Improve Your English – 200 [Archives:2003/666/Education]

September 8 2003

I. What to Say
Situations and Expressions (55)
Expressions of emotions (IX)

Hazlitt, an eminent English essayist sees poetry as “the language of imagination and passions. T.S Eliot, one of the greatest stalwarts of modern poetry, emphasized the primary function of poetry which is “not intellectual, but emotion”. He would further add that “great poetry expresses in perfect language, some permanent human impulse”. What every poet starts from is his own emotion. Shakespeare transmutes his personal and private agonies into something rich and strange, universal and impersonal.
It need not be overemphasized that deep emotionalism is the soul of poetry. We present below some more lines of poetry which convey the throbbings of the poet's heart.

– My joy, my grief, my hope, my love
Did all within this circle move.
E. Walter: On a Girdle
– Bid me despair, and I'll despair,
Under that cypress tree
Or bid die, and I will dare
E'en Death, to die for tree
R. Herrick: To Anthea
– But Beauty's self she is
– Stonewalls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage:
Col. Lovelace: To Althea
– Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
Prythee, why so pale?
Quit, quit, for shame! This will not move,
This cannot take her;
If of herself she will not love,
Nothing can make her;
The Devil take her!
Sir J. Suckling: Encouragement to a Lover

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. He asked me what games did I play?
2. I told him to not come on Monday.
3. The honesty is the best policy.
4. I asked him if he was going.
5. Look! Two boys fight.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Babies grow very quickly.
Note: 'To grow' means 'to become bigger'
'To grow up' means 'to become an adult'.
2. What is the price of this watch?
Note: 'Price' is the amount of money paid by the customer.
But we can say 'How much does it cost?'
3. Only my brother and I are present.
Note: When a person is speaking about himself and others, he must mention the other person or persons first and himself later.
4. Neither of them went to school.
Note: 'Both' is changed to neither in a negative sentence.
5. The ship was sunk in the ocean.
Note: 'drown' is used in case of living beings only.
'Sink' is used for things, and it means to go down to the bottom of water.

III. Increase Your Word Power
A) How to express it in one word
1. A written and signed agreement usually concerning the ownership of land or property.
2. Having firm roots or strongly fixed in one's nature.
3. To cause to decrease in area, force, or range.
4. In actual fact, though not perhaps according to law.
5. Misappropriation of money entrusted to one.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Showing decorum, propriety, good taste, etc.: decorous (adj)
2. A thing or person used to live or tempt into danger or trap: decoy (n)
3. An official order, or decision of court: decree (adj)
4. Broken down or worn out by old age: decrepit (adj)
5. To speak against strongly and openly: decry (vt)

B) Foreign Phrases
Give the sources of origin and simple meanings of the following phrases
1. maxim 2. melodrama
3. metanoia 4. metaphor 5. metastasis

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. magnum opus (Lat. 'great work'): A major literary work, perhaps a writer's masterpiece.
Ex: Paradise Lost was Miton's magnum opus.
2. malapropism (Fr. 'mal a propos' = 'not to the purpose'): Socalled after Mrs. Malaprop, a character in Sheridan's The rivals (1773), who had a habit of using polysyllabic words incorrectly.
3. mal mariee (Fr. 'unhappily married'): Ex: She laments her mal mariee.
4. mantra (Indian religious chant): A magic formula. Ex: for the meteoric rise his mantra has been hard work.
5. maqama (an Arabic term for stories in rhymed prose): Abu al-Fadl Ahmed ibn al-Husain al-Hamadhani (967-1007) and Abu Mohammed al-Qasim al-Hariui (1054-1122) were masters of maqama.

C) Words Commonly Confused
Bring out meaning differences in the following pairs of words
1. loose, lose 2. quiet, quite 3. hope expect
4. rob, steal 5. amputation, imputation

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. recently (adv) (not long ago; lately): I have only recently begun to learn computer.
shortly (adj) (soon, in a little time): I shall travel to India shortly.
2. imprudent (adj): (unwise and thoughtless): It was an imprudent decision for him to resign from his present post.
impudent (adj) (shamelessly bold): He was impudent enough to show arrogance to the teacher.
3. preceding (adj) (that come just before in time or place): I am perturbed by the breakdown in law and order in the preceding weeks.
previous (adj) (happening, coming, or being earlier in the order): I had no previous experience of editing a news paper.
last (predet) (the one or ones after all others): The last two days before my travel were very hectic.
4. predictor (n) (something that describes a future happening in advance): The trend of recession is an unmistakable predictor that the economy is in doldrums.
predicator (n) (a sign that the states the existence of a quality): The conscience is a predicator of man as a rational being.
5. for (prep) (indicating destination): I left for India on 15 July.
fore (adj) (situated in the front; opp. of back): In a few years, Yemen will be in the forefront of progress and development in all fields.

D) Idioms and Phrases
Use the following phrase in sentences
1. lay down one's arms 2. take up arms
3. to be armed with 4. with open arms
5. a babe in arms

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. in anticipation (expectation; to provide for the probability of something happening): We are looking forward to his arrival in eager anticipation.
2. anterior to (coming before in time or position): The Administrative buildings are anterior to the Guest house.
3. posterior to (later in time or order): The staff quarters are posterior to the Rector's bungalow.
4. antagonistic to (opposed to): I fail to understand why he is antagonistic to me.
5. answer for (to be responsible for): I undertake to answer for your future prospects.

IV. Grammar and Composition
A) Grammar
Use the most suitable word from the one given below, in the correct form, to complete the sentences below.
Injury, damage, harm, hurt, spoil, ruin

1. The )) motorist was taken to hospital.
2. The man was suffering from severe ))
3. The soldiers captured the terrorists without )) the hostages.
4. Cigarette smoking can )) your health.
5. It's only an injection! The needle won't ))- you!
6. You've ))- surprise by telling him!

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. He tried to cheat in the exam; but he was caught.
2. He tried cheating in the exam; but he still got a very low mark.
3. I like to go to the cinema once a week; but I hardly ever get the chance.
4. I like going to the cinema; it helps me keep up-to-date with good films.
5. I stopped to talk to my neighbor yesterday; that's why I was late home.
6. I stopped talking to my neighbor; he kicked my dog.
7. I regret to tell you I don't like her; I know you do like her.
8. I regret telling you I don't like her; you immediately told her what I said!

B) Composition
Expand the idea contained in the proverb

Last week's topic

If one wants to achieve one's goal in life, one has to keep on trying consistently. In other words, consistency is the key to success. On the other hand, if one takes steps for performing a task in a disjointed or fragmentary manner, despite one's abilities and strength, success is very hard to be achieved. Therefore, one should fix up the aim firmly and start working towards fulfilling it, step by step, slowly but in an uninterrupted way, till the goal is reached. There is the proverbial story of a hare and a tortoise. The hare hopped fast, but intermittently, and lazily. The tortoise, on the other hand, proceeded slowly and steadily towards reaching his destination. It is small wonder that the hare, despite his speed, lost the race for lack of consistency; but the tortoise was rewarded for his single minded pursuit of the goal and consistent efforts although it was slower than the hare. The tortoise is a metaphor for relentless pursuit of the goal and teaches us a good moral to strive and march ahead actively and consistently to attain our objective.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“Avert death
From your own selves
If ye speak the truth.”
S3: A168

VI. Words of Wisdom
“Cleanliness is next to godliness”