Improve Your English – 257 [Archives:2004/782/Education]

October 18 2004

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say
Situations and expressions (71):
Good Luck messages (III)
Messages of good will are an impeccable instrument to cultivate the dynamic spirit of mutual caring and sharing. As such, they have a lot of socio-cultural value in nourishing, sustaining and harmonizing the bond of fellowship.
– Sincere and kindly thoughts are like flowers, fragrant rare making of wilderness a garden sweet and fair. Sharing in your happiness, sharing in this day, feeling pride in all the things you've done along the way – bringing you a wish to hope the future holds in store success in everything you do, your dreams fulfilled and more congratulations and best wishes always.
– May success to your new venture flow like water through rocks.
– On your new venture here is a bouquet of wishes for good luck and success. As you begin a new venture this comes to wish you not only life's best but also good luck. As you struggle with belief and confidence, success will be yours now and always. Congratulations and all the best.
– Hats off to you. Hard work does pay off; dedication does lead you to achievements. Achievements do make everybody happy. You just went ahead and proved it all. Best wishes for your future undertakings as well.
– May the Almighty fulfill all your dreams. You cannot pour your love on others without getting a few drops on yourself.

II. How to Say it Correctly
Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences
1. Rahim denied that he had not stolen the purse.
2. The mother with her children were killed in a train accident.
3. Each doctor and nurse of the hospital are to be given the responsibility to keep the hospital clean.
4. Ahmed as well as his brother have been arrested by the police.
5. My house is5 kilos from the college.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. He was the first to reach the station that day.
2. The students did nothing but laugh heartily.
3. It being a rainy day we could not go out.
4. Let us do nothing but wait and see for the time being.
5. I ordered soup and salad at the restaurant.

III. Increase Your Word Power
(A) How to express it in one word
1. The act of setting aside something, especially a sum of money, for a special purpose.
2. A result, calculation, description, etc. that is not exact but is an almost correct amount or estimate.
3. To stop using a metal as a standard of money.
4. To lower in rank or position.
5. Women and children who are quiet, serious and not mixing with any body.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. earlier in time: anterior (adj)
2. Something unexciting coming after something exciting: anticlimax (n)
3. In the opposite direction to the hands of the clock: anti-clockwise (adj)
4. The act of raising or being raised to the rank of god: apotheosis (n)
5. An official expression of agreement: approbation (n)

(B) Useful terms, their origin and meaning
Give the sources of origin and meaning of the following
1. trochee 2. utopia 3. vernacular 4. vignette

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. thesaurus (Gk. 'treasure'): A repository of information, like a dictionary or encyclopedia.
2. tour de force (Fr. 'turn of force'): a work which provides an outstanding illustration of a writer's skill and mastery.
3. tragedy (Gk. 'goat song'): Tragedy is a form of drama concerned with the fortunes and misfortunes, and, ultimately, the disasters that befall human beings of power and position.
4. trilogy (Gk. 'set of three'): A group of three tragedies presented by individual authors at the drama festivals in Athens in the 5th century B.C.
5. trimeter (Gk. 'three measures'): A line of verse containing three metrical feet.

(C ) Words commonly confused
Bring out differences in meaning of the following pairs of words
1. contagious, contiguous
2. pier, pair, peer, pare, pear
3. ablution, oblation
4. belief, conviction, faith
5. virtuous, virtuoso

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. value (n) (worth compared with the amount paid): Consumers want full value for their money.
price (n) (an amount of money for which a thing is offered, sold, or bought): What price will you pay for the car?
2. apposite (adj) (exactly suitable to the present moment, condition, etc): The commentator made an apposite remark.
opposite (adj) (as different as possible): His views on life are opposite to mine.
3. sensuous (adj) (concerning pleasure by the senses, relates especially to the beauties of color, sound, etc.): The poem evokes sensuous feelings.
sensual (adj) (related to giving pleasure to one's one body rather than of the mind or spirit): Some misguided youths are in pursuit of sensual pleasure.
4. refuse (vt) (not to accept or do or give; opposite 'accept'): He refused her offer.
decline (vt) (be unwilling, opposite 'agree'): The minister declined to comment.
Note: One can 'refuse' or 'decline' to do something, but one must decline in words. One can 'refuse' or 'decline, not 'reject' an invitation. However, one can 'refuse, respect or decline' an offer, reject a plan or proposal, and deny an accusation.
5. wage (n) (payment made or received for work or services): Workers have a handsome wage level in this industry.
salary (n) (fixed regular pay each month): There should be an increase in the salary of university professors in Yemen.
remuneration (n) (reward; payment for work or trouble)
pay (n) (the most general word for the money received for work):
Note: 'remuneration' is a very formal word for 'pay'. 'Wages' and 'salary' are pay received at regular time.

(D) Idioms and phrases
Use the following idioms in illustrative sentences:
1. take someone's word for it
2. put one's finger on
3. play it cool
4. until one is blue in the face
5. you can take a horse to the pond but you can't make it drink.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. a give-away price (a very cheap price; a bargain): I bought the car at a give-away price.
2. run the show (to be in control or charge of something): As regards the forthcoming seminar, the Head will run the show.
3. be dying for (something) (to want something very much): After the vacation I am dying for meeting my friends.
4. not (someone') cup of tea (not something that someone likes or prefers): I decline the offer of headship of the team because organizational activities are not my cup of tea.
5. try one's hand at (something) (to see if one can do something): I have never painted, but I will try my hand at it.

IV. Grammar and Composition
Choose a suitable word from the list below to complete the sentences
travel ride voyage tour
trip flight drive expedition
visit journey excursion

1. We regret to announce that )) BA503 has been delayed for a further thirty minutes.
2. If you want to see the city, may I suggest a guided )) of the main points of interest?
3. You can )) to Paris but the roads are always crowded. Why don't you take the train instead?
4. We went to the seaside on a day )) once and it rained all the time.
5. I'm sure you'd like a rest after your long )).
6. I don't fancy going on a long sea )). Imagine meeting the same people day after day.
7. One of the thrills of the holiday was to go for a )) on a horse.
8. My ambition is to )) round the world.
9. The explorers were all ready for the long )) that lay ahead of them.
10. We decided to go on the optional )) to see Shakespeare's birth place.
11. We are going for a short )) to our friends in London.

Suggested answers to last week's questions
1. The advantage of having a three-legged 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 left handed.
3. He only ever talks about himself and how wonderful he is. I have never met anyone so self-centered.
4. He's very short tempered and aggressive, and he shouts at you if you do the slightest thing wrong.
5. She hates anything modern. She only likes vintage cars, black and white films and old fashioned furniture.

(B) Composition
Expand the central idea contained in the maxim
83: Men never learn from history

Last week's topic
82: Money is a good
servant but a bad master
Money is undeniably an indispensable necessity of life. It is absolutely essential to cater to the basic needs of the individual. In that sense, money is a means to an end. It is an instrument which helps us to fulfill our requirements. As such we should correctly perceive its value and significance as a factor, an agent helping us to acquire the amenities and facilities that go to make a comfortable living. As long as we develop a correct perspective on money and understand, in no uncertain terms, that life has a noble purpose, and money can never be its ultimate goal, money will remain a servant and can never have the power to conquer us. But if once money goes to our head and we develop an obsessive preoccupation for money, we let ourselves be conquered by it, and let ourselves fall a prey to avarice. Consequently, we don't hesitate to adopt unfair and dishonest means to accumulate more and more money. We demean ourselves and slip through the path of vice. Therefore, when we become passionate slaves to money, it, like a bad master, leads us astray.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran
” those who believe
In Allah, and hold fast
To Him, – soon will He
Admit them to Mercy
And Grace from Himself,
And guide them to Himself
By a straight way.”

VI. Food for Thought
“What the world really needs is more love and less paper work.”
)Pearl Bailey