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The Perfect Word (Writing Help)

Hello, fellow writers!

Ever had that feeling when there was a word on the tip of your tongue, but you couldn't quite grasp it? Or a word that wasn't on the tip of your tongue at all, but that you felt in your bones should be a word?

How about when you need to describe something, but can't quite think of the right phrase that doesn't have unwanted connotations? Wanted a good idiom with a certain meaning, but you can't for the life of you bring one to mind? Or writing a poem, but can't think of a good rhyme for a certain word?

Or that moment when you realize you've used the same word half a dozen times in a row in the past paragraph and you need to change the wording, but need something different that's still a synonym? (e.g. Let's say you're writing a discussion called The Perfect Word and you've used the word "word" eight times already, four sentences in. xD)

Or even not had any specific problem, but just wanted to swap vocabulary with someone a little more responsive than thesaurus?

I know I've been in all of these situations and numerous occasions, and I'm probably not the only one—so here's the place to discuss context, deliberate over figures of speech, exchange vocabulary, wrangle with the nuances of the English language, etc. (Or I suppose you could try another language if you'd like—although keep in mind that all non-English posts on NMG do need to be translated into English. xD)


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  • Mod
    Anyone know of a word that's the equivalent to "whose," but for inanimate objects? I can't for the life of me think of anything... are only options to reconstruct the sentence differently, or just use "whose" anyway and be hanged?
    • if you were to point at a lamp and say who’s work is this? Or you mean, like talking to an inanimate object and saying “who are you? Who is the lamp, who’s the rock etc?”
      • Mod
        xDD I don't think that's exactly what I had in mind, but I like your ideas!
        Honestly, I don't remember at this point exactly what I was writing back in August that made me ask this question, but I suspect I was thinking something along the lines of "the person whose shirt is yellow," but without the subject being human. (So, "the lamp whose shade is yellow"... except that isn't right for an inanimate objects, so IDK what the right word is/if there is one. :P)
  • Ugh so I'm writing a story and the main character doesn't yet know the gender of this person he meets. I can't figure out any correct pronouns for this situation! "It" implies an inanimate object, but "they" sounds like more than one person and is confusing in this situation. And I don't want to have my main character assume a gender because he'd assume the person is a boy and that's wrong, it's a girl. Why isn't there a good gender-neutral pronoun in English? What am I supposed to do?
    • I feel you. I don't have much advice beyond just calling the character by her/his name.
      • But he doesn't know her name yet... sorry
    • You can always say "the person"!
      • Yeah, that's what I did for now but it sounds kinda weird avoiding all pronouns like that but the best thing I can think of.
  • Mod
    Anyone know of a noun form for the quality of something being "aesthetic", in the sense of aesthetically pleasing? (I'm not talking about when the word "aesthetic" functions as a noun in the context of "my personal aesthetic") If a painting is aesthetic, what quality does it possess? I don't think "aestheticness" is a word—I want to say "aestheticism," but while that is a word, I think it refers to a movement/approach to art, and I'm not sure if it can be used with accuracy in the sense of the quality of aesthetic-ness.
    • Mod
      Enjoyable? Worth appreciating? Pleasant? Exquisite?
      I don't feel like this will be much help and my apologies in advance; I'm having a hard time visualizing exactly what word you're trying to locate :P
This reply was deleted.

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