Improve Your English – 189 [Archives:2003/644/Education]

June 23 2003

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to say
Situations and expressions (52): Complaints

A complaint is a statement that expresses our annoyance, unhappiness, pain, dissatisfaction about somebody or something that causes trouble. The language of a complaint can vary from a mild expression of dissatisfaction to a potentially strong idiom intended to hurt someone's feelings. Here are a few expressions of complaint.

– It's unfortunate that the local council should turn a deaf ear to our genuine and longstanding grievances.
– It's scandalous that the government ignores the basic health care measures.
– I am fed up with the way things are mismanaged here.
– We have had enough of being ill-treated. It has crossed all limits of our power of tolerance.
– The decision of the authorities is most irrational. Now agitation seems to be the only way out.
– The court's verdict is arbitrary and autocratic. We have to ring the bells of the high court.
– He has a jaundiced vision. It's pointless to broach him for a favor
– You are anything but fair in your estimation.
– Enough is enough. I never expected, not even in my wildest imagination, to be cold-shouldered in such a way.
– There is a limit to humiliation, that to in public.
– I fail to understand his logic.
– His views don't stand to reason.
– We expect them to be more objective, more understanding and to have a more reasonable stand.
– How on earth can people be so insensitive!
– I fail to understand why things should be the way they are.
– His looseness has assumed frightful proportions.
– Anyone would be irked by his uncouth manners.
– You may fool some people for some time, but not all people for all time.
– I am appalled by his attitude of vilifying others
– I can't stand his officious arrogance.
– I find it increasingly difficult to put up with his impertinence.
– It's well nigh impossible for us to be a party to the current state of affairs.
– How can one be expected to be a mute spectator to the horrifying trend of events?
– I can't bear him bent upon embarrassing me in public.
– We can't any longer bear our neighbor's children committing such nuisance.
– I can't stand the way some people complain all the time.
– You are expected to come out of your cocoon and be yourself.
– It's really sad that you are heedless about my repeated warnings not to be late for the arrangements made.
– It's getting on my nerves that they call on us without prior appointment and stay so late.
– Noise pollution in the neighborhood has assumed an alarming proportion.
– How do you explain such incredible naivete?
– Is it too much to expect courtesy and decorum from the so-called enlightened elite like you?
– Accomplished people are supposed to demonstrate a greater degree of maturity and vision.
– His inflated ego puts an iron curtain between him and others.
– He is a liability on us because of his inefficiency.
– It's hurtful to see things fall apart because the center cannot hold.

II. How to say it correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences.
1. Ahmed is seeing this film now.
2. She cleaned the house now.
3. The building which she lives in is very old.
4. I was born on 1947.
5. Summer comes among spring and autumn.

Suggested answers to last week's questions:
1. You should keep your hands clean.
2. I bought a book for YR 600.
3. Seyoun is farther than Sana'a.
4. They played football in the rain.
5. The number of students is increasing every year.

III. Increase your word power
(a) How to express it in one word
1. Series of events taking place in a regularly repeated order.
2. A very violent wind moving in a circle
3. Somebody that draws everyone's attention
4. The scientific study of cells
5. Something bad that may happen at any time

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Fixed or settled in advance: cut- and- dried (adj.)
2. Reduction to an earlier rate: cut-back (n.)
3. Delightfully pretty and often small: cute (adj.)
4. Sold at a price below the standard charge: cut- rate (adj.)
5. The scientific study of the way in which information is moved about and controlled in the brain cybernetics (n.)

(b) Foreign phrases and expressions
Give the English equivalents of the following expressions
1. bibliotaph; 2. bibliography; 3. cacophony; 4. caesura; 5. calendar

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. bibliopole (Gk.): A book seller or book dealer
2. bibliogony (Gk.): The production of books
3. bibliolatry (Gk.): An excessive devotion to or reverence of a book
4. bibliomania (Gk.): A maniac devotion to the collection and possession of books
5. bibliophile (Gk.): One who collects, cherishes and preserves books

(c) Words commonly confused
Bring out the meaning differences in the following pairs of words
1. alysum, asylum 2. alumna, alumina
3. altitude, attitude 4. already, all ready
5. almost, nearly, practically

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. defy (Vt.) (resist openly): I daren't defy the Dean's orders.
deify (Vt.) (worship as a god): Film stars like Amitabh Bachhan are deified by their fans.
2. expatriate (Vt.) (leave one's own country to live abroad): Many ambitious young professionals expatriate to western countries in search of a comfortable living.
repatriate (Vt.) (send or bring back to his own country): Many refugees are being repatriated to their own country.
3. bear (Vt.) (to suffer or accept something unpleasant without complaining): 'There's nothing we can do about it, so we'll just have to grin and bear it'.
endure (Vt.) (to bear pain, suffering, etc. patiently for a long time): 'What cannot be cured must be endured'.
4. stand (Vi.& t.) (to accept successfully): He wants to marry her, but she can't stand the sight of him
tolerate (Vt.) (allow or endure without protest): I would no longer tolerate his impertinence.

(d) Idioms and phrases
Use the following phrases in sentences
1. appeal to (make an earnest request to somebody for something): The accused appealed to the judge for mercy
2. worlds apart (completely different): Although they are brothers, their ways of life are worlds apart
3. apart from (independently of ): Apart from being an extremely knowledgeable person, he is a philanthropist, too.
4. any body's guess (a matter of uncertainly): If such chaotic conditions prevail, the country's future is any body's guess.
5. at any rate (whatever may happen): At any rate we have to achieve the target.

IV Grammar and composition
(a) Grammar
Choose the appropriate word from within the brackets and fill in the blank
1. When the tractor faces , it looks like a living creature. ( problems, an obstacle, hunters)
2. The Rector asked the Dean to .. the matter.
(look up, look at, look into, look for)
3. The accused was .. of lying.
(convinced, convicted, conceived)
4. When animals sensed danger, they began to ..
(run out, run away)
5. She couldn't ..her father that she was telling the truth.
(tell, convince, assure, prove)

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Last night I went to see a play which was rather moving.
2. As I came out of the theater I saw Hamid who I had thought was in India. Imagine my amazement when he told me that he had got married to my student Aziza.
3. I asked him how he was, and he said that he was ecstatic.
4. When I expressed my amazement he was rather taken aback because he thought I was jealous.
5. This made me furious because I was never jealous.
6. When he saw how upset I was, he apologized.

(b) Composition : Paragraph writing
Expand the idea contained in the maxim


Suggested answer to the last week's question

Each one of us makes mistakes of one kind or another. Our mistakes are the outcome of our ignorance, lack of far-sight pride, prejudice, fear, greed or some such thing. Very often we are misguided by our impulse and passions when our reason takes the backseat. We are eventually blinded by selfishness, pride and ambition. They distract our conscience and we are tempted to commit a blunder. But inspite of the knowledge about every man's proneness to make mistakes, we bitterly criticize the one who has made a mistake, little realizing that we ourselves may commit the same, or even a worse folly. Great teachers of humanity have taught us the value of the divine virtue of forgiveness. They have exalted mercy and condemned revengefulness. Mercy is twice blest. It blesses the receiver and the giver as well.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
” ur Lord forgive us
Our sins and anything
We may have done
That transgressed our duty:
Establish our feet firmly,
And help us against
Those that resist Faith”

VI. Words of wisdom
“Memory, the daughter of attention, is the teeming mother of knowledge”