Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Bits and Pieces.

Just a general bumble about, this time. Firstly; I've found a couple of useful sites for budding authors.
You know how all the literary pundits bang on about overuse of clichés?
Problem is, the reason they are clichés in the first place is that they describe things so well!... or, as Salvador Dali so succinctly put it...

"The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot."

OK, so if you don't want to alienate your potential publisher and find your cherished manuscript ends up in the shredder... help is at hand! Go to:

http://cliche.theinfo.org/

Paste a section of your writing into the box,  this tool will highlight the clichés for you...

(In the screen-shot below the clichés found in this passage are highlighted...


The next little tool  gives you a list of alternative words (synonyms) for all those well-used words that appear in any passage..."good," "bad," "went," and "said" are typical; as are "nice," "walked," and "then."
These types of words tend to make a reader glaze over if used too many times. This little tool gives you more interesting alternatives...

For "Good"... excellent, fine, superior, wonderful, marvellous, qualified, suited, suitable, apt, proper, capable, generous, kindly, friendly, gracious, obliging, pleasant, agreeable, pleasurable, satisfactory, well-behaved, obedient, honourable, reliable, trustworthy, safe, favourable, profitable, advantageous, righteous, expedient, helpful, valid, genuine, ample, salubrious, estimable, beneficial, splendid, great, noble, worthy, first-rate, top-notch, grand, sterling, superb, respectable, edifying.

 For "Bad"... evil, immoral, wicked, corrupt, sinful, depraved, rotten, contaminated, spoiled, tainted, harmful, injurious, unfavourable, defective, inferior, imperfect, substandard, faulty, improper, inappropriate, unsuitable, disagreeable, unpleasant, cross, nasty, unfriendly, irascible, horrible, atrocious, outrageous, scandalous, infamous, wrong, noxious, sinister, putrid, snide, deplorable, dismal, gross, heinous, nefarious, base, obnoxious, detestable, despicable, contemptible, foul, rank, ghastly, execrable.

Get the idea? It's very much a case of "WYSIWYM"... "What You See Is What You Mean."

http://www.synonym.com/

Just to finish; did you notice the little row of flags below the header? They are translation buttons.
Click one, and the page automatically translates into that language. Possibly a tad smart-ass, but if any non-English-speaking visitors hit the page, it might prove helpful. It's powered by Google Translate. From my researching, it seems to be reasonably accurate; although, it does tend to mangle grammar in some languages (eg: German.)

If you want to try this widget, it's here:

http://www.blogosys.com/2008/11/language-translation-widget-flags-to_14.html

Just delete the countries you don't want from the downloadable HTML/JAVA code.

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