Improve Your English – 198 [Archives:2003/662/Education]

August 25 2003

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and Expressions (55):
Emotional Reactions (VII)

Poetry has been defined in many ways. One of them is that poetry represents best thoughts in the best language. Basically, poetry is characterized by simplicity, sensuousness and passion. John Dryden defines poetry as 'articulate music'. According to Dr. Johnson 'Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth by calling imagination to the help of reason'. Emotional composition is poetry. Emotion is its essence.
Let's try and discover some of these salient features of poetry, particularly, its special use of language to convey emotional response, in the following lines:

– For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.
Shakespeare: To His Love
– Do not call it sin in me
That I am forsworn for thee
Shakespeare: Love's Perjuries
– My thoughts hold mortal strife;
I do detest my life
And with lamenting cries
Peace to my soul to bring
W. Drummond: Madrigal
– Fly away, fly away, breath
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
Shakespeare: Dirge of Love
– No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
and mock you with me after I am gone.
Shakespeare: The Triumph of Death
– A smile or kiss, as he will use the art,
Shall have the cunning skill to break a heart.
J. Shirley: The Last Conqueror
– This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.
Sir H. Wotton: Character of a Happy Life
– Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May loss him to My breast.
G. Herbert: The Pulley
– Happy those early days, when I
Shined in my Angel-infancy!
H. Vaughan: The Retreat
– Then be not coy, but use your time;
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.
R. Herick: Counsel to Girls
– My passion with your beauty grew
While Cupid at my heart
Sir c. Sedly: Child and Maiden

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. Do not approach to him.
2. I tore up my shirt on a nail.
3. This boy is elder than that one.
4. The wind has almost stopped to blow.
5. My friend shared me his book.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. He is handsome.
Note: The adjective 'beautiful' is used for females.
2. Do you require extra help?
3. English is studied all over the world.
4. He loved her, but now he doesn't love her.
Note: the verbs of emotion such as 'love', 'hate' don't take the -ing form.
5. The sun is shining through the window.

III. Increase Your Word Power
A) How to express it in one word
1. Give political independence to.
2. Reduce the pressure of or on something.
3. A medicine that reduces swelling and blocking, especially in the nose.
4. Remove dangerous, impure substances from.
5. The ornamental furnishing and arranging of a room.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Increase the speed of: accelerate (vt)
2. To cause to go slower: decelerate (vt)
3. Wooden floor built across a ship: deck (n)
4. The act of giving the different forms of a noun, pronoun or adjective: declension (n)
5. To discover the meaning of a message in a secret language: decode (vt)

B) Foreign Phrases
Give the sources of origin and simple meanings of the following phrases:
1. literati; 2. litterateur; 3. loco citato;
4. logogram; 5. macrology

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. homophone (Gk. 'same sound'): A word which is pronounced the same as another, but has a different spelling and meaning. Ex 'foul/fowl', 'wood/would'.
2. hubris (Gk. 'wanton insolence'): A sense of pride in the tragic hero that leads him to ignore the warrings of the gods and to violate their laws and transgress their commands. Eventually, hubris brings about his downfall and nemesis.
3. ibidem (Lat. 'in the same place'): The term indicates a reference to or quotation from the same place.
4. icon (Gk. 'image'): An image of a holy person, used in the worship.
5. jeu de spirit (Fr. 'play to the mind'): An epigram, witticism, or brief flight of fancy, urbanely expressed.

C) Words Commonly Confused
Bring out the meaning differences in the following pairs of words
1. dose, doze; 2. cook, cooker;
3. cynical, snobbish; 4. drench, wet;
5. dead, deed

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. incidence (n) (the rate of happening): The high incidence of SARS spread panic in China.
incident (n) (an event): This is a dramatic incident.
2. cord (n) (twisted threads, thicker than string): He tied the sticks to a bale with a cord.
chord (n) (straight line that joins two points on the circumference of a circle): She drew a chord.
3. collage (n) (a picture made by sticking various materials or objects on to a surface): The students decorated the hall with funny collages.
college (n) (a school for higher and professional education): There is a College of Pharmacy in Sana'a University.
4. coma (n) (a state of long, unnatural, deep unconsciousness): The patient has slipped into a coma.
comma (the mark ',' in writing for showing a short pause): Put a comma between the two words.
5. comity (n) (friendly, polite, and respectful behavior and manners): He is esteemed for his comity.
committee (n) (a group of people chosen to do a particular job or duties): The Estimates Committee of the Parliament is touring the drought affected areas.

D) Idioms and Phrases
Use the following phrases in sentences
1. work of art; 2. under arrest; 3. arrange for;
4. get round; 5. get around to

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. antithetical to (directly opposed): His statements are antithetical to each other.
2. antithesis of (complete difference): The story illustrates the antithesis of death and life.
3. antipathy against (a deep dislike or hatred): His antipathy against the destitute is well known.
4. sympathy for (the ability to share the feelings of another): I have sympathy for your opinion.
5. sympathize with (feel pity): I sympathize with him on his misfortune.

IV. Grammar and Composition
A) Grammar
Choose the best answers
1. She is )) charming that everybody likes her.
a. so b. such c. very d. too
2. Before going to India, my father )) for an American bank for three years.
a. has worked b. has been working
c. worked d. works
3. You'll never )- who I met in the street today. Mrs. Jackson!
a. suppose b. guess
c. know d. find
4. Jane is a very good friend. I )) her for a long time.
a. have known b. knew
c. know d. had known
5. He was going to reply to her letter, but for various reasons he never got )- to it.
a. upto b. round to
c. over d. out of
6. They tried to prevent me )- going with them because they thought I had measles.
a. to b. from c. by d. for

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. I thought this dress looked really nice in the shop, but now I wish I hadn't bought it.
2. The good thing is that the village is very quiet, but on the other hand there aren't any shops.
3. The quicker we get going, the sooner we'll finish.
4. Sheila succeeded in getting the manager's approval for the new project.
5. There's a man standing on the street corner who looks very suspicious.

B) Composition: Paragraph Writing
Expand the idea contained in the proverb

Last week's topic
Some people find it convenient to overlook their own limitations and blame others for their own mistakes. They would refuse to admire the truth if it amounts to admit their own limitations and if it affects them adversely. This is true of a bad workman who has not mastery over his craft and obviously has shortcomings. But he wouldn't admit his failure and would tend to attribute it to some other agency. He would ascribe the cause of low quality of work to the poor quality of material provided to him. This is clearly a case of evasion, self-deception and tendency to pass the buck. On the other hand, a person who is honest, sincere and truthful would first try to improve his craftsmanship. However, if there is any lacunae or pitfall, despite best of his efforts, he would be upright and straightforward to own responsibility for it and not take recourse to lame excuses to escape accusations. Moreover, a skilled craftsman knows how to turn disadvantage into advantage and make the best use of the resources available to him.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“And Allah has power
over all things”
S3: A165

VI. Words of Wisdom
“Do thy duty that lies nearest thee; which thou knowest to be a duty!
The second duty will already become clearer.”
)Thomas Carly