Improve Your English – 237 [Archives:2004/740/Education]

May 24 2004

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situation and expressions:
Felicitations on the Graduation Day (II)

The joys of a fresh graduate on the graduation day are difficult to articulate in words. Yet congratulatory wishes on this solemn occasion serve to further accelerate his/her sense of achievement, excitement and exhilaration.

– How nice to hear that you've graduated! May life hold a promise of new horizons of success and great achievement. Now that you've graduated your heart must be full of fresh hopes and dreams. May life smile on you and lead your steps to greater achievements. Congratulations on your graduation.
– Just for you as you graduate. Thinking of you on your graduation day and hoping your future is filled with all the best life has to offer. Congratulations!
– Thinking of many things you've already accomplished, thinking of the wonderful opportunities that await you, and wishing you happiness on your graduation day and always congratulations!
– As you graduate, you have achieved what you wanted to and have made your dreams come true. You've worked hard, and nurtured your dreams so well that now, as it blossoms into reality, making wonderful promises, it feels so nice to be wishing you proud moments filled with celebrations of fun. Well done!
– Sending your way a warm note of congratulations. With love these flowers are sent to congratulate you on this happy event. Many, many joys be yours today and in future, too.
– You've made everyone so proud of you Hope your future is filled with all the happiness you deserve. Congratulations with love.
– With love these flowers are sent to congratulate you on this happy event. May many joys be yours today and in future too.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. We haven't hardly enough petrol to get us home.
2. The aid of a dictionary, a grammar book and his parents are needed when Abdullah does his homework.
3. The reason why I cycle to work is to save money.
4. We discovered that the cause of the breakdown was due to a bare wire in the circuit.
5. The customers claimed that the reason why they had been overcharged was because the new assistant did not know the proper prices.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. A list of books recently added to the library has been posted on the notice board.
2. This is the station from which we set out on that rotten journey. Or, This is the station which we set out from on that rotten journey.
3. In reply to your letter, we have to inform you that there are no vacancies in July.
4. Owing to the noise from the airfield and their uncomfortable beds, the travelers did not get a lot of sleep that night.
5. The committee insisted that I – as captain of the team – should make a speech at the dinner.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. The theory that actions are right because they are useful.
2. Attractive and desirable but impracticable.
3. Looking back on past events.
4. An appointed place of meeting, specially of troops.
5. Fear of being enclosed in a small closed space.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. The representation on map of natural and artificial features of a town/district etc.: topography (n)
2. A student who runs away from the class or school without permission: truant (n)
3. One who easily gives up his party or principles: turncoat (n)
4. An event that happens once in three years: triennial (n. & adj)
5. A truth which is often repeated: truism (n)

(B) Foreign words and phrases
Give the source of origin and meaning of the following:
1. mnemonic 2. motto 3. myth
4. mythopoeia 5. nemesis

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. metathesis (Gk. 'transposition'): The interchanging of consonant sounds, as in third from OE thridda.
2. meter (Gk. 'measure'): The term refers to the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in verse.
3. metonymy (Gk. 'name change'): A figure of speech in which the name of an attribute or a thing is substituted for the thing itself. Common examples: 'The Crown' for the monarchy; 'The Bench' for judiciary.
4. mime (Gk. 'imitation'): A form of drama in which actors tell a story by gestures.
5. minstrel (Med Lat 'ministerialis' 'pertaining to a minister or servant')

(C ) Words commonly confused
Distinguish between the following pairs of words
1. elusive, illusive
2. insidious, invidious
3. monetary, monitory
4. ordinance, ordnance
5. averse, adverse

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. vacant (adj) (not occupied by any one): I would like to apply for the vacant position in the office.
empty (adj) (having nothing inside): 'Empty vessel sounds much'
2. spiritual (adj) (of soul; of religion, not of material things): He has an ardent devotion to spiritual beliefs.
spirituel (adj) (marked by feminine refinement, grace, and wit): She charms every one by her spirituel attributes.
spirituous (adj) (liquids containing alcohol): Abstain from spirituous drinks.
3. disburse (vt) (pay out money): Salary is being disbursed today
disperse (vt) (cause to go in different directions): The police had to use teargas in order to disperse the mob.
4. factitious (adj) (unnatural; artificial): He is full of factitious enthusiasm.
fictitious (adj) (not real; imagined): The stories about his adventure are fictitious and therefore difficult to believe.
5. evolve (vi) (cause to unfold naturally and gradually): 'The American Constitution was planned; The British constitution has evolved.'
devolve (vi) (pass, transfer): When the President goes abroad, his duties devolve upon the vice-president.

(D) Idioms and phrases
Bring out the meanings of the following in illustrative sentences
1. have the gift of the gab
2. not to sleep a wink
3. a landslide victory
4. come a cropper
5. go to any lengths

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. pitch in (set to work with energy): Our enterprise will be a success if we pitch in and make arrangements.
2. break the back of (something) (to complete the most difficult part of a task): I have to complete the assignment by tomorrow, but at least I've broken the back of it.
3. for nothing (without payment): We did all the cleaning for nothing – the old man gave us nothing.
4. take things easy (not to work too hard): Don't overstrain yourself; take things easy.
5. be news to someone (to be a piece of new information): It is news to me that he has quit his job.

IV. Grammar and Composition
(A) Grammar
Match the words in the left with their corresponding definition
1. trade a. work done in order to make new discoveries
2. innovate b. results obtained over a period of time
3. concern c. to do business, to buy and sell
4. patent d. amount of money used for a specific purpose
5. research e. to make changes and introduce new ideas
6. increase f. to go up; to rise
7. performance g. a company or business
8. budget h. a legal document which gives a person or a company the exclusive right to make or sell an invention

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Please don't shout at her. You'll only make her cry!
2. The letter may bring you the news that you are expecting.
3. He causes a lot of problems by interfering in this affair.
4. It can't give you any satisfaction to be so unpleasant.
5. Football fans often cause a lot of damage after the match has ended.
6. If you said you loved me that would make me very happy.
7. Wealth doesn't always bring happiness.
8. Don't forget to phone your grandmother! It always gives her so much pleasure to hear your voice.

(B) Composition
Expand the idea contained in the maxim
68: Habit is second nature

Last week's topic
67: Handsome is that handsome does
Appearance is deceptive. Hence it is improper to draw any conclusion about one's inner worth or character from one's outward appearance. Very often it is seen that a person has a charming exterior which hides a devilish design. Although it is said that face is an index of mind, in many cases it is not so. Conversely, it is not uncommon to find instances of lovely, charitable, generous human being who, however, have an uninspiring, emaciated appearance. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of India, or Martin Luther King are great not because of their exterior glow, but due to their divine qualities or spiritual endowments. As a matter of fact, a man's qualities of head and heart, his inner beauty and strength of character are the genuine indices of his real worth, not his superficial attractiveness which may be misleading.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“But to Allah belong all things
In the heavens and on earth:
And He it is that
Encompasseth all things.”

VI. Words of Wisdom
“Men are the sport of circumstances, when
The circumstances seem the sport of men.”