Improve Your English – 183 [Archives:2003/635/Education]

May 12 2003

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and expressions (48):
Describing Work Experience (III)

Expressions relating to work experience reflect, to a certain extent, one's self-esteem and perceptions about the prevalent work-culture. One's work experience is conditioned also to a large extent by the salary and other benefits the job carries. The following phrases serve to highlight some of these aspects.
– It's a clerical job; I bury my head in the frightful pile of files and have no breathing space. As in everywhere else, I'm underpaid.
– It's a temporary job. The sword of Damocles is hanging on my head. Know not when it is going to fall on me.
– I'm a part timer, so no question of over-time.
– I have no fixed hours. I'm a freelancer.
– It's not a desk job. It's a field job, entailing extensive tours. So killing.
– Well. I wanted to be my own master, slave to none. I'm self employed. I'm now a proud employer, not a servile employee.
– I opted for a premature/ voluntary retirement. So I am eligible for proportional pension and gratuity.
– He has been put under suspension for dereliction of duty. He may be proceeded against if charges against him are proved.
– This company is an excellent pay master.
– The pay packet is pretty good.
– The take-home pay after all deductions is meager.
– He draws a six-figure salary.
– The job carries an attractive scale of pay.
– Although the gross salary is lucrative, the net pay is disappointing. The income tax takes it all.
– Employees, in the Management Sector, are usually considered overpaid.
– I draw a regular salary as I am a full-time employee.
– The establishment has many NMR (non-muster-roll) workers who, in practical terms, are daily-wagers.
– The company recently retrenched the work-charged employees.
– He is underemployed for his qualifications and experience.
– He was discharged (dismissed) from his job.
– He was given the sack by the General Manager

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. I have only two, three friends.
2. The noise interferes in my work.
3. The teacher learnt us a lesson.
4. He insisted to go home.
5. Lessons begin at seven and a half.

Answers to last week's questions
1. This man always wears black shoes.
2. I put on my clothes in the morning.
Note: 'Put on' is used to cover (part of) the body with clothing. 'Wear' means to have upon the body as a garment or as an ornament.
3. Rami is not afraid of anybody.
Note: 'Afraid' is not a verb but an adjective, and is generally preceded by the verb 'to be'.
4. Thousands were wounded in the war.
5. He was injured in a motor accident.
Note: People are 'injured' or 'hurt' as a result of an accident, and 'wounded' in a battle or war.

III. Increase your Word Power
A) How to express it in one word
1. To float or be driven along by wind, waves, or currents.
2. To train soldiers in military movements.
3. To fall or let fall in drops.
4. To rain in very small drops or very lightly.
5. To hang or bend downwards.

Answers to last week's questions
1. Make people, animals, or clothes thoroughly wet: drench (vt)
2. To clean and prepare meat for cooking: dress (vt)
3. The first row of raised seats in a theatre: dress-circle (n)
4. The last rehearsal of a play before its public performance: dress-rehearsal (n)
5. To wear someone's clothes for fun: dress up (v)

B) Foreign phrases and expressions
Use the following expressions in sentences
1. de mode; 2. denouement;
3. de rigueur; 4. dishabille; 5. detente

Answers to last week's questions
1. angst (Ger. n) (anxiety caused by considering the sad state of world affairs and the human condition): The poem is an eloquent expression of the poet's angst.
2. decor (Fr. n) (the ornamental furnishing and arranging of a room, house, or stage): The tasteful decor of the hotel attracts many customers.
3. de facto (Lat. adj) (in actual fact): He is the defacto Director of the Institute.
4. dejavu (Fr. n) (the feeling of remembering something that one is in fact experiencing for the first time): The ambience of the place filled his mind with an inexplicable dejavu.
5. dejure (Lat. adj) (lawful): The Crown of England is the dejure ruler of that country.

C) Words commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. daft, deft; 2. debauch, debouch;
3. anode, an ode; 4. borrow, lend;
5. weather, climate

Answers to last week's questions
1. responsible (adj) (mostly liable for the carrying out of some duty): The Dean is responsible for the academic agenda of the college.
responsive (adj) (answering readily with words or feelings): Students in the Faculty of Education, Mahweet are quite responsive.
2. halo (n) (circle of light round the sun, moon or the heads of sacred figures): The halo round the moon after a shower of rain looks majestic.
hello (or hallo) (interjection) (greeting): 'Hello! How do you do!'
3. beatification (n) (a ceremony in the Roman Catholic church): I attended several beatifications last year.
beautification (n) (the act of decoration): As a result of beautification, the building wears a new look.
4. apposite (adj) (suitable): This is an apposite remark.
opposite (adj) (front to front): The mosque is opposite to my house.
5. among (prep) (used with a plural noun): He distributed sweets among all children in his neighborhood.
between (prep) (usually involves only two limits): He divided his money between his two sons.

D) Idioms and phrases
Use the following phrases and idiomatic expressions in sentences
1. to the back bone
2. back the wrong horse
3. to know a place like the back of one's hand
4. turn one's back on
5. put someone's back up

Answers to last week's questions
1. back away (to move backwards to allow space, or in fear): Seeing a cobra so near him, he backed away.
2. a back handed compliment (an unpleasant remark): I take his remarks on my moustache rather as a backhanded compliment.
3. in the background (a position that is unnoticeable): He suspects some of his colleagues to be in the background of his losing the job.
4. put one's back into (to work very hard at): If you really put your back into the job, you can finish it well within the schedule.

IV. Grammar and composition
A) Grammar
Change the following into EXPLANATIONS, JUSTIFICATIONS and DEFENCES of plans
Example: The central library is being kept open till 7 PM on working days. Then the students can utilize it after the college hours. (ONLY BY)
Only by keeping the central library open till 7 PM will the students be able to utilize it after the college hours.
1. The council is closing down one school. The council will save money. (only by)
2. The bus timetable has been changed. The college wants to make the service more effective. (is intended)
3. They are proposing to organize an international seminar. They want to facilitate exchange of ideas and information. (The main aim behind)
4. The company is withdrawing this product from the market. The company wants to carry out further tests. (The main reason for)
5. The meeting is being held at 7.30. This will enable everyone to attend. (is intended)
6. Pay them the money you owe. You will avoid prosecution. (only by)
7. The municipality is intending to demolish an old building. They want to erect a new supermarket. (the main idea)

Answers to last week's questions
1. Mohammed bin Sallam is a freelance journalist working in Sanaa.
2. Ramzy lives in a new block of flats situated near Tahrir square.
3. Bassam once set his heart on a beautiful house located near his parents' home, built in 1958.
4. The problem is that Nasry has a lot of friends living in the center of Sanaa.
5. Masani is considering the idea of buying a new car as suggested by his friend Hayaf.

B) Composition
Expand the idea contained in the maxim

Answer to last week's question
Knowledge about our environment increases our awareness of the world.
Science is an attempt to understand the world we live in through observation, verification and formulation of rules and laws regarding the physical world. It aims at understanding the secrets of nature which gives us tremendous power for improving the quality of our lives. The scientific advancement of the last three hundred years is a glorious story of our increased understanding of and awareness about nature. Our space missions are intended to know what lies beyond our physical world. In fact, every day the frontiers of knowledge are extended. With the increased knowledge has come more intellectual and physical power. Man has come to know the secrets of nature. He has been trying to use this knowledge for changing the human destiny, removing human suffering and conquering death and disease. This puts man in a position of power in changing his life and controlling nature. So it can be said with ample justification that real intellectual power is gained through the acquisition of knowledge in all provinces of human endeavor.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“And obey Allah
And the messenger;
That ye may obtain mercy.”

VI. Words of Wisdom
“Merit and good-breeding will make their way everywhere.” )Lord Chesterfield