Improve Your English – 255 [Archives:2004/776/Education]

September 27 2004

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and expressions (71):
Good Luck messages (I)

Good luck messages are carriers of the sender's volumes of good will. These go a long way to energize and enthuse the entrepreneur to go ahead in his enterprise with verve, energy and vitality.

– Penning down my good luck wishes for you for success that's bright and happy and well-deserved, too.
– All the best. We know you can easily do it.
– Your life belongs to you and it can be all that you want it to be. Make every moment matter, cherish them in your heart, enjoy today enjoy everyday.
– Keep up your efforts. Little drops of water, little grains of sand make the mighty ocean and the pleasant land, so the little minutes, humble though they be, make the mighty ages of eternity.
– Best of luck for successfully facing new challenges of life.
– All the best. Yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision, but today well-lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. Many a worker have not finished his job in time.
2. Water of many Indian rivers is considered to be sacred.
3. Wisdom of the Prophet (PBUH) is famous all over the world.
4. I saw an one eyed beggar in the street last week.
5. Red Sea should be declared a zone of peace.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. There were no fewer than three thousand persons in the meeting.
2. You should open your book at page twenty three.
3. I am leaving for India on Thursday next.
4. Each (or every) student in the class passed the exam.
5. The little money that he had is finished already.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. A person who reads news or introduces people, acts, etc. on radio or television.
2. A fixed sum of money paid each year to a person for a stated number of years or until death.
3. To put oil on a person's head or body in a religious ceremony.
4. A medicine that prevents an acid condition in the stomach.
5. To cause to become an enemy.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. To become English in appearance, sound, character, etc.: anglicize (vt)
2. Anxiety caused by considering the sad state of world affairs: angst (n)
3. The state of lacking higher or finer feelings: animalism (n)
4. The branch of farming concerned with the keeping of animals: animal husbandry (n)
5. To add short notes to explain certain parts of a book: annotate (vt)

(B) Some useful terms, their origin and meaning
Give the source of origin and meaning of the following
1. tantra 2. tautology 3. terza rima
4. testament 5. tetrameter

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. synecdoche (Gk. 'taking up together'): A figure of speech in which the part stands for the whole. For example: 'bread' stands for the meals.
2. synonym (Gk. 'together name'): A word similar in meaning to another. It is rare to find an exact synonymous meaning. It is usually a matter of 'shades' of meaning, as in: insane, mad, psychotic, and so on.
3. syntax (Gk. 'together arrangement'): Sentence construction.
4. tableau (Fr. 'little table', picture): Representation by living persons of a picture or scene, without words or action, on a stage or platform.
5. tabloid (a conflation of table/et and -oid): a newspaper with many pictures, cartoons, etc., and with its news presented in concentrated and often sensational form.

(C ) Words commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. cataclysmic, catalytic
2. border, brink, edge
3. stimulus, stimulant
4. deprecate, depreciate
5. bang, bank, bunk

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. sceptre (n) (rod or staff carried by a ruler as a sign of power or authority): Sceptre used to be the symbol of sovereignty in the hand of the king.
spectre (n) (ghost): Hamlet saw the spectre of his dead father.
2. facilitate (vt) (make easy; lessen the difficulty of): Advances in the Information Technology has facilitated the world to become a global village.
felicitate (vt) (congratulate somebody on something): He was felicitated on winning a scholarship to study abroad.
3. aural (adj) (of the organs of hearing): He is an aural surgeon.
oral (adj) (using the spoken, not the written, word): I have to take the oral test of a group of students tomorrow.
4. edible (adj) (fit to be eaten): I use cholesterol-free edible oil.
audible (adj) (loud enough to be heard): The speaker was scarcely audible.
5. diverse (adj) (quite unlike in quality or character): Both the brothers have diverse views on life.
divers (adj) (several, more than one): There are divers traditions in this country.

(D ) Idioms and phrases
Use the following idioms in illustrative sentences
1. face the music
2. at daggers drawn
3. lose one's grip
4. rally round
5. steer clear of

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. keep one's chin up (not to get discouraged or lose hope in a difficult situation): Keep your chin up; the bad days, God willing, will soon be over.
2. off the mark (not accurate; wrong): I planned to complete the assignment in time but my estimate was way off the mark.
3. head over heels (completely, totally): He has fallen head over heels in love with his cousin.
4. drop into (someone's) lap (to be obtained without effort): You can't expect a good job to just drop into your lap – you have to work hard for it.
5. the jewel in the crown (the most valuable or important part of something): Sana'a is rightly regarded as the jewel in the crown of the Arab world.

IV. Grammar and Composition
(A) Grammar
Choose a suitable word from the list below to complete the sentences
illusion imagination thriller horror
fantastic deceiving nightmare
terrified reality shock
1. They don't tell you what happens at the end of the film. You have to use your )).
2. Buying a house in Aden sounded like a wonderful idea, but in )) there were a lot of serious problems.
3. You know she doesn't love you. Everyone can see that. So stop )) yourself and start trying to find someone new.
4. The woman, whom we thought was slightly mad, came up with a )) story about herself.
5. In the picture the two lines look different lengths, but actually they are the same. The picture is an optical )).
6. She woke up screaming because she had just had a terrible )).
7. There's a good )) film on tonight about two dead people who come back to life and start murdering everyone they knew.
8. A )) is an exciting kind of film or book often about spies or criminals.
9. The poor girl was kidnapped and held hostage for three days. She must have been absolutely )).
10. Unfortunately he didn't realize the light was on, so when he touched the wire he got a terrible electric )).

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. The woman who spent fifteen minutes measuring the kitchen talked to the Priors.
2. The plans the woman drew up were for a new kitchen.
3. The units the Priors were interested in would cost $2,000.
4. A dish washer which was on special offer that month was not needed by the Priors.
5. The piece of paper the Priors signed entitled them to a discount of $200.
6. The deposit the woman asked for was for $100.
7. The man the woman worked for would have been furious if she had not obtained the order.
8. People who are not so strong minded would probably place an order.

(B) Composition
Expand the central idea contained in the maxim
81: Man does not live by bread alone

Last week's topic:
80: Mercy is the
noblest form of revenge
As Bacon says, “Revenge is a kind of wild justice.” Human beings are prone to be carried away by the impulse of anger, hatred and vengeance and on the spur of the moment plunge into a bloody desire to avenge themselves. At that moment of frenzy or temporary madness their reason is clouded and their inflamed hearts cry blood for blood, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. This is a beastly instinct. The crying need of that crucial moment is to calm down, judge the situation with kindness and feel pity for the wrong doer. Without letting the poison tree of hatred and vengeance to grow, it is wiser to temper the burning passions with the divine virtue of mercy. Only then can one take the true revenge by bringing abut a change in the wrong doer's heart because as Thomas Aquinas says, “Mercy is the fulfillment of justice, not its abolition.” Mercy ennobles both the giver and the receiver. Mercy is not to be misconstrued as a sign of weakness. In fact, a strong and powerful person can only be a dispenser of mercy and forgiveness and is capable of taking a sweet revenge. The legendary Empror Ashoka of India and Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of non-violence, are the ineffable examples of this.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“But to those who believe
And do deeds of righteousness,
He will give their (due)
Rewards, – and more,
Out of His bounty:

VI. Food for Thought
“Life is short and time is swift;
Roses fade and shadows shift.”
)Ebenezer Elliott