Improve Your English – 201 [Archives:2003/668/Education]

September 15 2003

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and Expressions (55)
Expressing emotions (IIX)

In so far as emotion and thought constitute its staple content, poetry has been one of the most apt forms for the expression of emotions. This fact is brought to focus by Pritchard when he says “Poetry, as a rule, is the expression of the emotions at their highest pitches while prose fitly expresses normal and ordinary events.” Admittedly, poetry gives permanence to moments of ecstasy and exaltation. It gives form to sensations of excitement and enthusiasm. It has been our endeavor to present through this column a selection of immortal lines from the annals of English poetry to facilitate a proper appreciation of a spectrum of emotional expressions through the texture of poetry. Here are a few more extracts which are expected to augment enjoyment and appreciation of the subtleties of emotion.

• There’s nought in this life sweet
If a man were wise to see’t,
But our melancholy
O sweetest Melancholy!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley;
Nothing’s so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.
J. Fletcher: Melancholy
• But you may stay yet here a while
To blush and gently smile
And go at last.
R. Herrick: To Blossoms
• Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness;
A. Marvell: Thoughts in a Garden
• Happy the man, whose wish and care
a few paternal acres bound
Content to breathe his native air
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In his own ground
Bleast, who can unconcern’dly find
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
A. Pope: Ode on Solitude
• With heavy sighs I often hear
You mourn my hapless woe;
But sure with patience I can bear
A loss I never can know.
Then let me not what I cannot have
My cheer of mind destroy
Whilst thus I sing, I am a king
Although a poor blind boy.
C. Cibber: The Blind Boy
• Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor.
T. Gray: Elegy
• O My Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And fare thee weel, my only Luve
And far thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.
R. Burns
• Yet, ah! Why should they know their fate,
Since sorrow never comes too late.
And happiness too swiftly flies?
Thought would destroy their paradise!
No more; – Where ignorance is bliss,
’Tis folly to be wise.
T. Gray: Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College

II. How to Say it Correctly
1. We walked till the river and back.
2. I was hearing her sweet song.
3. Can you supply me all I need?
4. We remained in a very good hotel.
5. The murderer was caught and hung.

Answers to last week’s questions
1. He asked me what games I played.
2. I told him not to come on Monday.
3. Honesty is the best policy.
4. I asked him whether he was going.
Note: where ‘or not’ is implied, ‘whether’ must be used, not ‘if’. Unlike ‘whether’, if does not expect a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ reply.
Ex: “I shall speak to him if he comes.”
5. Look! Two boys are fighting.
Note: The present continuous (and not the simple present) must be used to an action going on at the time of speaking.

III. Increase Your Word Power
A) How to express it in one word
1. Attack the good reputation of.
2. Thinking and acting in a way that shows an expectation of being defeated.
3. The act of deserting a political party to join an opposing one.
4. A person in a law trial against whom a charge is brought.
5. To deceive so as to get something unlawfully.

Answers to last week’s questions
1. A written and signed agreement concerning the ownership of land or property: deed of covenant (n)
2. having firm roots or strongly fixed in ones nature: deep-rooted or deep-seated (adj)
3. To decrease in area, force, range: de-escalate (vt)
4. In actual fact, thought not perhaps according to law: defacto (adj)
5. Misappropriation of money entrusted to one: defalcation (n)

B) Foreign phrases
Give the sources of origin and meanings of the following phrases
1. meter
2. metonymy
3. mime
4. mimesis
5. mnemonic

1. maxim (Lat. ‘propositio maxima’ = ‘a greatest theme): A proposition consisting of a pithy, succinct statement which contains a precept or a general truth about human nature.
2. melodrama (Gk. ‘song drama’): A type of play full of exciting and sudden change of events.
3. metanoia (Gk. ‘after thought, change of mind’): A figurative device in which a statement is made, and then withdrawn, or lessened in its impact.
Ex: ‘I’ll murder you. You will be punished.’
4. metaphor (Gk. ‘carrying from one place to another’): A figure of speech in which a comparison in implicit.
5. metastasis (Gk. ‘changing’): A cursory treatment of a matter, a glossing over as if it were of no importance.

C) Words often confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. sometime, sometimes 2. orchard, meadow
3. truism, altruism 4. travel, travail
5. shop, soap

Suggested answers to last week’s questions
1. loose (adj) (unbound): I love to wear loose clothings during the summer months.
lose (adj) (to bring to ruin or destruction): I have lost confidence in him.
2. quiet (adj) (still, calm): I love the quiet ambience of this place.
quite (adv) (completely): It’s quite warm outside.
3. hope (vt) (to want something to happen): I hope I am not disturbing you.
expect (vt) (think something will happen): We expect that the war will end soon.
4. rob (vt) (take personal property, money etc. by using force): The man was robbed of his belongings at knife point.
You can’t rob me of my happiness.
steal (vt) (to take another’s property in a secret or surreptitiously): All his valuables were stolen last night when he was away.
5. amputation (n) (act of cutting someone’s arm, leg, etc. by surgery): His left arm was amputated after the accident.
imputation (n) (a statement that someone is guilty of a crime or wrong doing): It is the first time that he had to face such imputations from a subordinate.

IV. Grammar and Composition
A) Grammar
Choose a suitable word from the list below to complete the sentences.
Currency, cost, salaries, wealth, expenses, change
1. The —— of sending holiday postcards to all our friends was enormous.
2. When you go abroad, make sure you take enough foreign —— with you.
3. Could you give me some —— for the telephone, please?
4. A country’s —— is measured not only in financial terms but also in respect of its natural resources.
5. When you travel on business, you are allowed to claim ——.
6. Teachers’ —— are lower in this country than in many other parts of the world.

Suggested answers to last week’s questions
1. The injured motorist was taken to hospital.
2. The man was suffering from severe damage.
3. The soldiers captured the terrorists without harming the hostages.
4. Cigarette smoking can ruin your health.
5. It’s only an injection! The needle won’t hurt you.
6. You’ve spoiled the surprise by telling him!

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

Last week’s topic:
Men of substance are polite and modest. Enlightenment endows them with humility because they have gained a wide and deep perception about the affairs of men. But those who are devoid of any intrinsic merit or have a little learning love to show themselves off. Sometimes this is a compensatory strategy to hide their ignorance. Such men are likened to empty vessels witch produce a loud sound if one strikes them. Men of learning, by contrast, are vessels filled with some matter and do not emit such loud sound. Thus an empty vessel is a metaphor for unskilled, ignorant people who try to deceive the world into believing that they are not hollow, but solid. A perceptive and pragmatic person knows the real worth behind their deceptive appearances.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“Of those who answered
The Call of Allah
And the Messenger,
Even after being wounded,
Those who do right
And refrain from wrong
Have a great reward”

VI. Words of Wisdom
“They who forgive most shall be most forgiven.”
—P. J. Baitey