Improve Your English – 241 [Archives:2004/748/Education]

June 21 2004

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

Genuine friendship is the elixir of life. It enriches and ennobles the cadence of life. It is a touch-stone that transforms life from its sordid circumstances to something rich and strange. A friend in need is a friend indeed. In hours of weariness and sensations sweet one who stands by us is a friend worth his name.

– Friendship like ours grows with each passing moment. Friend, you are always at the forefront of my mind. Your constant support and love, gives me so much strength and joy that no hurdle of life seems unconquerable. I forever want to share my dreams with you and be your friend.
– Dear friend! I'm so glad we took a chance on love. May happiness always be with you; may all your plans workout for you and may your dreams come true. Best wishes.
– Dear friend! On a clear blue sky, may all your ethereal dreams acquire wings and fly to a land of reality, which is abundant with pure happiness, infinite love and freedom to choose, what your dear heart wants.
– Friend, I'm glad that your sweet and simple ways reach out to me and stays there with full-fledged support in my hours of distress. Let me wish for you on this day a wonderful life.
– Dear friend! May you appreciate every beauty of life and live up each moment to the fullest. May it also breeze into your life happiness and joys, and all that you are hoping for.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. There were reports that the university will close on 1 September, but in actual fact the holidays will begin on 15 September.
2. We usually go on a picnic on the last day of December, but we are definitely going on the New Year's day this year.
3. I was not actually aware that tomorrow is a holiday, so it was a real surprise to find the college closed.
4. Basham is very well organized and keeps his books altogether.
5. He didn't seem all together pleased when he heard the news.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. The government won, but it had fewer votes than last time.
2. Our fuel stocks have been run down and we have in reserve less of either coal or wood than is necessary.
3. The maize crop kept the poor people alive, so its failure was a disaster.
4. When we elected the club secretary, the majority of the votes went to Amjad.
5. Most of the students in the modern age are learning a foreign language.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1 Army officer who does office work for a superior officer.
2. Officer in command of a country's warships.
3. Period of life between childhood and maturity.
4. Make impure or poorer in quality by adding something of less value.
5. An exciting or dangerous journey or activity.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Cause of act; make active: activate (vt)
2. Sharpness of mind or power to understand clearly: acumen (n)
3. Old and wise saying or a common proverb: adage (n)
4. Something omitted that is to be added: addendum (n)
5. Break off proceedings of a meeting for a time: adjourn (vt)

(B) Foreign words and phrases
Give the source of origin and meaning of the following:
1. officialese 2. onomatopoeia
3. opera 4. opera citato 5. operetta

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. neologism (Neo Gk 'innovation in language'): A newly coined word; sometimes a phrase. Neologisms are entering languages all the time and are a necessary enriching influence.
2. nom de plume (Fr. 'pen-name'): A term to indicate a fictitious name employed by a writer. For example: O. Henry was William Sydney Porter; George Eliot was Mary Ann Cross. The French use 'pseudonym'.
3. nouvelle vague (Fr. 'new wave'): The term describes a new trend in the arts, particularly the experimental work in the cinema and the novels.
4. novel (derived from Italian 'novella': 'tale, piece of news.'): A wide variety of writings subsuming extended pieces of prose fiction.
5. ode (Gk 'song'): A rather grand poem whose main features are an elaborate stanza-structure, a marked formality and grandeur in tone and style, and lofty sentiments and thoughts.

(C) Word commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. acquire, require
2. arrogate, derogate
3. visitors, visitants
4. strict, severe
5. timid, coward

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. diverse (adj) (quite unlike in quality or character): His interests are quite diverse, ranging from arts, music, literature to sports and athletics.
perverse (adj) (behavior that is contrary to reason): He is hated for his perverse nature and behavior.
2. orifice (n) (outer opening): The orifice of my mitral value has been dilated by surgical procedure.
edifice (n) (a large building): Taj Mahal is an edifice of outstanding architecture.
3. divest (vt) (take away from): The official has been divested of his authority consequent upon allegations of misconduct.
invest (vt) (put money in): He invested his saving in a business enterprise.
4. collusion (n) (secret agreement): The security guards were in collusion with the smugglers and helped drugs trafficking.
collision (n) (coming together violently): There was a head-on collision between the two speeding vehicles.

(D) Idioms and Phrases
Bring out the meanings of the following in illustrative sentences
1. give (some once) cold shoulder
2. put on your thinking cap
3. a leading light
4. bag and baggage
5. donkey work

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. a last-ditch effort (a final, desperate attempt to do something): Mutahar made a last-ditch effort to save his business.
2. at death's door (on the point of dying): I couldn't have attended the party – I had a sever flue and was at death's door.
3. have one's pound of flesh (to get everything that one is entitled to, even if it causes difficulties or unhappiness for others): My present job is quite satisfying, but the boss is getting his pound of flesh out of me.
4. fight tooth and nail (to fight fiercely and with all one's strength): We are determined to fight tooth and nail to safeguard our interests.
5. at sixes and sevens (in confusion, in a muddle): With the employees agitating, the office is at sixes and sevens.

IV. Grammar and Composition
(A) Grammar
Choose the answer which makes a sentence with the same meaning
1. The stick was six feet from one end to the other.
The )- of the stick was six feet
A. wideness B. width C. breadth
D. length E. longness
2. She was in the same class as her uncle's daughter.
She was in the same class as her )-
A. niece B. cousin C. sister
D. nephew E. brother
3. She did not have as much money as her brother.
She had )) her brother.
A. little money than B. fewer money than
C. less money as D. less money than
E. more money than
4. The policeman told the men to go away.
The police man made the man )) away
A. went B. go away C. to went
D. to go E. gone

Suggested answers to last week's questions
a) 'James is working at home until the new office is ready': (temporary situation)
b) 'Who's she taking to?' (an action that is happening now)
c) 'Scotland Yard requires its male employees to be at least 1.73 m tall' (a permanent state or situation)
d) I'm meeting Production Manager this afternoon. (a future arrangement)
e) I get up at 7 most mornings: (a regular or habitual action)
f) We're recruiting more and more graduates: (a changing and developing situation)
g) The train leaves at 6.00 tomorrow (a future event based on a timetable)

(B) Composition
Expand the central idea contained in the maxim
70: Hope springs eternal in human breast

Last week's topic
69: He who never changes his mind has no mind to change
Life is in a state of flux. Attitudes, outlooks, value systems – everything is continually changing. That's why it is said, “The old order changeth yielding place to new'. In this continually evolving system of things, adaptability is the key word to cope with the dynamics of change. A person who has fixed ideas and who lacks flexibility in his approach is likely to be a misfit. On the other hand, a person with an open mind has the preparedness and an elastic mindset to accept things as they come. Such a person is prudent, objective and valiant and has a breadth of vision to come to terms with the readily.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“If anyone desires
A reward in this life,
In Allah's (gift) is the reward
(Both) of this life
And of the Hereafter:
For Allah is He that heareth
And seeth (all things).”
S4: A:134

VI. Words of Wisdom
“Books are ships which pass through the vast seas of time.”
)Francis Bacon