Improve Your English – 215 [Archives:2003/696/Education]

December 22 2003

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
Associate Professor
College of Education, Mahweet
[email protected]
Tel: (01) 465396
Mobile: 73889013
P. O. Box 14533, Sana'a

I. What to Say
Situations and expressions (59):
Expressing condolence and comfort (I)

Bereavement is one of the worst experiences. Suffering the loss of the loved one is one of the saddest moments in one's life. At such a terrible moment, words of condolence, sympathy and comfort from friends and relatives go a long way to soothe the inflamed spirit of the bereaved because, as it is said, 'Sorrow shared is sorrow halved.' They make the bereaved feel that they are not alone at the moment of intense grief.
Condolence messages must be sincere, brief and appropriately worded. We present below a selection of condolence messages which are marked by sincerity of emotion and economy of expression.

– A message of comfort in the loss of your loved one. A life is measured by the joys one brings to others. Though sorrow comes to our lives when those who we love must part, love lives on for ever in warm memories of the heart. The warmly cherished memories which fill all hearts today are a special tribute to the beautiful life of our loved one.
– With sincere sympathy for the loss of your loved one. Within the heart that love has touched, no cherished moment's gone, for all that's bright and precious in memory lives on. Though others cannot truly share the loss that's come your way, our warmest thoughts and sympathy are with you today. And may it comfort you to know that one so dear to you is missed and well-remembered by so many others, too. Deepest sympathy.
– With sincere sympathy. May God give you the strength to face your great loss with courage and may the love and prayers of those who care bring the sunshine out for you once again.
– No matter how dark today maybe, there's always a brighter tomorrow. God knows that each of us would need some help from day to day and so He gave us prayer – a gift that smoothes our troubled way – and surely as He hears each prayer that's being said for you, He will bless your heart and send you strength as only He can do. With deepest sympathy!
– Your loved one made a difference. Take comfort in the many lives your loved one surely touched. Take comfort in the special ways your loved one meant so much. God is near during this difficult time. May His loving presence touch your heart, fill your soul, and bring you comfort. Deepest sympathies.
– In this time of sorrow may peace fill your heart and faith light your way. May hope turn your thoughts to a happier day.
– With deepest sympathy and warm thoughts. “A time of sorrow is easier to bear when others show how much they care.”
– “When the stream which overflowed the soul was passed away, a consciousness remained which it had left of memory, images and precious thoughts that shall not die, and cannot be destroyed.”

II. How to say it correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the sentences
1. The question of human cloning is still hanging in the fire.
2. You should keep yourself abreast with the happenings around you.
3. Learning by wrote is not real learning.
4. Can you lain aside your work for some time.
5. He talks as if he was my boss.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. The speaker would have cut a sorry figure, if he had not come prepared.
2. I would have taken him to task, if he had not apologized for his folly.
3. The two friends violently argued with each other.
4. Kashmir is the apple of discard between India and Pakistan.
5. Love of children is a great virtue in him.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express in one word.
1) That which cannot be reconciled.
2) That which cannot be recovered.
3) That which cannot be seen.
4) That which cannot be read.
5) That which cannot be heard.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1) That which cannot be destroyed: indestructible (adj.)
2) That which cannot be altered: irrevocable (adj.) or unalterable (adj.)
3) That which cannot be dispensed with: indispensable (adj.)
4) That which cannot be burnt: incombustible (adj.)

(B) Foreign phrases and expressions
Give the sources of origin and meanings of the following.
1) espouse 2) Errare est. humanum
3) ethos 4) etoile 5) estancia

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. en rapport (Fr.): In direct relation; in sympathy with.
2. en route (Fr.): On the road.
3. entente (Fr.): Understanding.
4. entrepreneur (Fr.): Builder.
5. en Ville (Fr.): In town.

(C) Words commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1) canvas, canvass 2) farmer, former
3) mail, male 4) Preposition, proposition
5) root, rout, route

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. story (n.) (an account of real or imaginary events): The story of the progress of human civilization is fascinating.
storey (n.) (floor or level in a building): I live on the first floor of a multi storeyed building.
2. vain (n.) (without use, value, meaning or result): I made a vain attempt to recover my lost purse.
vane (n.) (arrow or pointer on the top of the building, turned by the wind so as to show its direction): There is a vane on the top of the meteorological building.
vein (n.) (blood-vessel along which blood flows back to heart): This injection is meant to be given in the vein.
3. scene (n.) (place of an actual or imagined event): The scene of the ghastly murder presented an awful view.
seen (pp. of 'see'): Have you seen Socotra island?
4. dear (adj.) (loved, loveable): She is much attached to her dear mother.
deer (n.) (a kind of quick-running animal): There is a dear park here.
5. cattle (n. pl.) (bulls, cows, etc.): Cattle are grazing in the open.
kettle (n.) (metal vessel for boiling water): She is boiling water in the kettle.

(D) Phrases and Idioms
Illustrate the meaning of the following phrases in sentences.
1. a cold reception sheep 3.a bird's eye view 4. a burning question
5.a bed of roses.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. done for (ruined): If my enterprise fails, then I am done for.
2. a wild goose chase (fruitless endeavor): The effort of the police to nab the culprit ended in a wild goose chase.
3. a red letter day (an important day): 14th October is a red letter day for the Yemenis.
4. kith and kin (relatives and friends): He invited his kith and kin to his wedding.
5. a hard nut to crack (difficult task to deal with): The Palestine crisis is a hard nut to crack.

IV. Grammar and Composition
A. Grammar
Report the following short dialogues using 'ask if', 'ask to' or 'tell to'
1) 'Would you mind if I opened the window?' The boy said to the teacher.
2) 'Make sure that you look to the mirror before you turn right', the driving instructor said to me.
3) 'Please don't tell any one the news, because I want to keep it a secret,' Janet said to her sister.
4) 'Don't drive so fast!' said Henry to his wife.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
Noun Verb Adj.
injury injure injured
harm harm harmful
damage damage damaging
ruin ruin ruinous
hurt hurt hurtful
spoil spoil spoilt

1) The injured (adj.) motorist was taken to hospital.
2) The man was suffering from severe injuries (n.)
3) The soldiers captured the terrorist without harm (n.) to the hostages.
4) Cigarette smoking can damage / ruin (v.) your health.
5) It's only an injection! The needle won't hurt (v.) you.
6) You've spoiled (v.) the surprise by telling him.

B. Composition: Paragraph writing
Expand the central idea contained in the maxim
47. Old is gold

Last week's topic
46. Brevity is the soul of wit
A wise man is brief and measured in his speech. He doesn't talk uselessly or at random. He knows how to present his point precisely. He cuts down on unnecessary or irrelevant details. He has mastered the art of where to begin and where to end in a focussed manner so as to spare the hearer the boredom and monotony of a long speech. In other words, he is precise and deals with the cardinal issues with bare minimum details in a clear, concise and lucid manner. However, economy of expression shouldn't mean reduction of the essential facts. That is to say, a wise man does not sacrifice clarity or adequacy in the name of brevity. He knows what to say and how to present it. He scrupulously selects the essential points and puts it in a clear, straightforward manner without beating about the bush. However, one has to cultivate the art of efficient communication to be able to say succinctly what one intends to say.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
VI. Words of Wisdom
“I heard the bells on
Christmas Day
Their old, familiar,
Carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of Peace on earth,
Good-will to men.”