Improve Your English – 231 [Archives:2004/728/Education]

April 12 2004

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and Expressions (64)
Wedding wishes (V)

Marriage is a solemn pledge to walk hand in hand, in the true spirit of companionship. It is a commitment to face the challenges of life and not be deterred from the avowed goal under any circumstance. Mutual trust, respect, understanding, tolerance and a spirit of adjustment constitute the cornerstone of this lasting relationship. As we conclude our presentation of wedding wishes, we wish all young couples best of happiness and luck to get the best out of the union of their hearts.

– On this very special day that means so much to both of you it's a pleasure to send best wishes and congratulate you, too. With warm wishes on your wedding day.
– As you stand before the altar, may you truly be aware that God's own love surrounds you and you both are in His Care – and may the Giver of all Gifts Who gave you to each other, bless with happiness that love and life you share together. May God bless you on your marriage.
– Congratulations for the bride and the groom. Wishing you the joy of recalling special memories, the beauty of continued togetherness and happiness of being in love.
– Your wedding day is here. What a wonderful day, a time for enjoyment in all kinds of way So may all life's pleasures just knock at your door to bring you more gladness than you've known before.
– A wedding prayer: We ask you Lord, to bless this couple on their Wedding Day and make them truly one in your perfect will and way.
– The secret of a marriage that's filled with happiness is putting love in all you do and asking God to bless each moment spent together as partners and as friends, “for a marriage touched by Heaven is a union without end.” May the promise of the glad beginning be sweetly fulfilled through all your years as husband and wife. Best wishes always.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. He would not have made that mistake if he would have consulted the dictionary.
2. The choice is between glorious death or shameful life.
3. Dr. Mohammed is so disgusted to withdraw the report.
4. He needs not worry; everything will be all right.
5. The rich countries do not care about the poor.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. It is unfortunate that he is bent on (upon) doing evil.
2. Many a battle was fought on the soil of India
3. I am very glad to see you.
4. The master as well as his servants was asleep.
5. I shall have reached the station before the train arrives.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. A statement showing a remarkable degree of prediction.
2. The study of ancient writings and inscriptions.
3. That which relates to the common people.
4. One who is indifferent to art and literature.
5. Science of artificial rearing of fish.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. The art of spelling words correctly: orthography (n)
2. Science of languages: philology (n)
3. Science of diseases: pathology (n)
4. Art of postage stamp collecting: philately (n)
5. Study of vocal, natural sounds: phonology (n)

(B) Foreign words and expressions
Give the source of origin and meaning of the following:
1. hyphaeresis
2. hypotaxis
3. ibidem
4. icon
5. idem

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. holophrasis (Gk. 'entire phrase'): The use of one word to express a number of ideas.
2. hubris (Gk. 'wanton insolence'): Insolent pride or feeling of security.
3. hybrid (L. 'half-breed, mongrel): A word formed from a stem or word in one language plus a suffix or prefix from another. Ex. Television (Gk. + Lat.)
4. hymn (Gk. 'song in praise of a god or hero'): Song of praise to God.
5. hyperbole (Gk 'over casting'): A figure of speech which contains an exaggeration for emphasis.

(C) Words Commonly Confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. tell, tale, tail
2. umpire, empire
3. veil, vale
4. addicted, devoted
5. artist, artiste, artisan

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. roll (vt) (cause to move along on wheel): The bicycle rolled down the mountain.
role (n) (actor's part in a play): Sir Richard Attenborough admirably played the role of Gandhi in the Oscar winning film 'Gandhi'.
rule (n) (law or custom which guides or control behavior or action): There is strict rule of law in Yemen.
2. sail (n) (sheet of canvas spread to catch the wind and move a boat or ship forward): The ship set sail in the sea.
sale (n) (exchange of goods for money): The sale of his old car made him sad.
sell (vt) (give in exchange for money): The new edition of the book sold like hot cakes.
3. suit (n) (case in a law-court): He filed an eviction suit against his tenant.
suite (n) (set of rooms in a hotel): Please reserve a suite for me in a good hotel.
4. steal (vt) (take somebody else's property secretly and unlawfully):
One who steals my money steals a trash
One who steal s my name steals everything.
steel (n) (hard alloy of iron and other elements): The government proposes to set up a steel plant with German collaboration.
still (adj) (without movement or sound): Wordsworth heard still, sad music of humanity in Nature.
5. tenor (n) (general meaning): The audience could get the tenor of what the speaker said.
tenure (n) (period of time): The tenure of office of the President is four years.

(D) Idioms and phrases
Bring out the meanings of the following in illustrative sentences
1. a square deal
2. to save one's skin
3. small fry
4. scapegoat
5. a stepping stone

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. utopian scheme (impracticable, unattainable): The hope of the government to eradicate corruption appears to be a utopian scheme.
2. to throw mud at (to speak badly of): You should refrain from throwing mud at others.
3. to take French leave (to take leave without due permission or information): He habitually takes French leave.
4. through thick and thin (under all circumstances): I have stood by my friend through thick and thin.
5. spick and span (neat and clean): How can you expect a bachelor's room to be spick and span?

IV. Grammar and Composition
Use each of the phrasal verbs below in its correct form to complete these sentences
break up knock out get away
let down check out take off
show off take over break down

1. Our firm has been )) by a larger company.
2. Why does he always )) and try to impress people?
3. I'm counting on you to organize the event, so please don't )) me ))
4. The plane )) on time, much to our surprise!
5. The car )) when we were on our way up north.
6. I hear they don't see each other any more. Why did they )).
7. We must )) of the hotel by 10:30 a.m.
8. I'd like to )) as early as I can to miss the traffic.
9. The champion was )) in the second round by a much younger competitor.
10. How did the thieves manage to )) after they had robbed the bank?

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. 'I think it's going to rain,' said Ramzy
2. 'Yes,' said Hayaf. 'Let's take our umbrellas.'
3. 'I shan't take one,' said Basham. 'I don't think it will rain.'
4. 'You will get wet if it rains,' said Ramzy.
5. 'No, I won't,' said Basham. 'I shall borrow yours!'

(B) Composition: Paragraph writing
Expand the idea contained in the maxim
61: Flattery brings friends,
truth enemies

Last week's topic
62: Fame is the last infirmity
of a noble mind
Tacitus has rightly remarked: 'Love of fame is the last weakness which even the wise resign.' Fame is, indeed, one of the greatest weaknesses of most men. Little do they realize that the bubble of reputation is transient and as Pushkin asserted, 'a colored patch on a ragged garment'. Yet they undertake strenuous efforts to achieve it, by fair means or foul. They tend to forget what Thomas Carlyle has observed: 'Fame, we may understand, is no sure test of merit, but only a probability of such; it is an accident, not a property of a man.'

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“If any one does evil
Or wrongs his own soul
But afterwards seeks
Allah's forgiveness, he will find
Allah Oft-forgiving
Most merciful”
S4: A110

VI. Words of Wisdom
“Every big accomplishment is a series of little accomplishments.”
)David Schwartz