Improve Your English – 234 [Archives:2004/734/Education]

May 3 2004

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and Expressions: (66)
Mother's Day (I)

The name 'mother' conjures up in everyone's heart the image of a figure who is an embodiment of unbounded love, kindness and sacrifice. The celebrated American essayist Emerson rightly remarks “Men are what their mothers made them.” As an Yiddish Proverb says, “The warmest bed is mother's”. She is the only thing that retains eternal love under any and all conditions A mother laughs when the child laughs; cries when it cries; and lives when it lives. Mother is, indeed, a special gift from God to every child. As it is said by Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), the heaven lies at mothers' feet. It is our sacred duty to express our love and gratitude to the mother. In the fitness of things, Mother's Day is observed with solemnity and reverence.
A bouquet of humble offerings:
– Mother's love and care is beyond compare. Stars will stop shining and seas will have no water, but love will stay timeless and pure in the form of a Mother. Nothing hides from a mother, for she knows her child inside out; she feels pain; she senses restlessness and is always there to give comfort and care. Thank you mom for everything.
– It takes a smile that warms the heart and brightens up the day. It takes a way to knowing just the thing to do and say. It takes a lot of love and care and endless patience, too )it takes all that to make a mother as wonderful as you. Happy Mother's Day.
– This loving wish comes today for you, dear mother, with all the thanks that you deserve and more, for there's not a dearer mother than the one, all my love is for. Love you, mom!
– Heart to heart, soul to soul, a mother's bond with her child is that close, and nothing in heaven or on earth stands so wonderful, so loving as a mother. Affectionate Mother's Day wishes.

II. How to say it correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. The children were so eager to go to the circus that they were already before lunch.
2. Bill's father asked him to put the car in the garage, but Bill told him that he had all ready done so.
3. The doctor either advised me to eat less or to take more exercise.
4. We discovered that, on Sundays, there neither was a train nor a convenient bus for the journey.
5. Candidates must both answer the first question in Section A and the first question in Section B.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. A considerable number of Yemeni students are studying in India.
2. There were three trophies in the show case and the winners were allowed to choose anyone.
3. You can have them back, now, I've finished with them.
4. “Lay your guns down and lie on the floor”, ordered the bandit.
5. Mice got into the store and ate most of the grain.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. Person who helps even a stranger in difficulty.
2. Hospital, especially for patients with weak lungs, or the convalescent people.
3. Breeding of silk worm for the production of raw silk.
4. Speaking one's thoughts aloud.
5. One who walks in sleep.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. One who makes love without serious intentions: philanderer (n)
2. First or original example: prototype (n)
3. A form of work of art in which objects are glued to a backing to form a picture: collage (n)
4. False arguments intended to deceive others: sophism (n)
5. An offence against grammar or idiom: solecism (n)

(B) Foreign phrases and expressions
Give the source of origin and meaning of the following:
1. loco citato 2. magnum opus
3. malapropism 4. manifesto
5. manuscript

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. irony (Gk. 'dissimulation'): Irony is an oblique quality or mode of expression.
2. jeu d' espirit (Fr. 'play of the mind'): An epigram, witticism or brief flight of fancy, urbanely expressed. Oscar Wilde was particularly adept at them; as in these lines from A Woman of No Importance (1893):
Mrs. Allonby: They say, Lady Hunstanton, that when good Americans die they go to Paris.
Lady Hunstanton: Indeed? And when bad Americans die, where do they go?
Lord Illingworth: Oh, they go to America.
3. lampoon (Fr. 'lampon': Let us drink): It is a virulent or scurrilous form of satire.
4. literati (Lat. 'the learned'): The term is used to describe men of letters and learned men.
5. litterateur (Fr. 'a man of letters'): One who devotes himself to the study of writing of literature.

(C) Words commonly confused
Distinguish between the following pairs of words
1. drown, sink 2. elicit, illicit
3. eruption, irruption 4. fetch, bring
5. formalism, formality

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. classic (adj) (of the highest quality): The film Titanic is a classic
classical (adj) (of proven value because of having passed the test of time): She is an exponent of classical Indian dance.
2. jealous (adj) (feeling showing fear or ill will): It is difficult to explain and satisfy a jealous husband.
zealous (adj) (full of enthusiasm): A zealous worker is an asset to an organization.
3. crime (n) (offence for which there is severe punishment by law): Crime carries with it punishment.
vice (n) (evil conduct or immorality): He is free from all vices like alcoholism.
sin (n) (breaking of God's laws): We pray to Allah, the most merciful, to forgive our sins.
4. discover (vt) (bring to view something existing but not yet known): Columbus discovered America.
invent (vt) (create or design something not existing before): James Watt invented steam engine.
5. disinterested (adj) (willing to judge or act fairly because not influenced by personal advantage): 'His action was not disinterested because he hoped to make money out of the affair'.
uninterested (adj) (not caring): She is uninterested in her work.

(D) Idioms and phrases
Bring out the meanings of the following in illustrative sentences:
1. be a bundle of nerves
2. the wee hours
3. get off to a flying start
4. lick some one's boots
5. at a premium

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. kith and kin (near relations): I treat my students as my kith and kin.
2. Jack of all trades (one who knows a little about many things): A Jack of all trades is a master of none.
3. an iron will (strong determination): A person with an iron will is likely to scale the ladder of success.
4. a Herculean task (a work which needs tremendous efforts): Checking corruption in public life is indeed a Herculean task.
5. to hold one's tongue (to be quiet): 'For God's sake, hold your tongue and let me love'

IV. Grammar and Composition
A. Grammar
Which word in each group does not belong?
1. usual peculiar everyday ordinary
2. ignore recognize realize notice
3. depressed bored uninterested keen
4. kick kiss punch hit
5. swelling bruise medicine injury
6. ankle elbow knee heart
7. mend burst destroy smash
8. check reject examine inspect
9. damage ruin repair spoil
10. cost expense charge refund

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. I would definitely recommend Greece for a holiday: wonderful beaches; lovely weather
2. He had the most terrible journey home: train delayed; long traffic jams.
3. Motorbikes are such a bad idea: many young riders killed; dangerous for other road users.
4. He was sentenced to forty five years in prison: burned a house down, killed three people.
5. I consider myself an expert on Russia: speak the language; lived in Moscow.
6. We should employ her as an English teacher: several years' experience; good with children.
7. She's completely bilingual: excellent French; perfect German.
8. That house would be ideal for us: plenty of rooms; nice garden.
9. He has had a skiing accident last year: broke his leg; twisted his wrist.
10. I will never go to that restaurant again: food very bad; waiters rude.

(B) Composition: Paragraph writing
Expand the idea contained in the proverb:
65: He who pays the piper
controls the tune

Last week's topic
64: Great men have always scorned great recompense
Achievement, that is success in any enterprise or undertaking, is the outcome of relentless efforts with commitment and dedication. Great men who accomplished heroic deeds did not do it for winning a crown of glory. They were, indeed, inspired by a desire to keep off the trodden track, think new thoughts, extend the frontiers of knowledge and to make human life more sublime, more worth-living. In the course of their endeavor they did not hesitate to put up with great hardships which, however, did not deter them from their avowed objective. The only recompense they sought is the satisfaction of doing a good job directed at human welfare. They shunned any selfish motive for narrow personal gain of fame or riches. A selfless desire for service dedicated for the larger human interest and well-being has been the driving force for creating something beautiful and something new, be it in the field of science, arts, or literature.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“Allah's promise is the truth,
And whose words can be
Truer than Allah's?”

VI. Words of Wisdom
“I am always doing things I can't do,
that's how I get to do them.”
)Pablo Picasso