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amother




OP
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 2:39 am
Here's one tip for magazine writers: do not use a word unless you are completely familiar with the proper use of that word. A corollary of this tip is not to assume that words from a Thesauraus have an exactly identical meaning to the word for which you are seeking a synonym. Editors of those magazines: please also take note. Do not allow a word to pass if you yourself are unsure that it was used correctly.

In a recent issue of a magazine, someone was vomiting due to illness or injury. The writer said that the person was "purging." Purging only refers to vomiting in the case of a person intentionally causing herself to vomit, such as in a woman with bulimia. It does not refer to spontaneous vomiting caused by illness or injury. (The second definition of the word "purging" is: "the expulsion of food from the body by self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives.")

Another example that comes to my mind is from a few years ago. The writer was explaining how a character stepped around a puddle. The way I she wrote it was that the character had sidestepped the "morass." A morass would be a large area, such as a bog or marsh. It would not be a puddle.

Here's another tip for writers: don't try to be fancy at the expense reaching your target audience. You don't always need to dig into a Thesaurus to find a "better" word. It really is best to keep it simple, especially knowing that most readers in frum circles would not know a word like "morass." Write to who your audience is, and keep your language both correct and clear by using words people know (including yourself), and by using those words correctly.

Another issue I have noticed in frum publications is the use of the word "tens." I do not know how this words is used in other English-speaking countries, but here in America we would say "tens of thousands" or "tens of millions," but we would not say "tens of people" or "tens of stores." It would be "dozens." So tens of thousands of women have been educated in dozens of schools. "Tens" may or not be literally correct – I am not sure – but in educated circles it is not used. So if you want to be published anywhere other than Mishpacha, Ami, or Binah, you might want to switch to "dozens."

Last but not least, do not write a story that is not yours. Many years ago I read a serial in one of the frum magazines that was literally the plot of a movie. It was copied so exactly that it could not have been a coincidence. The only change she made to the story was that she added a Jewish character who became frum at the end. Back then I suppose the writer might have assumed that frum women do not watch movies and wouldn't know the difference, and maybe in those days she was correct. But that did not make what she did right. So please, no plagiarism.

Those are my tips for now.

(By way of background, I was educated in an excellent prep school and I attended the #1 ranked college in the country. I have been writing professionally for years. I'm only stating these facts about my background to establish credibility. My apologies to the women who wrote the expressions I quoted above. I enjoyed the articles immensely. My taking issue with the misuse of a single word in no way diminishes the overall quality of the work, which was excellent.)

Edited to make the first example less identifiable.
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ExtraCredit




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 3:40 am
I relished every proportion of your stanchion!!

I was gonna write “I enjoyed every part of your post” but decided to make it fancier and use a thesaurus....
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amother




Amethyst
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 3:48 am
OP, you are only partially right about the word purging. The definition you cited is the noun form; as a verb, it can refer to the removal of anything from anything.
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amother




Blue
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 3:53 am
amother [ Amethyst ] wrote:
OP, you are only partially right about the word purging. The definition you cited is the noun form; as a verb, it can refer to the removal of anything from anything.

Disagree. As a verb with no object it refers to deliberately emptying the stomach or bowels.
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amother




Sienna
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 4:00 am
Deleted
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mamma llama




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 4:02 am
I highly recommend the Merriam Webster Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms. It's not just a thesaurus - in addition to listing all the alternatives to a word, it explains the subtle differences of each of the choices and has sentence examples for all of them too.
I ordered mine on Amazon for under five dollars. (You can buy a hard copy or an ebook.)

ETA: I found the link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/prod.....d45d8
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ExtraCredit




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 4:11 am
amother [ Sienna ] wrote:
personal attack deleted-EC

Expertly executed!!!!


Last edited by ExtraCredit on Sun, Nov 29 2020, 1:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chickensoupprof




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 4:14 am
English is not the native language I see lots of grammar and spelling mistakes as well in these magazines. Except for Zman/Makif.

I'm currently sometimes correct essays with my English native husband of some shliach we know who is taking a university course. I see the problems with synonyms there as well. The same with grammar mistakes and basically a bad layout of the text. Don't know how what the English term is, but basically having problems with connecting the introduction with the body and the end and connecting paragraphs with linking words. Which leads to that the text is not reading as it could be. This is also what I see in these magazines.

Linking words I needed to learn the linking words in English and German class when I was 16 in highschool for writing exams.
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amother




Sienna
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 4:21 am
ExtraCredit wrote:
Expertly executed!!!!

Thanks, I write for the frum magazines. LOL
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ExtraCredit




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 4:21 am
amother [ Sienna ] wrote:
Thanks, I write for the frum magazines. LOL

Me too! Laugh
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amother




Orange
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 6:02 am
ExtraCredit wrote:
Me too! Laugh

Oh- but me tens!
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 8:21 am
Good points but not necessary to name magazines.
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amother




Orange
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 8:23 am
ExtraCredit wrote:
Expertly executed!!!!

Oh but that’s just... voluptuously heinous!
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amother




OP
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 12:20 pm
I see I have offended people who write for these magazines. Just ignore my post, and carry on using or misusing or even abusing the English language to your hearts’ content.
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ExtraCredit




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 12:24 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I see I have offended people who write for these magazines. Just ignore my post, and carry on using or misusing or even abusing the English language to your hearts’ content.

Keep your chirography extremities looming. I really cherished your enlightenment! And I challenge you to decipher this...
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amother




Orange
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 12:26 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I see I have offended people who write for these magazines. Just ignore my post, and carry on using or misusing or even abusing the English language to your hearts’ content.

Oh gd no!
The only thing I write these days are El Niño’s mitzvah notes.
And how beautifully amorously I write those!
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amother




Wine
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 12:27 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I see I have offended people who write for these magazines. Just ignore my post, and carry on using or misusing or even abusing the English language to your hearts’ content.


Not cool to mention a specific article by a specific person. If I were her I'd be cringing.

Take the criticism with the same good humor you want people to take your post. Or better yet, edit the article name out.
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pause




 
 
 
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 12:30 pm
Cliches should be avoided, but definitely don't use the same expression TWICE in one short article! Over Shabbos I read a chapter of a serial in one of the heimishe magazines, and the phrase "didn't get the memo" was there twice, in two different sub-plots of the serial but within the span of two pages. Not cool.
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amother




Wine
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 12:30 pm
Oh, and not surprised you're a Harvard grad. Harvard grads like to sprinkle that fact into every conversation whether it is relevant or not.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Sun, Nov 29 2020, 12:33 pm
Chickensoupprof wrote:
English is not the native language I see lots of grammar and spelling mistakes as well in these magazines. Except for Zman/Makif.


Yes, Z”man and Makif are incredible magazines. But as for the other magazines, I see so many mistakes, but apparently there’s no point trying to help anyone improve their grammar or vocabulary. As you can see from the replies to my post, you cannot teach someone what they think they already know (and who does not want to hear otherwise).

I brought up language issues, and they became defensive and turned it into a personal attack on me, filled with name-calling. And not just calling me names (like pompous and elitist), but implying I am awful to my family, etc. Wow. So these are the fine women writing for our magazines?
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