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 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: 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

What does the word ‘pacific’ mean?

I used the word ‘Pacific’ today – yes because I was talking about the Pacific Ocean, and I thought immediately that we really never use the word these days for anything else. Yet the word pacific has meaning! Here it is:


So are you a ‘pacific’ kind of person? Shall we see if we can use the word a little more often? 🙂

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin – your voice coach

Can you talk like a pirate?

Monday is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Yes! And you might think that this is something that I (as a voice coach) might discourage, but no, because, well it’s fun and I’m a radical! So there!


I will be uploading a special video (I hope, I’m still fighting with Audacity to see if I can MAKE THIS WORK!)

In the meantime, you’ll just have to make do with a tiny glimpse of life as a pirate! Lol!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin – your voice coach

My thoughts and observations on a fortnight on Twitter

This is my beginner’s guide, if you like, because on the 1st August I joined Twitter for my voice coaching business to see what would happen. Business and Twitter are often considered to go hand in hand, which is all well and good – but it takes WORK. Oh, and a few other things. Which I will now share with you.

One of the greatest criticisms levelled at Twitter by people I have followed and read the articles of in the last two weeks is that it’s a ‘shout box’ with a lot of people speaking but very few listening. In the case of this particular company I was following it was clear THEY were using it as a shoutbox, because as soon as I started following them I was getting a tweet every two or three minutes, repeating every hour or so the same tweets again and again. I unfollowed them immediately.

Then again there are those folks who re-tweet something so useful and helpful that you just have to say thank you, and it leads to not only following each other, but trying out their product or using their website and sharing their achievements far and wide. These are the guys I came to Twitter for.

One of the first things I recommend you do when you join, is to follow a couple of ‘Inspiring Quotes’ type Twitter accounts – they’ll keep your feed nicely topped up with good vibes throughout the day, and you can also re-tweet those good vibes to others. Why not share the good feelings and inspiration?

Over-all my first two weeks on Twitter have been inspirational. I’ve still got a lot to learn about some of the how – how on earth do I get Emojis? Anyone know?

So my potted observations are thus:

Keep your Twitter followers down to a level where you can give each tweet the attention it deserves. If you get to the point where you can’t, then trim your list you follow so that you can. If you’re letting dozens of tweets fly by, then you are missing a lot. Obviously you can’t read every tweet, but if you have someone you’re following who is using Twitter as a ‘shout box’ they are really blotting out any chance of you reading other people’s tweets. Ditch them.

Follow people who inspire you. Follow famous people you want to be like (you may quickly decide you don’t, but that’s fine). Follow businesses you admire. Follow people who tweet inspiring stuff. Follow people in your industry and follow people in unrelated fields that interest you. Make sure you follow enough people that your feed is always ticking over nicely throughout the day.

Connect whenever possible – re-tweet stuff you like, and comment as you do. Connect, and DM with folks you feel an affinity for.


Have you used Twitter? What’s your experience of it? Do share in the comments.

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin – your voice coach

It’s complicated!

Yes, and often awkward, and all those sorts of things – when we use the word ‘complicated’ today, we are often referring to relationship status. In fact the word complicated rarely means anything nice, does it? Complications after an operation – woah, that’s never good!

Yet when we think about knitting a Fairisle jumper – well, it’s complicated (and beautiful).

fairisle sweaters.jpg

Complicated doesn’t have to be bad, and in fact the word origin is really interesting:


Moreover this term leads us into the world of biology:

complicate 2

and the botanical term ‘plicate’ also has its origin here:


Wanna see what a ‘plicate’ leaf looks like? Do ya?

plicate 2.jpg

Palm fronds are plicate.

So the word ‘complicated’ needn’t mean bad things, it can lead to Fairisle sweaters and Date Palms!

I hope you enjoyed this journey through the word ‘complicated.’

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin – your voice coach