Improve Your English – 240 [Archives:2004/746/Education]

June 14 2004

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and Expressions (68)
Friendship Day (I)

A true and sincere friend is an invaluable asset. Aristotle says: “What is a friend? A single sole dwelling in two bodies.” A faithful friend is, indeed, the medicine of life. There can be little doubt that friendship is the gift of the gods, and the most precious boon to man. A true friend is one who multiplies joy, divides grief and whose honesty is inviolable; one who stands by you when the whole world turns its back on you. William Reeves says, a friend is “one who unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, takes all patiently, defends courageously and continues a friend unchangeably”.
The following expressions capture the essence of this spirit of friendship

– It feels great to have you as a friend, for friendship is a vital part of life.
– Our companionship, dear friend, gives me the comfort of knowing that I can always rely upon you. And it's because of your support, and you by my side, that my life is a whole lot brighter and happier too. It gives me a feeling that someone is there for me, for ever.
– True friends know your inner self. They're intimately close. And it feels great when you pick out a good one!
– A true friend is one who knows all about you and loves you just as you are. And that, my friend, is you!
– Of all the friends I've ever met, you're the one I won't forget. And if I die before you do, I'll go to Heaven and wait for you.
– True friends like us, don't always need a lot of words to stay close. There's a silent communication always taking place within our minds and hearts. My friend, no matter how far apart we are, we can stay close with few words, as long as there's love in our hearts for each other.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. The government won, but it had less votes than last time.
2. Our fuel stocks have been run down and we have in reserve fewer of either coal or wood than is necessary.
3. The failure of the maize crop was a disaster, for it kept the poor people alive.
4. When we elected the club secretary, the bulk of the votes went to Amjad.
5. The bulk of the students in the modern age are learning a foreign language.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. We have hardly enough petrol to get us home.
2. The aid of a dictionary, a grammar book and his parents is needed when Abdullah does his homework.
3. The reason I cycle to work is to save money. Or, I cycle to work to save money.
4. We discovered that the cause of the breakdown was a bare wire in the circuit. Or, We discovered that the breakdown was due to a bare wire in the circuit.
5. The customers claimed that the reason they had been overcharged was that the new assistant did not know the proper prices. Or, The customers claimed that they had been overcharged because the new assistant did not know the proper prices.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. Cause to act.
2. Sharpness in mind or power to understand clearly.
3. Old and wise saying or a common proverb.
4. Something omitted that is to be added.
5. Break off proceedings of a meeting for a time.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. The theory that actions are right because they are useful: utilitarianism (n)
2. Attractive and desirable but impracticable: utopian (adj)
3. Looking back on past events: retrospection (n)
4. An appointed place of meeting, specially of troops: rendezvous (n)
5. Fear of being enclosed in a small closed space: claustrophobia (n)

(B) Foreign words and phrases
Give the source of origin and meaning of the following:
1. neologism 2. nom de plume
3. nouvelle vague 4. novel 5. ode

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. mnemonics (Gk. 'mneme', 'memory'): Art of or, system for, improving the memory.
2. motto (Lat 'muttum', 'murmur'): A short sentence or phrase used as a guide or rule of behavior.
3. myth (Gk 'muthos', 'any thing uttered by word of mouth'): It is a story which is not true. Myth is always concerned with creation. It embodies feeling and concept.
4. mythopoeia (Gk 'myth-making'): The conscious creation of a myth. In literature, the appropriation and reworking of mythical material, or the creation of a kind of 'private' mythology.
5. nemesis (Gk 'retribution'): In Greek thought a personification of the gods' resentment and anger at man's insolence, hubris, towards themselves.

(C ) Words commonly confused
Distinguish between the following pairs of words
1. diverse, perverse 2. orifice, edifice
3. divest, invest 4. collusion, collision

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. elusive (adj) (tending to elude or escape): For the past couple of days, I have been grappling with an elusive problem.
illusive (adj) (deceptive; unreal; based on illusion): Wealth and power are illusive.
2. insidious (adj) (doing harm secretly): Diabetes is an insidious enemy, a slow killer.
invidious (adj) (likely to cause ill feeling): comparisons are always invidious.
3. monetary (adj) (of money or coins): The poor man asked for some monetary help.
monitory (adj) (relating to the exercise of authority by a school): He loves to show off his monitory power.
4. ordinance (n) (order given by authority) (The government passed a new ordinance in Parliament against child labor.
ordnance (n) (artillery): The ordnance factory is responsible for military supplies to the army.
5. averse (adj) (opposed, disinclined): You shouldn't be averse to hard work.
adverse (adj) (unfavorable): Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea in view of the adverse sea conditions.

(D) Idioms and phrases
Bring out the meanings of the following in illustrative sentences
1. a last-ditch effort 2. at death's door
3. have one's pound of flesh 4. fight tooth and nail
5. at sixes and sevens.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. to have the gift of the gab (to have the ability to speak fluently and articulately): He really has the gift of the gab.
2. not to sleep a wink (to be unable to sleep): I could not sleep a wink last night worrying about the exam.
3. a landslide victory (an election victory won by a very large number of votes): In the recently concluded elections, the ruling party had a landslide victory.
4. come a cropper (to suffer misfortune): My friend came a cropper after he suffered a colossal loss in his investment.
5. go to any length (to do something, no matter what is involved): I shall go to any length to bail my friend out of the problem.

IV. Grammar and Composition
(A) Grammar
Look at the following sentences
1. Scotland Yard requires its male employees to be at least 1.73 m tall.
2. We're recruiting more and more graduates.
3. Who's she talking to?
4. I'm meeting the production manager this afternoon.
5. The train leaves at 6.00 tomorrow evening.
6. James is working at home until the new office is ready.
7. I get up at 7 most mornings.

Which sentences refers to:
a) a temporary situation
b) an action that is happening now
c) a permanent state or situation
d) a future arrangement
e) a regular or habitual action
f) a changing and developing situation
g) a future event based on a time table.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. trade: to do business, to buy and sell.
2. innovate: to make changes and introduce new ideas.
3. concern: a company or business.
4. patent: a legal document which gives a person or company the exclusive right to make or sell an invention.
5. research; work done in order to make new discoveries.
6. increase: to go up; to rise
7. performance: results obtained over a period of time.
8. budget: amount of money used for a specific purpose.

(B) Expand the central idea contained in the maxim
71: He makes no friend who never made a foe

Last week's topic
70: He prayeth best who loveth best
S. T. Coleridge, the Romantic poet says:
He prayeth well who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast
He prayeth best who loveth best,
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
Love is an image of God. The noblest form of worship of God is to love His creation. Moreover, God loves those who love their fellow men. The noted American essayist Emerson observes in this context: “Love, which is the essence of God, is not for loving but for the total worth of man.” Thus love elevates the spirit of man to celestial heights and makes it closer to God. Moreover, love is an ennobling emotion that makes life sublime. So Benjamin Disraeli remarks: “We are all born for love; it is the principle of existence and its only end.” The best form of prayer is cultivation of love. It is an alchemie that creates and sustains a divine order and harmony and mirrors the glory of paradise on earth.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
O, you who believe!
Have Taqwaa of Allah and [always], speak the truth. He will make your deeds good and forgive your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he has achieved the magnificent victory.”

VI. Words of Wisdom
“Love rules his kingdom without a sword”
)George Herbert