Improve Your English – 256 [Archives:2004/778/Education]

October 4 2004

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

Good luck wishes are tribute to the sender's sagacity and largeness of heart. The outcome is reciprocal will which creates an aura of comradeship and good will, significantly nurturing personal relationship.

– Life is challenge to face. It offers opportunities. Good luck is another name for being alert for opportunities and good luck is ushered in when opportunity is seized. When any of our near and dear ones undertakes to face any challenge, his purpose is strengthened when he is emboldened by good wishes from the well wishers
– Good luck May you rise to greater heights. True excellence is achieved when one endeavors to rise, without the fear of falling As real achievement lies not in the result but in the effort that one utilizes, in order to become worthy of a result, here's wishing you good luck, for your every endeavor, which will hopefully yield the most outstanding result. All the best.
– All the best. We know you can do it!
– Exam time. Sending your way, the best of wishes and hoping your hard work and dedication bear rich results, the joy of which you'll treasure always. All the best.
– “Best of luck. Every success story was a dream someday, for some which came true through their dedication, hard work and their total commitment. May you too put in your BEST and may the best come back to you. Good luck.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. He was first to reach the station that day.
2. The students did nothing but laughed heartily.
3. Being a rainy day we could not go out.
4. Let us do nothing but to wait and see for the time being.
5. I ordered for soup and salad at the restaurant.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. Many a worker has not finished his job in time.
2. The water of many Indian rivers is considered to be sacred.
3. The wisdom of the Prophet (PBUH) is famous all over the world.
4. I saw a one-eyed beggar in the street last week.
5. The Red Sea should be declared a zone of peace.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. Earlier in time.
2. Something unexciting coming after something exciting.
3. In the opposite direction to the hands of a clock.
4. The act of raising or being raised to the rank of a god.
5. An official expression of agreement.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. A person who reads news or introduces people, acts, etc. on radio or television: announcer (n)
2. A fixed sum of money paid each year to a person for a stated number of years or until death: annuity (n)
3. To put oil on a person's head or body in a religious ceremony: anoint (vt)
4. A medicine that prevents an acid condition in the stomach: antacid (n)
5. To cause to become an enemy: antagonize (vt)

(B) Useful terms, their origin and meaning
1. thesaurus 2. tour de force 3. tragedy
4. trilogy 5. trimeter

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. tantra (Sansknt 'thread, fundamental doctrine'): Hindu and Buddhist writings of a religious nature.
2. tautology (Gk. 'the same saying'): Redundant words or ideas. Repetition of words or ideas, as in the common phrase 'I myself personally'.
3. terza rima (It. 'third rhyme'): The measure adopted by Dante for his Divina Commedia, consisting of a series of interlocking tercets in which the second line of each one rhymes with the first and third lines of the one succeeding, thus: aba, bcb, cdc.
4. testament (Last. 'witnessing'): A document which bears witness; an affirmation.
5. tetrameter (Gk. 'of four measures'): A line of four metrical feet. In English verse usually iambic or trochaic.

(C ) Words commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. value, price 2. apposite, opposite
3. sensuous, sensual 4. refuse, decline
5. wage, salary, remuneration, pay

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. cataclysmic (adj) (relating to a violent and sudden change or event): Hundreds of people are marooned in the cataclysmic earthquake.
catalytic (adj) (fig. causing speeding up of a process): The workers' demand for higher wages had a catalytic effect on the wage revision.
2. border (n) (land near the dividing line between 2 countries): Soldiers are guarding our border.
brink (n) (upper edge of a steep place): He's on brink of the grave
edge (n) (line marking the outer limit or boundary of a flat surface): The wood-cutter lives in a cottage on the edge of a forest.
3. stimulus (n) (something that stimulates or excites, rouses, quickens thought or feeling): He works under the stimulus of money.
stimulant (n) (drink, drug, etc., that increases physical or mental activity): Tea or coffee is a common stimulant.
4. deprecate (vt) (to express disapproval of): Such waste of time and resources is to be deprecated at all costs.
depreciate (vt) (to represent as of less value than usually supposed): The exchange value of dollar has depreciated considerably.
5. bang (n) (violent blow): She shut the door with a bang.
bank (n) (a place for storing): We have opened a book bank in our college.
bunk (n) (nonsense): He bothered us with a load of bunk.

(D) Idioms and phrases
Use the following idioms in illustrative sentences
1. a give-away price 2. run the show
3. be dying for 4. not someone's cup of tea
5. try one's hand at

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. face the music (to confront the outcome of your action): He misappropriated the government funds; after audit he has to face the music.
2. at daggers drawn (ready to start fighting or quarreling at any minute): The two estranged friends are at daggers drawn ever since they fell out.
3. lose one's grip (to lose control or understanding of something): The manager is very inefficient and it is obvious he is losing his grip.
4. rally round (to come together for a joint effort or action, usually in a supportive way): The loyalists rallied round their leader in pursuit of excellence.
5. steer clear of (someone/something) (to avoid contact with someone or something): The President has steered clear of all major hurdles on the path of progress.

IV. Grammar and Competition
Combine a word from List 1 with one from List 2 and make words to fill the blanks in the sentences below
List 1 left three short old self
List 2 fashioned legged tempered
centered handed

1. The advantage of having a )) stool to sit on is that it is always steady even if the floor isn't level.
2. Although both her mother and father write with their right hands, Omar is )).
3. He only ever talks about himself and how wonderful he is. I have never met anyone so )).
4. He's very )) and aggressive, and he shouts at you if you do slightest thing wrong.
5. She hates anything modern. She only likes vintage cars, black and white films and )) furniture.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. They don't tell you what happens at the end of the film. You have to use your imagination.
2. Buying a house in Aden sounded like a wonderful idea, but in reality there were a lot of serious problems.
3. You know she doesn't love you. Everyone can see that. So stop deceiving yourself and start trying to find someone new.
4. The woman whom we thought was slightly mad came up with a fantastic story about herself.
5. In the picture the two lines look different lengths but actually they are the same. The picture is an optical illusion.
6. She woke up screaming because she had just had a terrible nightmare.
7. There's a good horror film on tonight about two dead people who come back to life and start murdering everyone they knew.
8. A thriller 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 terrified.
10. Unfortunately he didn't realize light was on, so when he touched the wire he got a terrible electric shock.

(C) Composition
Expand the central idea contained in the maxim
82: Money is a good servant
but a bad master

81: Man doesn't live by bread alone
Undoubtedly man cannot survive without food. However, we eat to live, not live to eat. In other words, human life has a loftier goal of self-actualization, of a quest for excellence in all fields of human enterprise. Of course, it is true that without the satisfaction of the physical needs, man cannot progress in the path of accomplishment. Hence man should not be content or complacent over mere earning of bread; but be inspired to break new frontiers, make something beautiful and something new. In other words, man should be imbued with a strong desire and should work towards mental nourishment, emotional enrichment, and spiritual fulfillment apart from the satiation of physical needs. Only then can man elevate himself and help attainment of the supreme goals of life.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
“O mankind! Verily
There hath come to you
A convincing proof
From your Lord
For We have sent unto you
A light (that is) manifest.”
S4: A174

VI. Food for Thought
“The sharp thorn often produces delicate roses.”