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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1
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1answer
31 views

“He laughed a laugh.” It seems correct to use a noun as a verb in the same sentence but should you?

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"...
0
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1answer
77 views

Can one of my POV characters have the last name Thibodaux and get published?

I live in Louisiana, and names with french origins are very common here. So we all know how they're pronounced. I'm worried that a publisher will want me to change the name as it may not be so obvious ...
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0answers
53 views

When writing a piece that will be published in multiple languages, are there any concessions a writer should make in tone, word choice, or style?

The piece in question aims to be accessible, informal, and conversational. A bit of slang strikes the right tone to my American ear. Will it come off alright to other English speakers? Will ...
0
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0answers
20 views

References explaining the term “fire in the belly”? [migrated]

What is etymology of the phrase "fire in the belly"? What is known about what it refers to? Thank you.
0
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1answer
24 views

mentioning time span in a thesis (from 2019 to 2020)

I would like to know if there is a need for the word "year" in this part of the sentence: "..., that took place from the 2019 to 2020,...". Should it be: "..., that took ...
2
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1answer
75 views

Any suggestions on how to romantically describe a woman's brown hair? [closed]

Does anyone know a heartfelt, romantic way to describe the brown hair of a woman/girl? For now, all I have is "silky brown hair," but it just doesn't flow in my poem. This is not official, ...
2
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1answer
75 views

Similar words/phrases random generator

I recall using a website where a user could input a set of words or phrases and the website would generate similar words or phrases, which "felt like" (but didn't repeat) the original words/...
2
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3answers
105 views

What name should I use?

I am writing about my local airport which has had two other names which name should I used through out the writing about it? An example is JFK in New York was originally called Idlewild Airport would ...
0
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4answers
94 views

How to refer to a crowd of many different species?

How could I say the equivalent of "A pouring wave of humanity," when there are more than one species in the scene being described?
3
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1answer
70 views

How to list main ideas in a conclusion chapter without being repetitive with the wording?

In the conclusions chapter of my book (technical, non fiction writing) I want to go over the main ideas I addressed throughout the entire book, as a reminder for the reader and really drive in some of ...
0
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1answer
53 views

What is a good name for my fantasy species that's not too long? [closed]

I made a fantasy species,a dragon. It's based off of a Siberian tiger, a bearded dragon, and a fruit bat. But the trouble is, i'm not sure how or what to name it. It's main features are it's throat, ...
2
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4answers
123 views

Looking for a better word than “Yikes”

I'm trying to find the right word to use in a (serious) comic I'm writing. The character is an eighteen year old American girl, talking to some older women who she's just met. Suddenly, in mid-...
2
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1answer
165 views

Using “her/him” twice in a sentence

I'm an English learner, and I had a question about writing "her" twice in one sentence. For example, what would sound better for formal writing? (This is not an actual sentence that I'm using.) This ...
3
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2answers
3k views

How to “show” a “Yes” head confirmation

How can I "show" that my character is saying "yes" as a respond from a question? The only thing that comes to my mind is Mike moves his head, confirming that he is okay. I think this is not good ...
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1answer
57 views

How can I make this formal paragraph more exciting, engaging and friendly? [closed]

Text: "Your order has been received. A digital proof of your personalized item will be sent to you via Etsy Conversation within 1 business day of placing your order. With your confirmation that the ...
1
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1answer
308 views

How to describe an innocent girl in a group of friends?

I'm writing a story and I'm trying to find words/phrases to describe the more innocent girl. These girls are all sophomores in high school, and this girl is kinda like the baby of the group that they ...
-2
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1answer
55 views

Software or Softwares [closed]

It seems to me that softwares is incorrect. I am of the opinion that software is partitive. I try to use some software or piece of software. Do you think it is incorrect to say softwares?
4
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1answer
56 views

Ordinal form of an unknown value

In some science and engineering literature, it is common to right the ordinal form of an unknown number m as mth. While the ordinal form of number 1 is first, it is also commonly written as 1st. I was ...
1
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3answers
87 views

Searching for a word about a particular feeling

I'm trying to find a very specific word for a very specific feeling, and have had zero luck other places on the Internet with finding even a reference to this. I'm hoping to invoke this particular ...
26
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12answers
6k views

How do I define smells I have never experienced?

I am a lifelong writer, who was also born without an ability to smell. I have been trained to engage the reader by applying the five senses, or as many of the five as is practical without becoming ...
1
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3answers
92 views

What's the rule on revealing something to the audience, but not the characters?

This is a common problem I have writing fantasy. Most of the trouble comes from revealing a monster, but for the characters who have never seen the monster before, they don't know what it is. One ...
-1
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3answers
75 views

What word would people with outdated technology make up for a plane? [closed]

In my story, my characters live in the wilderness, and they have no modern technology. They do see ruins from the past (from now) but other than that they have no idea how advanced other parts of the ...
1
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2answers
33 views

Will I use “the” in that instance or leave it with no article? [closed]

If I'm given a choice, to put "the" or leave the word with no article, what's the better answer? The world helps in boosting young confidence. The world helps in boosting the young confidence. Thank ...
16
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5answers
10k views

How to refer to siblings who are friends?

Two of the MCs in the novel I'm working on are half-sisters, and also great friends. Currently, when referring to them, I alternate between using "sisters" and "friends". A Beta-Reader pointed out ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

How to use the word “Dysphoria” in a sentence to show distress and sadness? [closed]

I'm writing a sentence which goes like this: I could sense the dysphoria setting in her voice even through a noisy phone call. Is this the correct use of the word?, what else can I use to make ...
2
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2answers
99 views

Referring to machines and sensors as “knowing”

I'm editing a technical text about autonomous systems. I feel the following sentence is anthropomorphizing a machine and also introduces some confusion because it can be easily misread as talking ...
6
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5answers
1k views

Finding the right insults

As a non-native Anglophone, it can be a bit more of a challenge to do creative writing in English. Thesauri have helped me a lot, improving sentences like "Sokka caught his boomerang" to "Sokka ...
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1answer
131 views

What is the literary device called for a “serious” pun?

I ask this because I'm quoting a line from a song in my paper and the play on words is signifying something dark and somber, not something humourous which is what a pun would do. Specifically the ...
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2answers
51 views

Are using the adverbs gradually and greedily to describe the same verb contradicting? [closed]

For example, the man eats greedily, gradually, with no hesitation
0
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2answers
105 views

How to get more powerfull on expensive words? [closed]

How to learn the powerful words, that usually gets the attention of readers first?
17
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10answers
10k views

Why are one-word titles so dominant in books, film, and games?

Something I talk about with friends when planning and sharing our projects & media we like is titles - and specifically my disdain for one-word titles. They seem to be more than dominant in ...
28
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13answers
8k views

Should I avoid “big words” when writing to a younger audience?

I was writing the other day and I used the word "ubiquitous". While I don't think "ubiquitous" is the most egregious example of "Using Big Words To Sound Intelligent", and would be perfectly ...
2
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4answers
184 views

Is it the right call to title my romance a 'legend'?

I am writing a book and I plan to call it "Legend of (name of the protagonist)". But I'm writing in first person (protagonist). Searching the meaning of the word "legend" in google I get: "a ...
11
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4answers
2k views

How do you use the interjection for snorting?

How do you use the interjection for snorting? I was told that "snort" is an onomatopoeia, but I disagree. "Haha" and "Heh heh" would be onomatopoeia, because they are pronounced the way they are ...
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3answers
138 views

Is there a convention about the use of Old English in Hymns? Is it wrong to modernise the words?

Although most hymns were written in earlier centuries, I notice that modern-day collections of them tend to keep the use of old English in them. For example: Use of Begger instead of the more modern ...
2
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2answers
136 views

Is there any popular wisdom on the word “seem”?

I've just started noticing this word a lot in books. Something about it rubs me the wrong way. For example, I read a book where the following happened I stumbled to the ground and hit my head. I ...
34
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13answers
14k views

Should I use the words “pyromancy” and “necromancy” even if they don't mean what people think they do?

If you look up the exact definition for "pyromancy" or "necromancy" they refer to divination using fire and the dead, respectively. However, if you were to ask a layperson what those words mean, they ...
2
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2answers
66 views

Autobiography vs Perspective

When discussing the life story (fictional/non-fictional) of an inanimate object (like a brick not AI), is it appropriate to claim this endeavor as an autobiography of an inanimate object, when it ...
25
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9answers
4k views

A torrent of foreign terms

I am writing a short story, about a particular field with multiple specific terms, none of which are in English. (Specifically, I'm writing about bullfighting, but the question could apply to other ...
4
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1answer
93 views

A pulse, a throb, and a beat

I wrote a passage where one of my characters heard beats, (i.e., the sound) then he found the beating object and, when he held it in his hand, it started throbbing like a heart, (i.e., the feeling). ...
10
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8answers
845 views

How do I sound like Thanos when I write?

This is really a dumb question but as a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I have watched Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame so many times. One of the most interesting things that popped ...
4
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2answers
89 views

What effect does compounding bring when used in the title of a song, poem, story?

What effect does compounding bring when used in the title of a song, poem, story? Sometimes, you see word that are made of two conjoined words, and you wonder what's the point of it. Does it make a ...
7
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1answer
111 views

Is there any tool that gives us a list of verbs often used with a certain word?

Is there any tool that gives you a list of verbs often used with a certain word? Sometimes, you forget certain words so you spend time trying to remember and it can be really frustrating at times. Is ...
15
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2answers
977 views

Preferred word for “preferred”, “target”, “chosen” in end user support documentation

I'm having trouble finding and sticking to one word to indicate whatever value the user intends to use with my instructions. For example: Select your preferred printer. I'm wondering what ...
2
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1answer
39 views

Can I use a slightly informal approach using words such as 'we' and 'you' in an English essay?

From the first WE see of Macbeth, he is a battle-hardened warrior that does anything for the greater good. Or Act II Scene II is where WE first begin to notice the skin under this seemingly ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Using “sparkling” as a diminutive of “spark” in a poem

How would you react if you saw the word “sparkling” being used as a diminutive of “spark” in a poem? Although poetry does allow for potentially unlimited flexibility, as a non-native speaker I wonder ...
5
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3answers
1k views

A flower's head or heart?

I’m currently writing a story and one of my characters is a butterfly. In one of the scenes, she manages to run away from a bunch of hungry lizards and hides into a flower; let’s say a Zinnia. When ...
3
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1answer
86 views

Does the word 'authored by' imply the non-existence of co-authors? [closed]

In an article I'm co-authoring, I'm about to say the following: ... d is the number of articles authored by John Doe ... But then I thought this would be better: ... d is the number of articles ...
3
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2answers
139 views

How do I improve my “impact” in writing?

I don't know the exact word for it, but I hope I make it clear what I mean by "impact" soon. My favorite pieces of writing are Rosa Luxemburg's Junius Pamphlet, the lyrics to this Phil Ochs ...
13
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8answers
2k views

How is simplicity better than precision and clarity in prose?

Many recommend the Hemingway app, which pushes simplicity and the lowest possible reading level. Where I live, an illiterate person is defined as any person who reads below a grade nine level. The ...

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