A beautiful long sentence about long sentences – Long Sentence #2

Pico Iyer wrote a playful and eloquent article for the Los Angeles Times about his decision to write long sentences as a form of protest against our world’s obsession with speed. He explained that as a young journalist he had succumbed to the need for speed and crunched his writing into short soundbites, but as he matured in his writing and probably in life too, he discovered the glory of, and more importantly (to me), a powerful rationale for writing longer sentences. I’ve always wanted to find a solid defense for the long sentence, so that I could write on without inpunity, but had never come up with anything clever, and so it was a real pleasure for me to find this article.

Follows is the most beautiful, and one of the longest sentences in his article that gives a colourful, heartfelt explanation of his decision to write long sentences. Prepare to be amazed.

Enter (I hope) the long sentence: the collection of clauses that is so many-chambered and lavish and abundant in tones and suggestions, that has so much room for near-contradiction and ambiguity and those places in memory or imagination that can’t be simplified, or put into easy words, that it allows the reader to keep many things in her head and heart at the same time, and to descend, as by a spiral staircase, deeper into herself and those things that won’t be squeezed into an either/or.

To learn more about Pico Iyer, see his website.

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25 Reasons to Read William Gibson’s Neuromancer 

For the writers (and readers) out there who have not read (or who have not finished reading) William Gibson’s Neuromancer

NEUROMANCER!   Well, I don’t want to come across as a book snob, but I will say: How can you call yourself a well-read fictionado without having read Neuromancer?  (In classic Lily-style) I can give you at least 25 reasons why Neuromancer is an amazing book, and a must read for anyone delving into the finer points of fiction-writing. Read more of this post

25 Reasons to Read William Gibson's Neuromancer

For the writers (and readers) out there who have not read (or who have not finished reading) William Gibson’s Neuromancer

NEUROMANCER!   Well, I don’t want to come across as a book snob, but I will say: How can you call yourself a well-read fictionado without having read Neuromancer?  (In classic Lily-style) I can give you at least 25 reasons why Neuromancer is an amazing book, and a must read for anyone delving into the finer points of fiction-writing. Read more of this post

Most frequently used words in English

Did you know that the average person uses only 2000-5000 words on a daily basis?  One of the most important tools I use as an English, ESL & Literacy teacher is a most frequently-used-words list.

It is possible to make countless vocabulary exercises & games from the crucial 2000 most frequently used words, and they are also the key words for learning the long and short vowels & spelling rules, for children grades 2-6, but also for adult English speakers that suffer from lower levels of literacy (80% of Canadians score 3 or lower out of 5 on the literacy scale, see here). Read more of this post

Reading for Learning a New Language

"Day 14" by Margo Conner on Flickr

If you are learning a new language, the most useful and pleasant thing you can do for your study is READ!!!  As an ESL teacher, I have noticed that my students who are regular readers, really advance more quickly than students who do not like reading.  Therefore it is important to foster the skill of reading. Read more of this post