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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33 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
105 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 ...
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1answer
114 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
91 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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4answers
171 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
38 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 ...
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1answer
79 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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42 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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2answers
48 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 ...
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1answer
67 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 ...
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1answer
66 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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95 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
166 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 ...
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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, ...
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2answers
93 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
64 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," ...
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2answers
53 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 ...
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2answers
109 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
48 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
69 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
49 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
107 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 ...
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3answers
238 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
77 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
123 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 ...
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1answer
64 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 ...
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3answers
107 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 ...
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2answers
8k 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 ...
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5answers
166 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" ...
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1answer
106 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 ...
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3answers
123 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 ...
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1answer
72 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 ...
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1answer
69 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 ...
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1answer
64 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 ...
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4answers
203 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
35 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 ...
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1answer
54 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 ...
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1answer
71 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. ...
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1answer
81 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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26 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 ...
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1answer
81 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
102 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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1answer
111 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
56 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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1answer
45 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
90 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, ...
3
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1answer
445 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/...

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