Questions about the English Language, with the cause for the question found in books read by the Original Poster.

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0
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0answers
27 views

Introductory books for language theory

I have computer science background and I am looking for some NLP algorithms for stemming, POS tagging etc. The language under consideration is "agglutinative and inflectional". Since from CS ...
4
votes
3answers
75 views

Grammar: What does it really take to be “very good” at it? [closed]

I will try to formulate this question so that it makes sense for a wider audience and suits the style of the QA here. Feel free to suggest changes. I am a non-native English speaker, I have been ...
7
votes
1answer
70 views

What Charles Ingalls was really going to say?

Here is full paragraph: Pa was on top of the walls, stretching the canvas wagon-top over the skeleton roof of saplings. The canvas billowed in the wind, Pa's beard blew wildly and his hair stood ...
0
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3answers
70 views

What's the name for this kind of writing? [closed]

I recently 'fell in love' with reading after receiving a book. Now that I've finished reading it, I'm looking for books with that kind of writing. I've Googled for similar books from the same ...
0
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2answers
39 views

correct usage of the single quotation mark? [duplicate]

So I was reading a book one day and I saw this. He gave her the 'Shut up look' is that correct? And, if so why? btw it was not in bold in the book.
2
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2answers
115 views

The Appendix in Orwell's 1984 [closed]

After answering a question in SciFi if the Big Brother existed as a real person, I got responses that the last chapter, the Appendix (which can be found here), definitely proves that Oceania ceased to ...
0
votes
1answer
136 views

What does this passage from “Great Expectations” mean?

I was reading Great Expectations the other day, and came across this passage that I couldn't make any sense of whatsoever: Why should I loiter on my road to compare the state of mind in which I ...
0
votes
3answers
116 views

Word for books of sarcastic type

Is there a a specific word for a book with a sarcastic theme? I am thinking of writing a book on the world of magic of witches and warlocks but in reality it is making fun of their beliefs. For ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

to give someone until

I'm reading Women by Charles Bukowski and stumbled upon the following dialog: Dee Dee was standing next to me. "Please tell her," she said, "to give me until September." "Forget her," Lydia ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Ophthalmic usage in Great Expectations [closed]

In chapter 10 of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, it says: Yet I do not call to mind that I was ever in my earlier youth the subject of remark in our social family circle, but some ...
2
votes
4answers
333 views

Elven or Elfin? [duplicate]

I am writing a fantasy book and am having trouble with when and how to use words such as "Elfin", "Elven", "Elfish", and "Elvish". I don't understand the difference between using a V or an F. Help?
16
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9answers
8k views

What's a word or phrase to describe a good book that I cannot put down when starting reading?

What's a (big) word or phrase to describe a book that is so good that I cannot put down when I start to read it?
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Confusing mealtimes

In "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens, when Pip returns after his meeting with the escaped convict, how come it says that he had dinner right afterwards? Did he skip lunch? Or did his meeting ...
2
votes
2answers
449 views

Can Neither-Or be used?

My friend was reading the book "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green and she found what seems to be a grammar mistake. The following sentence is found in the author's note: Neither novels or ...
5
votes
2answers
514 views

What do these sentences mean in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”?

I am currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray, my grasp of English isn't very good and I'm puzzled over the meaning of a few sentences on the opening page. The highest as the lowest form of ...
-1
votes
1answer
33 views

Is there a 35th edition of “On Writing Well”?

My English teacher recommended Zinsser's "On Writing Well" as a supplement to my reading of E.B. White's "The Elements of Style". While I know that Zinsser's 30th edition exists, I have come across an ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

What is a bromide?

I just finished reading Ayn Rand's wonderful Fountainhead, but one point that escaped me was Rand's near-constant use of the word bromide to refer to something disappointing, or a "bummer" in the ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

best grammer book for someone who wants to learn how to write better [duplicate]

I am admittedly a bad writer. I don't use proper grammar and punctuation and don't know where to start or what books to read to get started. I'm looking for suggestions for a book to read to learn how ...
1
vote
5answers
245 views

“For dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power.”

This quote is from "A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two" By George R.R. Martin. This is the full quote: "They shall come day and night to see the wonder that has been born again ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

A good and exhaustive book for English grammar [closed]

Before marking this post duplicate or voting to get it closed (the reason for which I simply don't get just because it is a grammar forum after all! If I am seeking recommendation for a book that ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Is Theodore Roosevelt's writing ungrammatical?

Here is an excerpt from chapter 8 of Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris. Morris quotes some of Roosevelt's writing and calls it ungrammatical. Can you explain what is ungrammatical about the passage? ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

Book Publication Data Page

In an English-language book, we conventionally have, among the first few pages, a page displaying essential data concerning the book: Library of Congress Cataloguing Data, various credits, publication ...
0
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2answers
70 views

Meaning of “Scarce”

I'm reading Time Machine by H. G. Wells. And there is a sentence: "At first I scarce thought of stopping, scarce thought of anything but these new sensations". What does "scarce" mean in this ...
6
votes
4answers
764 views

What does the initial fragment of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy mean?

I begun reading Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This is one of the initial fragments, emphasis mine: This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

What does “to quorble a stank at” mean?

In the foreword to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the following sentence occurs: You will find quantum tomfoolery, cosmic belly laughs and more absurd one-liners than you ...
2
votes
3answers
291 views

What do we call the brown-colored paper found in old books?

I want to know what that brown and slightly roughly-textured paper is called, or whether there even is a word for it.
-2
votes
1answer
215 views

What's the meaning of 'In easy-to-read type'? [closed]

I have just bought a book: What's the meaning of 'In easy-to-read type'? Does it mean it's not the original version, but a simplified one?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a person if they are described as a “wet hen”?

In Terry Pratchett's Discworld books (Witches Abroad in particular), the character Magrat Garlick is often called a "wet hen" by at least one of her witch colleagues. Web searches only yielded the ...
1
vote
0answers
460 views

Popular novelty books for intermediate reading [closed]

I've bought George R.R. Martin's The Game of Thrones book today, but the vocabulary in it is too complicated for me. Please suggest me some books with a lot of dialogs and more common vocabulary
3
votes
0answers
785 views

The best book/books for self-education [closed]

My level is intermediate or upper-intermediate. I have speaking practice several times per week with native speaker(she is not teacher). I write short essays and my friends help me to check it. I read ...
6
votes
2answers
188 views

Old (professional) Adam

Again, from Le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: [George Smiley] had schooled himself to admit that in those last wretched months of Control's career, when disasters followed one another with ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Use of American-Indian “How” in British English

These are excerpts from Le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Jerry Westerby screwed up his face in perplexity. 'That's what the boy wanted to tell me, you see, George. That's what he was ...
5
votes
3answers
284 views

Meaning of “Toffy Circles”

I'm reading "The Demolished Man" by Alfred Bester, and came across a sentence I could not understand (in bold): "No you don't, Mr. Powell." Mary burst into laughter. "So that's it. You want me for ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Which tense when talking about books?

Which tense should you use when talking about a book if it is narrated in both the past and present tenses? I am asking this because in To Kill a Mockingbird (Can you underline book titles here?) ...
2
votes
2answers
860 views

When there are several appendices, what is that part of a book called?

If a book has one appendix, it is The Appendix. Now consider a book with three appendices (or, if you like, appendixes), named Appendix A, Appendix B, and Appendix C. The part of the book, which is ...
6
votes
3answers
244 views

Are published books to be considered an official reference for spelling? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Regulatory bodies and authoritative dictionaries for English Many times I searched across several books for the usage of some words and many times I've found my results ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Good book on English grammar from the very beginning [closed]

My wife is fairly new in US and her native language is Ukrainian. Though she is not afraid of speaking english, she does it with lots of grammar mistakes, starting from wrong sequence of words in a ...
4
votes
0answers
259 views

Is there a thesaurus which indicates the language of origin of each word? [closed]

I would be interested in using a sort of etymological thesaurus. Imagine a normal thesaurus, but with each word in an entry somehow marked to indicate whether it comes ultimately from Latin, German, ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

Is there a proper name for the 3 asterisks that are used to suggest temporal discontinuity?

For example, when some long prose passage ends, this appears: * * * Then some new prose passage begins. The three asterisks dividing the two prose sections are understood to divide the two ...
3
votes
2answers
666 views

Is there a single word meaning “very funny book”?

Sometimes you read a book that has you convulsing with laughter from the moment you pick it up. For me, one of those books was Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. What do you call this? Perhaps there ...
12
votes
3answers
275 views

Term for dedicating a book

Let's say: John Doe writes a book -- Me and My Dog Spot. On the page after the title, he writes: For Nancy. My aunt gives this book to me for my birthday, and on the title page, she adds in her ...