a commonplace that that good English doesn't ...
2
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1answer
105 views

"He laughed a laugh." It seems correct to use a noun as a verb in the same sentence but should you? [closed]

I'm struggling with the title question in some of my current writing, so should you? Or is it just bad to repeat words? Other examples: "the remains remained", "she peeled the peel"...

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