Back to Back Issues Page
Issue #001 -- Week 05/05/14-11/05/14
May 13, 2014

Congratulations on launching the English Corner E-zine!

WELCOME to the first edition of the English Corner E-zine! I’m sure this weekly newsletter will improve in time and I hope I manage to send it out to you more punctually than the scattered emails we had so far.

This first edition is a late starter, but the plan is to build a habit of sending it every Monday after the week in question. I apologise to those of you who were eagerly expecting it yesterday.

Now let’s recap what we did last week during our English Corner classes.

Monday 05/05 - Funny Sounding and Interesting Words

We started last Monday in SIP [Suzhou, China], with a Social Club on Funny Sounding and Interesting Words, when we looked at words like: bumfuzzle, cattywampus, gardyloo, taradiddle, billingsgate, snickersnee, widdershins, collywobbles, gubbins, and diphthong.

This class proved to be a difficult one, due to the complexity of the words that I took from the Merriam –Webster dictionary we discussed in one of our earlier social clubs. You’ll find the list of explanations here:

Monday 05/05 - Business Writing

On Monday evening, we had an Application Class on Business Writing, in SIP. The difficulty with these classes is that I’m not there to undertake a complete course in this topic, so I can’t start something from A, and finish it at Z, as a course like this should be.

Instead, we took each lesson as it came and we made it as complete as we could in its own right.

This time we uncovered some writing resources online, which I think would make a good companion for anybody who’d like to use them to improve their vocabulary and writing skills.

We looked at 5 websites in particular:

- The OWL at Purdue University (OWL stands for Online Writing Library) – you’ll find it at:

- The Business Writer’s Free Library on

- The British Council Business Writing, which you can find on

For this one, you need to find the tab for ‘Learn English Adults’ on the side of the tabs we previously looked at ‘Learn English Kids’ and ‘Learn English Teens’

- Then we looked at one of the most comprehensive website I’ve ever found, and that’s the ‘Guide to Grammar and Writing’ – on

This index includes 427 references to both the Guide to Grammar and Writing and Principles of Composition. It does not however, include references to the interactive Quizzes or to the Grammarlogs (posted responses to ASK GRAMMAR queries). The Frequently Asked Questions page and the Guide's Search Engine will also help you find help on grammatical issues, tips on composition, and advice on English usage.

- We also wanted to look at ‘The Writing Studio’, on but we didn’t have time for this that evening, so here’s the link for those of you who feel diligent and curious enough to enter.

Tuesday 05/06 - More Funny Words

On Tuesday we repeated the topic of funny sounding words, but this time I tried words that are simpler and even funnier. These are words used as a figure of speech called the “onomatopoeia”.

We tried to do a listening exercise from What Is Onomatopoeia? , but the computer kept crashing all the time, so we ended up reading the transcript of the clip. Here it is, for your convenience:

What Is Onomatopoeia?

Hi, I'm Jen D'Amore for and this video is about onomatopoeia.

What are Some Examples of Onomatopoeia?

Buzz, hiss, and hiccup, are all examples of onomatopoeia, which is a way of naming something by imitating its sound. Water hitting the ground is a splash. A bomb exploding is a "boom," or a "bang," and when scissors cut, it's a "snip."

The sounds of the words themselves try to mimic as closely as possible the actual sound of the action, though it may not be exact.

A clock "ticks" or "cuckoo's," a steak "sizzles," and when driving a car you may "beep" your horn, or go over a "bump."

What is Onomatopoeia?

Onomatopoeia is a linguistic device that is often used in poetry, advertisements, comics, and children's books.

Descriptions of the sounds that animals make, like "oink," "ribbit," or "meow," are other examples of onomatopoeia.

The literal meaning of onomatopoeia is "word making" from the Greek roots that mean, [onoma] - "name" and [poeia] - "to make."

When something uses onomatopoeia it is considered to be onomatopoeic, or onomatopoetic, the adjective form of onomatopoeia.

So whether your dog "woofs," your car "vroom's," or your zipper "zips," you're using onomatopoeia. Thanks for watching, to learn more visit us on the web at

Having said this, let's see if we'll have better luck with these links: Onomatopoeia Lesson | What is Onomatopoeia? and Onomatopoeia creative project

Wednesday 05/07 - Thoughts on Learning English

On Wednesday we had a class on learning English again. We looked at some quotes about learning English and learning in general, aimed both at te achers and at students.

You will find them on the home page of my website: Use it when you feel bored and unmotivated – it will certainly lift your mood!

Saturday 05/10 - Let's Have Fun!

Last Saturday we had fun with a word game, which demonstrated the level of your vocabulary on a number of topics, such as animals in the jungle, household electric appliances, insects and countries in Europe.

I think we shall ban mobile phones during a future exercise like this, as the use of it doesn’t portray your own vocabulary. This is not a moment for you to learn new vocabulary, but one to show what you already know AND can recall from your memory.

Are you with me on this?

This is it, folks!

Well, this is all we did last week, I should send this E-zine to you with no further delay and then I need to check, to see how many of you actually have received it and how many haven’t.

If you haven’t, you may need to click on that confirmation button that allows the system to know that you’re a real person and that you do wish to receive this.

Have a good week ahead, everybody!

Lucia da Vinci

Founder of My English Club

Back to Back Issues Page