Archive for November 9, 2019

to be in a class by itself


Hello everyone!

This is my first blog entry for a very long time. I’ve been very busy working on another project which, I’m happy to report, is now finished! This project is a novel which is called A Murder in a Class by Itself. It’s a murder mystery set in an English school, called an eikaiwa in Japanese, in Tokyo. The story is about a Canadian man who is a former police detective who comes to Tokyo to work as an English teacher in an eikaiwa. While he is there, one of his students is murdered, and he is asked to investigate and find out who the killer is.

Because I’ve titled my novel A Murder in a Class by Itself, I want to teach the idiom, in a class by itself, in this blog entry. Basically, this idiom means for something or someone to be of the highest quality. In this case, the word “class” refers to a ranking of quality. For example:

This is the best restaurant in this city. It’s in a class by itself.

In my opinion, the paintings of Renoir are in a class by themselves. No other artist is as good as he was.

As you can see from my second example, we must change “itself” to “themselves” if the subject is plural. We must also change “itself” to “himself” or “herself” if we are talking about a person. For example:

As a science teacher, Mr. Johnson is in a class by himself. I’ve never had a better science teacher than him.

As far as I’m concerned, Sarah McLachlan is in a class by herself as a singer and musician.

So that’s my entry for today. Now that I’m finished my novel I’ll have more time to continue writing this blog.

In my novel’s title, this idiom has a double meaning because it can mean this murder is of the highest quality. However, it also has another meaning because the murder victim’s body is found in a classroom in the school in Tokyo.

If you’re interested in my novel, it’s available on any Amazon site worldwide. You can get it in ebook Kindle format or as a paperback. I think it would be of interest to anyone who wants to visit Japan, has ever thought about teaching English overseas, has ever studied English as a second language or anyone who just loves a good old-fashioned murder mystery.


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