Improve Your English – 232 [Archives:2004/730/Education]

April 19 2004

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and Expressions (65)
Expressing regret, repentance
“To err is human, to forgive divine.” Omissions and commissions are an inevitable part of life. However, a feeling of guilt should be followed by a sincere note of regret or repentance. Notes of regret are phrased in polite language. Some examples of these are as follows:

– I'm terribly sorry for what I've done. A mistake causes sadness but forgiveness brings happiness.
– I'm sorry. I wish I could express my feelings in words and tell you how sorry I am for all that has happened, and I hope you'll give me chance to make things right again.
– I'm really very sorry from the depth of my heart and I mean it. Sometimes I wonder how you put up with me, especially the way I have been lately It seems every time I turn around, I'm saying or doing something I shouldn't, nor apologizing for it. I'm not going to give you an excuse for my behavior, because there isn't any. But I hope you know how sorry I am for the way I've been and how much I appreciate your patience and understanding. I realize that I am lucky to have you in my life.
– Especially to say 'Please forgive me.' Just a little word 'sorry' with a meaning that's so sincere and that's so comforting, too – but it says so much when they are sent to someone so very thoughtful as you. Please forgive me.
– Sorry. It is so hard to find the right words to say when somebody you care is hurting, more so, when you know that you could be one of the causes of the other person's pain and anguish. These just aren't enough words to describe the feelings I want to share. I didn't mean to frighten you with my intensity, but, I guess, I did. I'm so very sorry.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. I have read Shelley's poetry who was a romantic poet.
2. Between you and I, Majeed is not to be trusted.
3. He has a cat whom he loves very much.
4. Be respectful to the older members of the family.
5. He turned a deaf ear to the advices of his father.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. He would not have made that mistake if he had consulted the dictionary.
2. The choice is between glorious death and shameful life.
3. Dr. Mohammed is too angry to withdraw the report.
4. He need not worry, everything will be all right.
5. Rich countries do not care for the poor.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. Government by the rich.
2. A literary theft of ideas, words, etc.
3. The practice of a woman having more than one husband.
4. Operation of a body after death.
5. Ancestor of a person, animal or plant.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. A statement showing a remarkable degree of prediction: prophesy (n)
2. The study of ancient writing and inscriptions: paleography (n)
3. That which relates to common people: plebian (adj)
4. One who is indifferent to art and literature: philistine (n)
5. Science of artificial rearing of fish: pisciculture (n)

(B) Foreign phrases and expressions
Give the source of origin and meaning of the following:
1. idyll 2. imagery 3. index
4. interlude 5. invention

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. hyphaeresis (Gk. 'taking away from beneath'): In general the term denotes the omission of a letter from a word: 'o'er' for 'over'; 'e'en' for 'even'; 'heav'n' for 'heaven'.
2. hypotaxis (Gk. 'under arrangement') Subordination; syntactic relationship between dependent and independent constructions, e.g. 'He who knows will tell us.'
3. ibidem (Lat. 'in the same place, in that very place'): Often abbreviated to 'ibid', the term indicates a reference to or quotation from 'the same place' in a book or chapter or on a page.
4. icon (Gk. 'image'): A quasi-literary term used to describe the depiction of an object or person in figurative language.
5. idem (Lat. 'the same'): Often abbreviated to 'id', it denotes the same word or name or title already referred to.

(C ) Words commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words:
1. battle, war, fight 2. measure, major
3. confess, admit 4. conscious, conscientious
5. right, rite

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. tell (vt) (give information concerning): Don't tell me such cock and bull stories
tale (n) (story): 'Life is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.'
tail (n) (movable part at the end of a bird, animal, etc.): Dogs wag their tail when they are pleased.
2. umpire (n) (person who acts as a judge to see that rules of the game are obeyed): The players obeyed the decisions of the umpire.
empire (n) (group of countries ruled by an emperor): Once upon a time the sun never set from the British empire.
3. veil (n) (covering to hide a woman's face): Muslim women wear veils.
vale (n) (valley): The vale of Kashmir is a paradise on earth.
4. addicted (vt, usually passive) (give up to a habit): He is addicted to viewing films.
devoted (vt) (give one's energy to something or somebody): He has devoted all his time and energy to socially useful and productive work.
5. artist (n) (person who does something with skill and good taste): Shaw is an artist in words.
artiste (n) (professional singer, actor, dancer, etc.): The artiste left the audience thrilled and spellbound.
artisan (n) (skilled workman in industry or trade): The government has implemented a scheme to encourage the traditional artisans.

(C) Idioms and phrases
Bring out the meanings of the following in illustrative sentences
1. a thankless job 2. snake in the grass
3. lion's share 4. lame excuse
5. to keep abreast of

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. a square deal (justice): The government is trying their best to give a square deal to the weaker sections of the society.
2. to save one's skin (to protect oneself): The accused fabricated stories to save his skin.
3. small fry (person of no importance): What am I? Only a small fry in a huge organization.
4. scapegoat (person blamed or punished for the mistakes of others). He was made a scapegoat for the wrongdoings of his superiors.
5. a stepping stone (source of advancement): Make your success a stepping stone for further and greater success.

IV. Grammar and Composition
(A) Grammar
Choose the best answers

There —— left for us to eat.
A. isn't anything B. isn't nothing
C. isn't something D. is anything
E. aren't anything
2. The time now is —— to two.
A. a quarter B. a quarter minute
C. quarter minutes D. quarter hour
E. a quarter hour
3. Yesterday Mohammed —— two apples but now he has only one
A. have B. had
C. was having D. has E. did have
4. Last week some men —— a hole in the road near the school.
A. dug B. dag
C. dig D. digged E. digs
6. I have a car and he has ——
A. also one. B. too two.
C. one, two. D. one, too. E. too also.

Suggested answers to lat week's questions
1. Our firm has been taken over by a larger company.
2. Why does he always show off and try to impress people?
3. I'm counting on you to organize the event, so please don't let me down.
4. The plane took off on time, much to our surprise!
5. The car broke down when we were on our way up north.
6. I hear they don't see each other anymore. Why did they break up?
7. We must check out of the hotel by 10:30 a.m.
8. I'd like to get away as early as I can to miss the traffic.
9. The champion was knocked out in the second round by a much younger competitor.
10. How did the thieves manage to get away after they had robbed the bank?

(B) Composition
Expand the ideas contained in the maxim
63: God helps those who
help themselves

Last week's topic
62. Flattery brings friends,
truth enemies
Flattery is praise some one too much or insincerely in order to please. Most people are susceptible to listening to flattery. They tend to shower favor on those who flatter them. Flattery is good to hear and, more often than not, does not let the persons flattered to exercise their discretion and discriminate between insincere eulogy and sincere appreciation. On the other hand, criticism even though it is based on truth seems unpalatable or unsavory because it is hard to face the truth. But one should be scrupulous and judge things in proper perspective, rather than be swayed away by the surface sweetness of flattery. Worship of the wealthy is a motivated act for fulfillment of petty, selfish ends. But honest and truthful criticism, if taken in a constructive, healthy spirit, helps one to introspect and do some soul searching that may end in correction of one's flaws, leading to self-improvement.
It would then seem clear that a flatterer is an enemy in the guise of a friend and an honest critic is a true friend because he wants his friend to be immune to foibles.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
” If any one earns
sin, he earns it against
His own soul: For Allah
Is full of knowledge and wisdom.”
S4: A111

VI. Words of Wisdom
“Your future depends on many things, but mostly on you.”
)Frank Tyger