Improve Your English – 224 [Archives:2004/714/Education]

February 23 2004

I. What to Say
Situations and expressions (62):
Birthday wishes (IV)

Birthday makes us feel more responsible to ourselves and responsive to our well-wishers. It is not only an occasion of celebration or merriment but a solemn reminder of the milestones crossed. At the same time it instills into us the resolve or the grit to tread the road ahead with the capital of the accumulated wisdom of the years rolled by.

– Today is your Birthday and I'm thinking of you so much for all the love and care you show and gently my heart you always touch. May all the life's best be always yours for today and forever.
– The higher the faith, the higher we rise. This Birthday greeting comes with love and wishes, too, for all the happiness in the world that you deserve, today and all the year through. May your Birthday be special in many ways.
– This belated wish comes your way with hopes that your Birthday turned out to be really wonderful and you had the best time of your life. After all, a special person like you simply deserves the best.
– Your Birthday is a special day which reminds exclusively of you. It isn't everyday that I celebrate you, the person you are, the joy you spread. This comes your way, to tell you my friend, that I cherish the gift of your nearness. Wish you a great Birthday.
– Loving you on your Birthday. If you wish for success, let your dreams overtake your abilities. Hope your Birthday's just delightful and your year is perfect, too.
– It's time to wish you one of the nicest days anyone could have because you are one of the nicest persons any one could know.
– “A Birthday is a time to reflect on cherished memories, a time to treasure the remembrance of the happiest times and special people.” Thinking of you with lots of love and lots of warm memories, too of all the special qualities that make up wonderful you.
– Endless love. Wishing you a day filled with sunshine and laughter and love.
– Just happy Birthday from the heart because that's where you stay, sweet heart!

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. You should avail of the opportunity without fail.
2. Yemen not only represents a cradle of an ancient civilization but is a confluence of cultures.
3. Everyone must perform their duty.
4. He always sits in the center of the class.
5. The murderer was hung till death.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Please open your books at page forty two.
2. The Accountant has signed the salary bill.
3. It is hoped that the Dean will heed our complaints.
4. In my opinion (according to me), Yemen is steadily progressing.
5. I invited Amin, Ahmed and others to my birthday party.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. A state of mental wariness caused by lack of interest and having nothing to do.
2. Writing inscribed on a tomb.
3. Fruit-eating animals.
4. Meat-eating animals.
5. The study of man as an animal.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Account of facts relating to formation and meaning of a word: etymology (n)
2. Science of production of healthy offsprings: eugenics (n)
3. A personal peculiarity of temperament, an unusual trait: eccentricity (n)
4. Behavior of a person who wants to be looked at and admired: exhibitionism (n)
5. The doctrine that shares a deep concern for the individual and shows a distrust of philosophical idealism: existentialism (n)

(B) Foreign words and expressions
Give sources of origin and meanings of the following
1. deixis 2. denouement 3. diachronic
4. synchronic 5. dialysis

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. cacophony (Gk. 'dissonance'): a mixture of unpleasant, loud sounds which are out of tune.
2. calendar (Lat. 'calendae'): a system which names, arranges, and numbers each day of each month of the year.
3. carol (It. 'carola': 'a ring or round dance): a religious song of joy and praise, especially sung at Christmas.
4. causerie (Fr. 'causer' 'to talk, convers'): an informal talk, essay or article particularly on literary topics.
5. chorus (Gk. 'dance'): a group of people who sing together.

(C) Words commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. contact, contract 2. air, heir
3. lesson, lessen 4. metal, mettle
5. sore, sour, soar

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. personal (adj) (private, individual):This is my personal opinion.
personnel (n) (staff): Security personnel are keeping vigil on the defense establishment.
2. content (n) (the condition of being satisfied): I am content with what Allah has given me.
contents (n) (list of the matter in a book): I quickly ran my eyes on the contents page of the new book.
3. medium (n) (that by which something is done): Press is a powerful medium for creating public awareness
media (n) (the newspapers, television, and radio; mass media): The news has been flashed both in the print media and the electronic media.
4. heat (n) (hotness): Delhi reels under prickly heat during the summer.
temperature (n) (degree of heat and cold): The nurse took the temperature of all the patients.
5. rib (n) (a bone round the chest): He is undergoing treatment for rib fracture.
rip (vt) (pull, tear): Please rip the cover of the envelope.

(D) Idioms and phrases
Bring out the meaning of the following in sentences
1. to fight shy of 2. to gild the pill
3. to nip in the bud 4. other fish to fry
5. go to roost

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. not worth his salt (a good-for-nothing fellow): He has to prove himself if he wants to allay criticism that he is not worth his salt.
2. to play with edged tools (a man who has to do with a matter which requires delicate handling): By interfering in their personal affairs, you are indeed playing with edged tools.
3. to put a spoke in one's wheel (to obstruct progress, to prove a serious barrier or hindrance): He was going ahead with his plans, but bank's refusal to finance his project put a spoke in his wheel.
4. to set Thames on fire (to do something extraordinary of brilliant): He is mediocre and cannot be expected to set Thames on fire.
5. to take people by storm (captivate, to win success): His scintillating musical performance on stage took the packed audience by storm.

IV. Grammar and Composition
(A) Grammar
Match up the words in the three columns to show who normally does each of the activities. Then write a sentence using the passive form of the verb, with the words you have matched.
potatoes cook pilots
coal ride bankers
eyes dig out authors
food grow secretaries
books catch opticians
letters fly miners
horses test jockeys
portraits type out detectives
money paint chefs
planes lend artists
criminals write farmers

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. I think you're mistaken. I'm not Fuad, I'm his brother!
2. Don't blame me for what happened. It wasn't my fault.
3. The telephone bill was sent to you in error.
4. The number of traffic offences committed in the city increases each year.
5. You've made the same error six times in this homework.
6. Did you know that it is an offence to park your car in the 'No Parking Zone'?
7. He made an error of judgement when he decided to leave his present job.
8. He's not perfect, but I love him inspite of his faults.

fault is something that makes a person, thing, etc. imperfect.
error is something done wrongly, an example of bad behavior.
mistake is wrong opinion, thought, idea or act.
offence is wrong doing.
crime is breaking of a rule.

(B) Composition: Paragraph Writing
Expand the idea contained in the maxim

55. Discretion is the
better part of valor

Last week's topic

54. Character is destiny
Man is the shaper of his own destiny, maker of his own fate. Through his perseverant efforts he can carve out his golden future. He should be aware of his own potential and invest every moment and all the resources he has to reap a rich harvest. In other words, he proceeds from being to becoming with plenty of self-confidence. On the other hand, there are some people who are victims of indolence and inaction. They believe that whatever happens is an inevitable outcome of a blind fate and put implicit faith in the theory of determinism. Such people tend to procrastinate and while away their time and energy. But a man of action sets a goal and persistently marches towards the goal with single minded zeal, enthusiasm, devotion and dedication. His invincible will power coupled with unfaltering moral strength lead him on the path of glory. Thus he becomes the architect of his own destiny.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
VI. Words of Wisdom
“Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things.”
)Frank A. Clark