Learn from my mistakes

I found this the other day:


I laughed immoderately, but not too hard – it’s not like I don’t learn from my mistakes, and at least try not to repeat them! However, one thing it really pays to do is to learn by other people’s mistakes. If you can do that, you can save a lot of time struggling making them yourself. Of course this only works if you get to see, or hear about someones mistake, and so I’ll share mine with you!

You may have noticed that this week, the blog has been quiet. Monday and Tuesday turned out to be a flurry of work online doing something other than the productive stuff I really enjoy. Instead it was prepration for the changeover of my ISP (Internet Service Provider) after over a decade. I’ve been trying to keep my email box fairly low, but I’d been having problems with it loading for months (one reason for leaving my old ISP, in fact), and because of this lag, and all the work I’d been doing online which meant I was getting a lot of notifications, well, I couldn’t keep up, and ended up with an inbox with 6,000 emails in it, and not loading well. Even getting a single one to forward to my new email address was a challenge which took much page-refreshing afterwards to load the inbox again. Two full days – TWO FULL DAYS – each day I worked until 9pm to get it done, and it took that long.

So what do I take from this?

Firstly, had I made myself spend ten minutes once a week on clearing it, it would have been worth it, and would have at least reduced that number!

Secondly, don’t use your ISP’s email address – one reason I think they give you an email account is so that you’ll get so used to giving it out that it puts you off leaving, because you’l lose that email address (I know my old ISP made extra money out of me just due to my reluctance to deal with moving my email address after all those years).

Thirdly, be lightfooted with your ISP and other utilities – I will have saved over £500 a year by switching my internet and my electricity over. Don’t get stuck on their deals and then let them lapse – there are so many sites which can help you switch, and I will say the change over from my old to new ISPs was absolutely painless (apart from the email nightmare, which was essentially avoidable anyway). If we all switched our suppliers everytime the market made us a better offer, companies would have to be more competative and that would bring prices down for all of us. (I found my best deals on sites like www.moneysavingexpert.com and www.ukpower.co.uk).

So, yesterday I made two videos of poetry I’ve recorded, and I’ll be posting them today to make up for the lack of posts earlier in the week. 🙂

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin – your voice coach


Total wordy geek-fest!


Now is it just me that thinks this is just brilliant?



Ok, I’ll explain – this little tool, from Google, searches books in any time period you choose, and displays usage as a graph so that you can see when it has most references. I would say this is pretty accurate (I can’t see why it wouldn’t be) and it’s certainly fun (for a word-geek like me. Word).

In fact the minute I was faced with this tool my mind went blank – I could search for any word I wanted, and couldn’t think of any for a moment. Then they came in. I started off with the word contemn, which is found throughout the King James Bible.

contemn dictionary.jpg

Then on to another – how about demirep?


W00T! What does demirep mean? Well dictionary.com has a very unsatisfactory definition, so from my 1923 Nuttall’s etymological dictionary we have:

‘a woman of suspicious chastity’ (demi-reputation)

And then of course, how about obscurantist?


Haha! What is an obscurantist?


This could describe many things, people and organisations today! Just look at the government and their statutes written in legalese! Most certainly hiding knowledge from people and evading clarity. Another fascinating word!

So now – go and have fun, (Link: https://books.google.com/ngrams) and please tweet your charts to me over at @Glorious_voice – I can’t wait to see what you search for!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin – your voice coach


A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty – a poem by Ogden Nash

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda’s sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda is a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adored you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What’s a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then–
How old is Spring, Miranda?

Ogden Nash

A lovely poem full of whimsy and joy – I hope you enjoyed it!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin – your voice coach


WARNING: Jus de raisin!

Now I know that the younger audience can only dream of the day they get to drink wine, being far too young to imbibe the grape just yet. But as a neat lesson in French this sign took me only a moment with my appalling fail-level French to decipher.


Yes – it’s grape juice on the road! Yes – it’s grape harvesting time, and indeed the danger of slipping on grape juice on French roads must be at an all time high! It certinly amused me, even if it has a serious note. But, you may wonder, why is the word raisin and not grape? Raisins are those dried things, aren’t they?

Well the origin of the word raisin has a botanical root. It comes from the word raceme. Excuse me *adjusts* I’m going to geek out now (being a former horticulturalist).


So, what’s a raceme, Lis? Well I’m glad you asked!

A raceme is a flower form (inflorescence) where the flowers are on short stems (pedicels) from the main stem – like so:



Are you excited? I know I am. 🙂

Now, you might ask, where did the word ‘raceme’ come from? Well, in typical language circular logic it goes right back to…


A cluster of grapes. So grape is raisin because it’s a raceme, which is called a raceme because it’s a bunch of grapes. Did you get that? Good – there’ll be a short test later. 😉

Oh and I have to add a real What the…? moment. Take a look at the two dictionary definitions. First one claims raisin’s origin is raceme, from 1350’s, and the second one claims the origin of raceme is 1775. Excuse me? 🙂

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin – your voice coach