Lindsay Lewis

English/ ESL consultant: Word worker, writer, teacher, mentor and poet. Author of This Won’t Hurt a Bit! on writing clear content.


Esi Edugyan wins the Giller Prize- twice!

Posted by on 9:10 am in Posts | 0 comments

Washington Black: A must read! If you have not heard of Esi Edugyan, you are in for a grand surprise. I’m a voracious reader, but I can’t remember the last time I stayed up until 2 a.m. to read, and then finished the novel at 7 a.m-over 400 pages of pure bliss! Washington Black is a young slave, brutally abused and scarred on a plantation in Barbados, in 1830. The narrative sweeps the reader through stunning descriptions of life on a plantation, capturing the colonial atmosphere in breathtaking detail. Erasmus Wilde , the owner,...

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My dinner with Emily , former student and author

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A Cruelty Special to our Species Emily Yoon, my former student and author of A Cruelty Special to our Species paid me a visit Friday evening after doing a reading and workshop at SMUS, her former school. Her poetry addresses a topic rarely discussed- The occupation of Korea and abuse of women. Her poetry is lucid and strong, describing atrocities which are never openly touched upon. I’m so proud of her. Her book has received rave reviews and is well worth reading.I’m so proud of you sweet...

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Gender neutral pronouns. Crossing the linguistic bridge.

Posted by on 9:11 am in Posts | 0 comments

I have just written a proposal to the Oxford Dictionary committee that the word e (pronounced E) be created as a gender neutral third person singular pronoun. English would have he/ she / e / to describe trans-gendered people who do not identify strongly with either male or female traits. I met a store clerk the other day who was wearing the same blue nail polish as I was. I had blue toes and he/she had blue fingernails. We had a very interesting conversation and when I left, I felt awkward realizing that there was no pronoun for him/ her....

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Merry Christmas ! …. stick Happy Holidays up the turkey!!!

Posted by on 3:44 pm in Posts | 0 comments

In Orwell’s dystopian novel, the citizens must use Newspeak, a government imposed, restricted version of English which makes complex thought nearly impossible. With the change and reduction of words comes the elimination of intellect. This process enables the government to control the masses. Why have a word such as magnificent when one could use the insipid word double-good. I reflect on the power of words as I observe the insidious phrase Happy Holidays replacing Merry Christmas. Does it matter? Yes, and I’ll explain why....

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Lost and Found: A poignant novel by Brooke Davis. What a gem!!

Posted by on 9:24 am in Posts | 0 comments

Lost and Found is an enchanting novel by the brilliant Australian/ universally cultured author Brooke Davis. In this novel, the protagonist, Milly Bird,  is abandoned by her mother in a clothing department. She is found by an octogenerian, Karl the touch typist, who has run away from his nursing home, and the bereaved Agatha Pantha. The novel’s main appeal is its sincere understanding of the bewildering sense of guilt the child feels. She scrawls notes to her mother on windows and papers, hoping to correct whatever imaginary wrong drove...

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English: The Wild and Crazy Bird

Posted by on 10:41 am in Posts | 0 comments

 After 25 years of teaching, I still love my job. My clients reveal the strange irregularities of English grammar which keep it fascinating.  This week, my Iranian engineer wrote a question using the verb to be. We all know that the verb to be conjugates as follows: I am, you are, he is, we are , you are,  and they are, for it is an amalgamation from two verbs in Old English. My student wrote “Why  I not am getting a promotion.” According to our rules, the affirmative is as follows: I am getting a promotion, you are…etc....

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The Goldfinch: A must read

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I have just discovered Donna Tartt- and if you love literature, her novel The Goldfinch is a must read. The novel is luminescent- every word evokes a place, a feeling, a character. Set in New York , the novel explores the world of Theo, the teenage protagonist whose mother has been tragically killed in an accident. Aside from being a riveting plot, it’s the beauty of each word that makes the novel so noteworthy. Reading it reminds me of learning to dance tango. After mastering the most difficult steps, I finally realized that dancing is...

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Could you say that again please?

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I was looking at runners the other day and the employee at the shoe store had his lovely Labradoodle with him. When his dog began pawing me (he could smell treats), the owner called him.  I was somewhat astonished, however, when he said, “Come here Bastard! ” I thought gosh, that’s an odd name for a dog! Finally I asked the fellow why he called his dog Bastard. “His name isn’t Bastard”, he replied, “It’s Buster!” It all made sense since the gentleman had a very strong German accent. My...

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Thinking of my friends and colleagues in Belgium

Posted by on 11:04 am in Posts | 0 comments

I am horrified to see the latest attacks against humanity and send a big COURAGE to all of my friends, colleagues and students in Belgium . Je t’envoie beaucoup de courage. Je pense a toi.

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Speech: Your business suit

Posted by on 9:03 am in Posts | 0 comments

A few years ago, I was in New York, returning from a Yankees vs Mariners baseball game. On the subway, fans were discussing the game. I was listening to one man speak and within 30 seconds, I had ascertained that he was from Seattle. I said to him, “Oh, you are from Seattle!I’m from Victoria.” Shocked, he asked, “How do you know?” “I’m a linguist”, I replied. “What else can you tell?” he asked. “Pretty well everything “I said,” but you might not like what I tell...

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