I was writing. Thanks for the suggestions though.
Actually, it's the writer's job to cater to the audience. If using an incredibly rare, outdated name for a female, the writer should make it immediately clear the she is female. If writer's no longer have to cater to audiences, then literature is about to die.Muriel is a woman's name, it is a bit outdated, unless it has come around again for babies, as outdated names tend to once our great grandmothers have been dead longer than new parents have been alive.
I had a boss called Muriel. If in doubt google it rather than making it the writer's issue that your general knowledge sucks.
This may be partly my bad mood talking, but the point is valid.
Roughly 60,000 people in the U.S. have the name Muriel. That means that 38 out of every 100,000 females have that name. It's rare. Your boss is anecdotal and conformation bias and thus irrelevant. But, if we want anecdotal evidence: I asked my 61 year old boss as well as my 42 year old mother if either of them have ever heard the name. Neither have. When asked to guess whether it was male or female, both thought male. So I'm winning the rarity and instant-perception argument. The actuality of it being female is horribly irrelevant if the people don't know it is female (which was my argument in the first place...)It is not incredibly rare and my boss is still alive.
I took the trouble to google it for you too, and visited the wikipedia page, cos that seemed mainstream enough... but even Urban Dictionary is very clear throughout that Muriel is a girl (or a sissy man)
Oh boy...specific instances from literature, let's look!Here are some excerpts. Some of these may be a little too rarified for the masses, but I am surprised you have managed to avoid encountering all of these sources pebble.
Animal Farm by Orwell: Never bothered to read it. Don't care to. But, either way:Muriel (Animal Farm), a wise old goat in George Orwell's novel Animal Farm
Lady Muriel Orme is one of the main characters in Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno novels
Muriel Heslop, lead character in the 1994 iconic Australian film Muriel's Wedding
Muriel Stacy, Anne's teacher in Anne of Green Gables, which had a big influence upon the development of the main character
Chandler Muriel Bing, one of the male lead roles in the US TV sitcom Friends (1994-2004) - explaining the joke here, its funny cos its a female name...
Muriel Weasley, elderly gossipy great-aunt of Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2009)
Muriel, the main antagonist in the film Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
Perhaps, yes. Perhaps not. First, assuming people don't recognize it is a female, the married couple could be homosexual. Without knowing the name is female, it is just as plausible - especially if they think the name is male.Also, as has been explained by others, the clues were already there when paired with Samuel.
Never said he had to be mundane with "normal" names. Just that when using those names that are a bit more rare to call them out. Also, I'm not chastising him. All I said was: "Give some hint to who Muriel is. Thought it was a guy at first." If that's chastising, either you or he have REALLY thin skin, especially after I qualified it later with: "Do know this is not me being rude. Just giving some advice."Whilst it is of course up to the writer to avoid being obscure unless that is part of the art, he should not be chastised for not sticking to the mundane. I doubt the story would have been better if they had been named John and Anne.
If I needed to be correct, I'd likely go elsewhere. Being correct here serves no benefit to me as I warrant such a small level of importance of being wrong in the forumers' eyes about topics as trivial as this. Especially in this section. But, even if I am wrong - dead wrong - and every reader that ever encounters this story knows the name is female without a doubt in the world, would he really like to risk it? All that can be fixed with such ease? Really this big a fuss? Hush. I'm trying to help him.Your comeback (Actually) sounds more about having to be right than being right. Not really the critic's prerogative. The writer's audience is broad and international. If he must therefore stoop to the lowest common denominator then literature already died.
Its a girl's name. Google it already!
I applaud you. Write what you want. If others don't like it, too bad. And if all they can see are picky corrections, they are not seeing what you see.I might let you see some more in a week or so.
Depends on how quickly I can get my errors corrected.
Not really. Just annoyed with people impeding someone from bettering their story with minor fixes.Jesus dude, had a bad day?
Pick apart? Not really. Just saying that your entire stance on "picky corrections" is very...poor. Making the audience aware of character gender is not picky, but it is helpful. Also, I encourage him to keep the name Muriel - to write what he wants. I'm not bothering myself with content - just with how it was presented. I wasn't evn being rude or condescending. Just trying to help the guy with his story and was attacked.I applaud you. Write what you want. If others don't like it, too bad. And if all they can see are picky corrections, they are not seeing what you see.
I am a bit older than you-I worked as an editor for 22 years, have a published book and 15-20 published magazine articles. Correcting errors is easy. What is hard is having something worthwhile to say to begin with-that is the problem most people cannot overcome.
If you enjoy what you are writing, keep writing doing it.
(I now resign myself to the critics and editors to pick apart what I have said.)
As for the story I think it is going well, though as pebble said that first sentence could be changed.I was writing. Thanks for the suggestions though.
My point is not that corrections do not need to be made-they certainly are important.Pick apart? Not really. Just saying that your entire stance on "picky corrections" is very...poor.
. . . . .
Just trying to help the guy with his story and was attacked.
Jesus dude, had a bad day?
Interesting. Everyone else I've asked (now at 5, not including myself) has assumed male.Repost.
I'm not even a native English speaker and I do agree that Muriel is a (rare but) female name. It's indeed not very common. But sounds like a normal female name. Sorry Pebbs, but I think you might have overreacted.. a bit
Great story btwn I enjoyed reading it
They aren't on the forums (or any PX game, more than likely). Just my parent, boss, and 3 friends. And I sincerely doubt you've asked 33 people.Everyone I've asked (now at 33, including myself) has assumed female.
Come on pebbs. Let them post here please so we can actually discuss with them.
If everyone could actually come here and say whether they think Muriel is male or female.. that would be great.