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Lucy Ferriss is writer-in-residence emerita at Trinity College, in Connecticut.

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Stories by this Author

  • The Review | Essay

    Learning While Female in Kabul

    How educators around the world keep hope alive in a hopeless place.
  • Lingua Franca

    Where Do We Begin? Language Learning and Grammar

    Very few American college students grasp fundamental concepts like the difference between the past perfect and the imperfect, says Lucy Ferriss. Should language teachers skip all that?
  • Lingua Franca

    New French Lingo: du Coup

    Lucy Ferriss, teaching in France, examines a phrase that, like woke or like in America, has infiltrated everyday speech.
  • Lingua Franca

    A Hurrah for the Long Sentence

    Lucy Ferriss applauds the sentences of Flaubert, Solnit, and Stein: They create for the reader not just an understanding of an idea, but the emotions that accompany the idea.
  • Lingua Franca

    Gals, Guys, and Speech

    Lucy Ferriss reflects on how women talk, and are talked about, and why men who exhibit the same speech characteristics don’t get as much criticism.
  • Lingua Franca

    What Is the Origin of ‘the Worm Has Turned’?

    If you thought of Shakespeare, as Lucy Ferriss did, he indeed used the phrase, but it’s medieval, and the worm may not be the invertebrate you think it is.
  • Lingua Franca

    The Privilege of Language

    Kentucky’s governor mocks the study of French as career preparation. Maybe what bothers him, writes Lucy Ferriss, is the opportunity to open doors beyond a job description.
  • Lingua Franca

    Itsy-Bitsy Teenie-Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Emoji

    Examining the emoji wardrobe, Lucy Ferriss finds it surprisingly female-oriented. Why not make it less sexist for men, too?
  • Lingua Franca

    Getting a Fix on ‘Fixers’

    Is a fixer a good guy or a bad guy? Lucy Ferriss looks at the history of the word, which she always thought of as pejorative. In 2018, it no longer raises eyebrows.
  • Lingua Franca

    When 2 Negatives Don’t Make a Positive

    Can we flip “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia” to read, “I see the reason why it would be Russia”? Lucy Ferriss doesn’t think we can. It’s like claiming that “she is not unhappy” means she is happy.