Word / compact phrase for written fictional works?

This has been put on hold as "primarily opinion-based".

I'd like to understand why?

It's not opinion, but fact that:

  1. the dictionary definition of literature includes merit of the writing and also non-fiction.
  2. the dictionary definition of fiction includes non-written works (the definition says either mostly or 'as (and example)', not entirely, and in common parlance, Star Wars and Star Trek are both fiction) (3. Another comment suggest novel which has another condition that the work must be long, usually 40k words plus)

The objection raised in the comments was that "It seems you are looking for a word that has no alternative meanings, in no cases, no contexts, no circumstances. I wish you the very best of luck with that in English."

But I'm not sure how that makes the question either opinion-based, or not well-researched, even if the answer is simply that such a word doesn't exist.

Can someone help me with what exactly is the issue with the question as it is framed?

ETA with clarification after Mitch's response: I was familiar with the issue with SWR on the site, but I assumed from this particular exchange that highly specific SWRs such as "Is there a word to describe a highly desirable cursed treasure?" are the kind of SWRs that are ok. Is this no longer applicable here?


Don't take the 'POB' reason too seriously.

It was closed (and any reason was as good as another) probably because it is an often disdained 'single word request'.

SWR's are not universally problematic, but your case is one of the common problematic ones in that it:

  • describes a situation in a couple words
  • then requests an exact embodiment of the phrase in a single word (or short phrase).

This is usually misguided (not always) because the description that the OP gives is usually enough (and is the case here).

'Literature' or 'fiction' by themselves are enough (in context). If you absolutely have to be explicit and unambiguous, usually one word isn't enough for anything.

  • Thanks. Does this mean SWRs should not be asked here? I've read about SWRs on meta, but I thought that highly specific SWRs were the kind of thing that users felt were ok, eg. as per meta.english.stackexchange.com/a/1659/66208 which calls a SWR for a "highly desirable cursed treasure?" a perfect fit for the site. – Shisa Jul 25 '14 at 1:22
  • 2
    "Should SWRs not be asked here?" - good SWRs are good here, but don't make them presumptuous (i.e. ask "is there a word for ..." instead of "what is the word for...") and don't expect there to actually be one. The right word can be a home run, but usually it's just an unsatisfying 'no'. Also, thesaurus. – Mitch Jul 25 '14 at 1:28
  • I didn't think I did that, but I realize I can make it more prominent that I'm not exactly expecting a word to exist, just hoping. :) Anyway, thanks for the input. – Shisa Jul 25 '14 at 1:48
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    What you say you want in that question is not answerable. What you need is supplied by all the comments. – Mitch Jul 25 '14 at 2:06

Although it's true that single word requests are not generally looked upon by all with favor (and I am one of those who does not like them), if there is an answer out there, it's often found here.

However, your request if not easily fulfilled.

ETA to add why plain fiction seems insufficient to me - in the modern context, that word can be referring as easily to a TV show or movie or webcomic or podcast or interactive flash media narrative, that using the word would not imply the written word at all, at least to me. If today, someone says 'I love fiction', I don't think they mean to say they love only written fiction, I think, well, that they love fiction, which may be in any medium.

The answer to the question "Are both Jane Eyre and Star Trek works of fiction?" is by all accounts "Yes".

I'm looking for a word regarding medium of the narrative, if it exists, where the answer would be "Jane Eyre is, but Star Trek is not".

You have defined your search with opinions: "fiction doesn't mean written" and it must include written fiction but not (audiovisually) portrayed fiction.

These were made clear after people attempted to answer your question.

Your opinions make the answer Primarily Opinion Based. There is no one perfect answer, and the only way it can be answered is to make guesses until one guess is accepted by you as acceptable.

This is a POB question.

Your arguing in comments when people are trying to help you doesn't help you. English doesn't have enough words in it to have a single word for every circumstance imaginable. If it did, this answer would have been one word only.

That you sought to portray another user to appear hostile by misquoting him doesn't help you either. There is a difference between "Good luck with that" and "I wish you the very best of luck with that in English."

  • I would like to say that the request was for word signifying written and fictional was from the beginning, hence my not thinking the need to mention fiction until it came up. As for the "hostile misquoting", I put that bit in bracket (signifying not a quote) and but that hostility was the impression that comment gave me, which I what I was trying to convey with the bracketed idea. Apologies if I was wrong to assume that "Best of luck with that in English" does not imply the same thing as "Good luck with that". – Shisa Jul 25 '14 at 1:57
  • @Shisa - the person you misquoted is patient, and I saw that comment as frustration with your opinions. That you answered him with a challenge ("That's really going against what this SE is about isn't it? Yep, most examples of fiction are still books, so yes, most things that GOOGLE (a predictive search engine, i hope you realize) brings up are books. What more relevant to this discussion, is that even in the situation of being the significant medium, not a single article refers to the books are just "Fiction".") is indicative of your failure to see comments as helpful. They usually are. – anongoodnurse Jul 25 '14 at 2:02
  • I really enjoy some of the better SWRs, but when the bar is set unrealistically, unachievably high, they are just a drag. – Lumberjack Jul 25 '14 at 23:55

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