Improve Your English – 250 [Archives:2004/766/Education]

August 23 2004

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

A 'Thank you' wish honors both the thanks giver and the receiver as well. It elevates the spirit of both. Like a catalyst it invigorates the chemistry of human relationship.

– A bouquet of warm thanks just to say that all you did made my day, and your kindness went an extra mile and brought to me a happy smile. You've been great.
– Heartfelt thanks especially for you. In today's busy life, when someone goes all out to lend that extra help, just at the right moment, it becomes the greatest favor done. Thank you so much.
– Thanks for everything that you do and the wonderful ways in which you spread joy. In today's rushed times, there aren't many people who take the initiative to help out others But then again there are kind and generous people like you. Thanks alot for all the thoughtful things you do, for all your love and caring, too, for all the kind things you do and say, for the warm smile that you wear each moment of the day And for the way you make everyone around feel comfortable and right at home too, this heartfelt wish comes to say that you're appreciated in every single way.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. Arwa has an urgent work at home today
2. The news that Rehman gave you yesterday were wrong.
3. I could not find it anywhere. Where is my letter's envelope?
4. His father was angry with his leaving the house at night.
5. We think that it is no use to go there at this late hour.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. He is going by the 7:30 bus to Aden. (O'clock should be deleted)
2. The captain exclaimed with delight that they had won the match.
3. Politics is a dirty game played by the ruthless people.
4. My brother who stays in India is a Ph. D.
5. Mohammed Agabi who is an army officer is my neighbor.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. Repetition of the first sound of letter of a succession of words.
2. Annual calendar of months and days, with information about the sun, moon, tides, etc.
3. The set of letters used in writing any language, arranged in order.
4. Instrument in an aircraft for showing height above the sea-level.
5. Boy or man who was a student of a school, college or university.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. To make fear, anger, doubt, pain, trouble, excitement, etc. less: alleviate (vt)
2. A statement that charges someone with doing something bad but without proof: allegation (n)
3. Loyalty, faith, and dutiful support to one's country: allegiance (n)
4. A story or poem in which the characters and actions represent good or bad qualities: allegory (n)
5. A condition of being unusually sensitive to something: allergy (n)

(B) Some useful terms and their origin
Give the source of origin and meaning of the following
1. scansion 2. scribe 3. script
4. scripture 5. semiotics/semiology

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. riddle (Old Eng. 'opinion, advice'): An ancient and universal form of literature that consists of a puzzle question. For example,
'Brothers and sisters have I none.
This man's father is my father's son.
Who am I?'
2. rime (Gk. 'rhythmos'): Accented verse.
3. romance (Med Lat. 'romance' in the Romantic tongue): It is principally a form of entertainment. It consists of elements of love, adventure, fantasy, improbability, and extravagance.
4. ruba'iyat (Arabic 'rubai': quatrain): A name given to a collection of quatrains. The best known example is the 'Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam'.
5. satire (Lat. satira', later form of 'satura': 'medley'): Dr. Johnson in his Dictionary defined 'satire' as a poem in which wickedness or folly is censured.

(C ) Words commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. beech, beach 2. antic, antique
3. ancient, old 4. antipathy, apathy
5. aught, ought

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. tamper (vi) (meddle or interfere with): Someone has tampered the seal of this letter.
temper (vi) (soften or modify): Justice should be tempered with mercy.
2. value (n) (worth of something): In the present age of consumerism, customers want full value for their money.
price (n) (sum of money for which something is sold or bought): Prices of essential commodities are spiraling day by day.
3. humiliation (n) (feeling of shame): He suffered great humiliation when he was taken to custody.
humility (n) (humble condition or state of mind): A sense of humility is a mark of greatness.
4. emigrate (vi) (go away from one's own country to another country to settle there): Recently many Indians have emigrated to western countries to settle there.
immigrate (vi) (come as a settler into another country): Many Ethiopians have immigrated into Yemen.
5. discover (vt) (to find something existing but not known before): Columbus discovered America in 1492.
invent (vt) (to make up or produce for the first time): Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876.

(D) Idioms and phrases
Use the following idioms in illustrative sentences
1. have the devil of a job
2. not to have a minute to call one's own
3. from the word go
4. press the panic button
5. cost an arm and a leg

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. lie low (to stay quiet or hidden, to avoid drawing attention to oneself): These days he is lying low after his guilt was unraveled.
2. follow suit (to do what someone else has just done): Go ahead to the party and I will follow suit soon.
3. learn the hard way (to learn from one's own experiences): She learned the hard way that she should not believe a stranger so quickly.
4. the blind leading the blind (to describe a situation in which one person who does not know what he/she is doing tries to help another person who is in the same state): When a teacher who lacks knowledge and skill is in charge of guiding ignorant students, it is definitely the blind leading the blind.
5. change one's tune (to change one's mind, opinions or attitude): He has changed his tune about the ruling party after he was offered a party post.

IV. Grammar and Composition
Choose the best answer
1. There is a marvelous collection )) paintings in the National Gallery
A. in B. for C. with D. of
2. I like the red dress and the pink shoes. The trouble is that they don't go )) each other very well.
A. in B. above C. on D. with
3. There's something I want to talk to you about. )) you come and see me this afternoon?
A. Will B. Should C. May D. Must
4. I usually go to work )) foot.
A. in B. with C. on D. by
5. The successful applicant will be expected to take )) the new post before the end of October
A. off B. in C. for D. up
6. Her English has reached a )) level
A. tall B. big C. high D. strong
7. The new Prime Minister is trying to find a )) to country's economic problems.
A. reaction B. reply
C. solution D. response
8. He said he )) at eight o'clock, but it is already a quarter to nine.
A. is coming B. will come
C. will be coming D. would come
9. This is a word I have never come )) before.
A. across B. on C. through D. to

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. to matter: to be important
2. to hire: to give employment to someone
3. promotion: a movement to a more important job, with more responsibility and money
4. employer: a person you work for
5. to require: to need
6. career: the long term plan for your professional life
7. authority: the power to give orders
8. qualities: characteristics
9. to rank: to put in order of importance.
10. applicant: a person who applies for a job.

(B) Composition
Expand the central idea contained in the maxim
76: Life is not a bed of roses

Last week's topic:
75: Lend your ears to all,
tongue to few
A prudent man is sensible and wise. He is not easily taken in. He applies his wise thought before acting. He is not vociferous or outspoken, but is rather cool and reserved. He decides to act only after a careful forethought or planning. Obviously he is a patient listener who carefully weighs the pros and cons of what people are saying and then gives his considered opinion. He knows very well what to say and what not to say in consideration of the socio-cultural context, the participants, his relationship with them, the probable impact of his words and so forth. That is why it is said that a man is known by the acts of his omissions and commissions. One should not forget that a person who has a loose tongue is not believed by others. He is regarded as a bad confidant. Moreover once the damage is done by even a slip of tongue, it becomes very difficult to repair the damage. Hence one should be measured in one's responses.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“Whether you do openly
A good deed or conceal it
Or cover evil with pardon,
Surely Allah is ever pardoning

VI. Food for Thought
“If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.” )Marcus Garvey