Improve Your English – 249 [Archives:2004/764/Education]

August 16 2004

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and Expressions (69)
'Thank you' wishes (I)

Courtesy costs nothing, but pays much. 'Thanks' go beyond a mere expression of a gesture of goodwill. 'Thanks' verily depict the largeness of the speaker's heart and bear an eloquent testimony to the sensitivity of the person to accept and acknowledge a kind word, a fine sentiment or a nice gesture.

Thanks are but small gifts of a thoughtful heart.

– The smallest of pebbles that's tossed in a pond, makes ripples that reach far and wide, just as the smallest of kindness shown can touch someone deeply inside. So we shouldn't dismiss any word that we've spoken, nor the small thoughtful gestures we've made, for they've reached someone's heart, with a comfort that won't quickly fade.
– Thank you. It's the small and warm gestures of kindness and concern, that one shows, that always seem to touch the deepest chords of the heart. And I take this chance to let you know, how much you're appreciated for your willingness, to extend a helping hand ever that lightens the heart and gives a new perspective to life, always. With much gratitude.
– A bouquet of thanks is sent to you in gratitude for all that you've done. The thoughtfulness that you've shown and the special ways in which you've cared, have given my life a richer meaning and joy beyond compare. Thank you for your kindness. It meant so very much for me. With heartfelt gratitude.
– A 'Thank You' note for you. Small gestures of kindness make a big difference when they're done at the right moment. I'm really grateful to you for this timely help. Thanks a lot once again.
– Thanks a lot. You really brightened up my day. It was really appreciated.
– Your kindness and help are such a source of joy and inspiration that 'thanks' is not enough but just a start!

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. He is going by the 7.30 O'clock bus to Aden.
2. The captain said with delight that they had won the match.
3. Politics are a dirty game played by the ruthless people.
4. My brother who stays in India has a Ph. D.
5. Mohammed Agabi who is an army officer is my neighborer.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. The Government promised that the loyal workers would be given promotion.
2. When I go to London, I shall meet my brother.
3. You are one of those who help others.
4. Each of the clerks in this office is loyal and efficient.
5. The Dean ordered the students to go away at once.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. To make fear, anger, doubt, pain, trouble, excitement etc. less.
2. A statement that charges someone with doing something bad but without proof.
3. Loyalty, faith, and dutiful support to one's country.
4. A story or poem in which the characters and actions represent good or bad qualities.
5. A condition of being unusually sensitive to something.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. An unhealthy fear of open spaces: agoraphobia (n)
2. The continued and habitual drinking of alcohol in great quantities: alcoholism (n)
3. A local government officer having various duties: alderman (n)
4. The act of forming or arranging into a line: alignment (n)
5. A substance that forms chemical salts when combined with acids: alkali (n)

(B) Literary terms of foreign origin
Give the source of origin and meaning of the following
1. riddle 2. rime 3. romance
4. ruba'iyat 5. satire

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. pseudonym (Gk. 'false name'): A name other than his own taken by a writer. Also known as a pen-name and a nom de plume.
2. Renaissance (Fr. 'rebirth'): The 'rebirth' of Classical Greek and Latin literature.
3. rhapsody (Gk. 'stitch song'): In a general sense, a rhapsody may be an effusive, emotional, perhaps even ecstatic utterance in verse or, occasionally, in prose.
4. rhetoric (Gk. 'rhetor': speaker in the assembly): Rhetoric is the art of using language for persuasion, in speaking or writing; especially in oratory.
5. rhythm (Gk. 'flowing'): In verse or prose, the movement or sense of movement communicated by the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables and by the duration of syllables. In verse the rhythm depends on the metrical pattern. In verse the rhythm is regular: in prose it may or may not be regular.

(C ) Words commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. tamper, temper
2. value, price
3. humiliation, humility
4. emigrate, immigrate
5. discover, invent

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. virtual (adj) (almost what is stated): There is a virtual breakdown of law and order in the state.
virtuous (adj) (possessing or practicing virtue): He is a noble and virtuous soul.
2. custom (n) (an established socially accepted practice): Customs vary from country to country.
habit (n) (somebody's settled practice): Parents should regulate the habits of their children.
3. doubt (n) (uncertainty of mind): I have no doubt about your sense of honesty and integrity.
suspect (vt) (to believe to be true) (The police suspected him to be involved in the crime.)
4. fair (adj) (acting in a just and honorable manner): The competition was organized in a fair manner.
fare (vi) (progress): How did you fare in your mission?
5. social (adj) (living in groups): Man is a social animal.
sociable (adj) (friendly): His sociable nature is the secret of his popularity.

(D) Idioms and phrases
Use the following idioms in illustrative sentences
1. lie low
2. follow suit
3. learn the hard way
4. the blind leading the blind
5. change one's tune

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. the burning question (a question that is of great interest to many people): Of course the burning question is whether we can combat terrorism.
2. strike while the iron is hot (to act while the situation is favorable): My boss was really pleased with me today and so I decided to strike while the iron was hot and broach him for a promotion.
3. look on the bright side (to be hopeful and look for the best): Don't be pessimistic; look on the bright side of life.
4. throw cold water on (something) (to be very discouraging about something): We were preparing for the picnic when, the superintendent's refusal of permission threw cold water on our spirit.
5. pull one's weight (to do one's share of a task): We have to pull our weight if the mission is to be successful.

IV. Grammar and Composition
(A) Grammar
Match the words with their corresponding definitions
1. to matter a. a person that you work for
2. to hire b. to need
3. promotion c. characteristics
4. employer d. the long-term plan for your professional life
5. to require e. to put in order of importance
6. career f. to be important
7. authority g. to give employment to someone
8. qualities h. a person who applies for a job
9. to rank i. the power to give orders
10. applicant j. a movement to a more important job with more responsibility and money

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Never borrow money from a friend.
2. You could always get a bank loan to buy your new car.
3. My mother said the money was a loan, but I'm sure she doesn't expect to get it back.
4. I borrowed $20 from him last week.
5. He always borrows things from Raydan but he never lends Raydan anything.
6. I lent him my watch and he broke it.
7. May I have the loan of your bicycle while mine is being repaired?
8. You can borrow upto three books at a time from the library.

(B) Composition
Expand the central idea contained in the maxim
75: Lend your ears to all,
tongue to few

Last week's topic
74: Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone
It is a matter of common experience that during the days of prosperity there are many who flock to the person in position, power or enjoys high social status. Even those who have a distant relation with the blessed claim their closeness with the Fortune's favored one. But those very people turn their back on that person in days of adversity. Even the best of friends don't have any qualm of conscience to desert their friend who they were once proud of. Such people are fair-weather friends who are the worshippers of wealth and power. Hence, while there are many partakers of joy and good fortune, there are very few who stand by a person in misfortune. Robert Nathan is right when he echoes the same time-tested principle: “Joy has its friends, but grief its loneliness.” The implication of the statement is that one should not feel frustrated if one is left alone in misery. One should not be gullible and should try one's utmost to exercise one's discretion in discriminating the real friend as different from fair weather friends.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“O ye who believe!
Believe in Allah
And His messenger,
And the scripture which He sent
To those before (him).”

VI. Food for Thought
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
)Eleanor Roosevelt