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Questions tagged [wording-choice]

For questions about a writer's precise selection of words as determined by a number of factors, including denotative and connotative meaning, specificity, level of diction, tone, and audience

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Do word replacements in “A Clockwork Orange” affect the interpretation of the book as a whole?

Recently, I started reading "A Clockwork Orange" in English. A feature of the book that jumped out at me was that a lot of words used by the main character are adapted from Russian. Since I am a ...
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1answer
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A woman falling at a heave from the moon and the sun

In A Ted Hughes poem called "Criminal Ballad" (of the Crow collection), there's a usage of the word "heave" which I can't figure: "A woman fell between the ship and the jetty At a heave from the ...
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1answer
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Did Edith Wharton make a mistake in her introduction to Ethan Frome?

I just finished reading "Ethan Frome" by Edith Wharton for a school assignment and upon a second review of the introduction, I noticed something odd. First, I shall give some background. The novel ...
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Treatment of the German “von” in a novel [closed]

A secondary character in a historical WWII novel I am writing is named Gerhard von Trapp. Should I include the "von" when referring to him only by his last name, or perhaps drop the von, esp. when ...
6
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Why are pronouns used in this way in Nalo Hopkinson's “Shift”?

I just read the short story "Shift" by Nalo Hopkinson, which is freely available online. It's a modern, Caribbean-themed story inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest. One thing which confused me on ...
6
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1answer
63 views

A real meaning of a Bramarbas or a Holofernes?

Before long the madness of intoxication broke out; they attacked one another with fists and knives, and it looked as if they would do murder. Suddenly the Saltmaster’s son, who had stood looking on, ...
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2answers
106 views

Comparing frequency of word use across Shakespeare's plays

There are numerous concordances that list all of the words, and their frequency of use within each of Shakespeare's plays. However, I am interested in the presence and frequency of use of words across ...
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Why does Shelby Foote use the phrase “airline miles” in The Civil War: a Narrative?

In The Civil War: a Narrative, Shelby Foote periodically uses the phrase "airline miles" to mean "distance on a straight line." I can't recall offhand hearing this phrase anywhere else; why this ...
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2answers
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What is the correct term for “fine words”?

Usually when writing poems or literature, the authors looks for words that can convey their ideas faithfully. The same thing happens to the readers, when suddenly they understand the problem so clear. ...
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0answers
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Understanding the usage of “Philosophy” in Uncle Vanya

In "Uncle Vanya" by Chekhov, I noticed a usage of the word "philosophy" that seemed out of place. ASTROFF. A woman can only become a man's friend after having first been his acquaintance and then ...
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1answer
167 views

What does 'trusting sorrow' mean here?

I read the poem 'A Roadside Stand' by Robert Frost, and I have accumulated a few questions through the poem. So, I will be posting some questions from the same poem, if you can please answer my other ...
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1answer
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At the start of 6th Spice and Wolf light novel, what's up with the discrepancy between “like” and “love”?

Note: I'd like to request no spoilers beyond the start of the 6th novel. At the very end of the 4th S&W novel, Lawrence says "I like you". Love is never once used by Lawrence toward Holo so far ...
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What does “kettle at the heel” mean in this Yeats poem, “The Tower”?

What shall I do with this absurdity — O heart, O troubled heart — this caricature, Decrepit age that has been tied to me As to a dog's tail? Never had I more Excited, passionate, ...
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1answer
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What is “vulgar white of personal aims”? Why is it “white”?

From Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: 'I have not stood long on the strand of life, And these salt waters have had scarcely time To creep so high up as to wet my feet. I cannot ...
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1answer
137 views

What did G. K. Chesterton mean by this sentence from the first chapter of 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'?

Walking in wind and sun in the very landscape of liberty, he was still young enough to remember his politics and not merely try to forget them. I want to make sure that "the very landscape of liberty"...
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1answer
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What did G. K. Chesterton mean by these two paragraphs from the first chapter of 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'?

'Jenkins,' he repeated. 'Surely you don't mean Jefferson Jenkins, the social reformer? I mean the man who's fighting for the new cottage-estate scheme. It would be as interesting to meet him as any ...
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Why does Anastasia describe her reaction to Christian as “irrational”?

I'm reading Fifty Shades of Grey. There's one passage that I don't understand: I close my eyes and take a deep, purifying breath, trying to recover what’s left of my equilibrium. No man has ever ...
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2answers
331 views

What is the rhetorical purpose of the description of Miss Emily?

I have been asked this question and I am finding it difficult to pinpoint an answer. I presume it must be c) or e) but I cannot decide. An explanation of the correct choice would be very helpful. "...
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2answers
454 views

Language in A View from the Bridge

In page 33 of the play "A View from the Bridge" by Arthur Miller, Eddie describes Rodolfo saying he: looked so sweet there, like an angel – you could kiss him he was so sweet and Paper Doll ...
13
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1answer
832 views

What does 'Gilead' mean in The Raven?

Poe's poem The Raven contains the following words in the fifteenth stanza: [...] tell me truly, I implore— Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!" What does 'Gilead' mean ...
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5answers
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What is the “heap of broken images” in The Waste Land?

In T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land (which you can read online), T. S. Eliot claims that someone (probably either humankind or the reader) only knows "a heap of broken images". What are the roots ...
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Where did the term Kwisatz Haderach in Dune originate?

I've always been curious how names and words are created in literature. Having finished the main Dune books last year, I was thinking how the term "Kwisatz Haderach" came about. Did Herbert make it up,...
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2answers
280 views

Why does the Lady of Shalott stay instead of stray?

In Tennyson's poem "The Lady of Shalott" there is the following verse: There she weaves by night and day A magic web with colours gay. She has heard a whisper say, A curse is on her if she ...
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1answer
671 views

Symbolism of “hot gammon” in T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land

I'm reading T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land (which you can read for free online) and one particular line stuck out at me: Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon, And they ...
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Why is the UK called Airstrip One?

In 1984, London is the chief city of the province Airstrip One (which consists of the UK), which is a part of the superstate Oceania. Is there a reason why it's called Airstrip One?