Improve Your English – 222 [Archives:2004/710/Education]

February 9 2004

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and expressions (62):
Birthday wishes (II)

The sweet aroma of birthday becomes sweeter still by the sincere and loving wishes of friends, relatives and well-wishers. Birthday wishes remind us to make our own life sublime and beautiful through a harmonious blend of hardwork and optimization of the spark of creativity in us.

– “The best kind of Birthday is the one, that's special right from the start and one that fulfills all the hopes and dreams, that are so dear to your heart.” You are someone who's remembered with warm and caring thoughts all year round and now is the time to hope that your special day is the start of a wonderful future, filled with special happiness just for you. With love on your Birthday.
– Thoughts of those we care about can always make us smile because the special times we've shared make life seem worthwhile. And as I am thinking of you now, I wonder if you guess how many times the happy thoughts of you has brought me happiness.
– Just hope your Birthday is happy in that special kind of way that makes a Birthday so unique from any other day. And hoping, too, all through the year that everything you do will make each day the kind of day that means the most to you.
– Wishing a great Birthday to a person who plays so many parts on the stage called 'Life': a wonderful human being, a caring person, a loving mate and many more. Oh dear! You are a real treasure.
– A Birthday holds the promise of the gifts time has in store. Birthdays bring to mind the good things we've gathered in the days we've left behind. Hope each day brings more joy and happiness and makes all your special dreams come true.
– It's a perfect time to say that you're always thought of in a very special way and with these thoughts come wishes for good luck, good cheer, good health, warmth, joy and beauty, not only now, but every day throughout the coming year.
– Have a great Birthday, one that gives you innumerable reasons, to look forward to your next Birthday with hope and joy. Hope your Birthday turns out to be a wonderful blend of surprises, joy and happiness that lend to your heart a special warmth that lasts throughout the day, and also till your next one is here.
– Wishes of the best kind can never really suffice for a person as rare as you and extraordinarily nice. Happiness and good fortune, good health and good cheer, not only on your Birthday but throughout the coming year.

II. How to say it correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences.
1. You must work hardly because your exam is round the corner.
2. He seems to be enough rich to buy a car.
3. My tooth has been paining for the past five days.
4. Afrah secured cent per cent marks and topped the list.
5. It is 8 o'clock in my watch.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. The doctor told the patient that prevention is better than cure.
2. As soon as the boy saw the snake, he started crying.
3. His desire was great, his prayers were sincere.
4. One must do one's duty honestly.
5. Being dishonest, he disliked my boss.

III. Increase your word power
(A) How to express it in one word.
1) A hackneyed and trite literary phrase or saying.
2) A disease that spreads through actual contact.
3) Some one who is a sneering critic of everything.
4) An expert who understands the value of art.
5) Inability of a person to do without alcoholic drinks.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1) A hospital for the mentally challenged: asylum (n.)
2) The art of beautiful handwriting: calligraphy (n.)
3) A person who is hundred years old: centenarian (n.)
4) An empty pretender of knowledge or skill: charlatan (n.)
5) A roundabout way of expressing things: circumlocution (n.)

(B) Foreign words and phrases
Give the sources of origin and meanings of the following

1) ultra vires 2) via media 3) vice versa 4) vis-a-vis 5) viva voce

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1) prima facie (Lat.) on the first consideration seems to be true.
2) R.S.V.P (respondez sil vous plait) (Fr.) Reply if you please.
3) sine die (Lat.): Without fixing a date for the next meeting.
4) status quo (Lat.): the state in which it was.
5) terra incoginita (Lat.) An unknown country.

(C) Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1) horrible, horrific
2) manner, mannerism, mannerly
3) tasteful, tasty
4) politician, diplomat
5) celebration, cerebration

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1) does (aux. vb.) (3 of person sing pres.): Does the sentences make sense?
dose (n.) (something given or taken): His dose of flattery was a little too much.
2) spilt (vt.) (pp. of 'spill'): The milk has spilt on the flour.
split (vi.) (break or separate): The two friends have finally split.
3) precise (adj.) (exact in form, detail in measurements, time. etc.): However precise you may be in your calculation, the possibility of an error can not be altogether ruled out.
concise (adj.) (of a person, speech or style, of writing in few words, brief, giving much information etc.): I have a concise Oxford dictionary.
4) some time (adv.) (at some time): I saw him some time in September.
sometimes (adv.) (now and then; from time to time): Sometimes we go on a picnic, at other times we spend our holiday at home.
5) asperity (n.) (harshness of manner): He spoke with an incredible degree of asperity.
aspersion (n.) (An unkind or harmful remark)
It is unfair on your part to cast aspersion on his character

(D). Idioms and phrases
Illustrate the meanings of the following in sentences.
1) to read between the lines
2) to turn over a new leaf.
3) to take the bull by the horns.
4) to win laurels.
5) a storm in a teacup.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1) to see eye to eye with (agree): After their father's death, the brothers do not see eye to eye with one another about the partition of the paternal property.
2) to play ducks and drakes (waste): In the absence of any proper guidance, he played ducks and drakes with the inherited money.
3) to put the cart before the horse (to do a thing in a wrong way): Any attempt at exam reform without first restructuring the curriculum is like putting the cart before the horse and asking it to drag.
4) to have too many irons in the fire (to have too many things in hand): Taking care of the family, the job and the studies at the same time, she has too many irons in the fire.
5) to kill two birds with one stone (to accomplish two tasks in one attempt): Hamid aims at doing the fieldwork and meeting his family during his next trip to Yemen. That is, he wants to kill two birds with one stone.

IV. Grammar and Composition
(A) Grammar
Read the following passage about small pox. Then fill in the blanks with one of the words from the list above it.

victim, symptom, spread, disease, died, epidemics

For thousands of years, small-pox was a terrifying ___(1)____ which threatened people in every continent, and there were ___(2)_____ which killed millions of people. It is believed that the diseases began in China and then ____(3)____ slowly to the other continents. The first known ______(4)_____ was Rameses V, the pharaoh of Egypt, who showed all the main ____(5)____ of the disease including the terrible rash, and who____(6)____ of it in 1157 BC.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1) The bank has agreed to give the company a loan of 20,000 $ which must be repaid by the end of next year.
2) There were a lot of gifts (presentations) for him on the Eid day.
3) I don't suppose you could lend me your bike for a couple of hours, could you?
4) You can bring the music system back if there is any thing wrong with it, but you must bring the cash memo with you to prove that you bought it here.
5) I'm playing badminton this afternoon, but my racket's broken. Could I borrow yours?

(B) Composition
Expand the central idea embedded in the saying
53.Cowards die many times before their death

Last week's topic
52.Cut your coat according
to your cloth
A prudent man always tries to live within his means. He has a realistic understanding of his limited means. Rather than living beyond his means he makes the best use of the existing resources he has. He has no desire to squander his means to show off or give himself airs and eventually run into debt. Human wants are unlimited. But a wise man decides his priorities and cuts down on unnecessary or wasteful expenditure. With far sight he saves something to meet the unforeseen demands of future contingencies or emergencies. He gives up false pretensions and leads a contented life as permitted by his circumstances. He accepts life on its own terms and doesn't overstep his resources limits. Thus he avoids an opulent life that aims at merely satisfying his ago and settles down to a life of calm moderation, not one of obsessive ostentation.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“Allah is enough for a protector
And Allah is enough for a helper.”

VI. Words of wisdom
“I am a happy man, indeed. I visit the pure land as often as I like: I am there and I'm back”