Improve Your English: 307 [Archives:2007/1100/Education]

November 5 2007

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say

Situations and Expressions (98):

Some frequently used legal terms (I)

It is an admitted fact that Law is a profession of words. Legal communication demands both uniformity and stability. But the ordinary language often betrays a lack of these features which renders it unsuitable to appropriately convey the embedded specificity, ambiguity, verbosity and complexity of the tangled web of legal communication. The language of law is marked by a dominance of words with a certain amount of alienness; use of jargon, archaic expressions, synonyms, repetition, and long sentences. Let's look at some examples:

Archaisms: Old English and Middle English words that have long since passed out of use except in religious register or at the pulpit of the church are found freely and plentifully in the legal documents. Most frequent among them are:

Adverb-like words with prepositions affixed to them

i) hereafter, hither-to-fore, herewith, herein, hereinafter

ii) wherein, whereas, whereby, whereof

iii) therein, thereon, thereby, therewith, thereto, thereupon

Adjectives referring to antecedents

Ex. such, said, aforesaid

Words that have fallen into disuse:

Ex. notwithstanding

II. How to Say it Correctly

Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences

1. Because I'd lost my mobile, so I couldn't contact you.

2. I can't understand what you say due to I don't know Arabic.

3. I left for the airport well in time not to be late for the flight.

4. I went to Edinburgh for doing higher studies.

5. Although she worked hard, but she never looked like passing the exam.

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. She's rather/a lot younger than me.

(The adverb 'quite' cannot be used before a comparative degree)

2. He may even help you if you ask. ('even' is placed in mid position)

3. Have something to eat before you go.

4. I was playing football when a stone hit me.

5. Come and stay in my flat while/when I am on holiday. Or… during the time that I am on holiday.

III. Increase Your Word Power

(A) How to express it in one word

1. Brightly colored and decorated.

2. Easily bent without breaking.

3. Not showing deserved respect.

4. Make love for amusement, without serious intentions.

5. Fully developed embryo in the womb.

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. Something such as electric light fittings, fixed in place: fixture (n)

2. Overwhelm with amazement: flabbergast(vt)

3. Soft, not firm, muscles: flabby (adj)

4. Openly and obviously wicked crime or criminal: flagrant (adj)

5. Natural or instinctive ability to do something: flair (n)

(B) Words often confused

Bring out the differences in meaning of the following pairs of words

1. dispatch, remittance

2. rational, reasonable

3. buy, purchase

4. tax, task

5. strum, storm

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. flail (n) (old-fashioned tool for threshing grain): Farmers in old times used flail to beat grain out of wheat etc.

frail (adj) (one with a weak constitution): I have a frail physique, but a strong mind.

2. shore (n) (the edge of the land where it meets the water): She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore.

beach (n) (part of the coast or the shore that is smooth, without cliffs or rocks. It may consist of sand or small stones): Children are playing on the beach.

3. restive (adj) (impatient of control or discipline): Students felt restive towards the end of the afternoon lecture.

restful (adj) (peaceful; giving one a feeling of rest): We spent a restful evening gossiping and watching television.

4. think up (v-adv) (to invent an idea): The accused tried his best to think up a plan to prove himself innocent.

think through (v-adv) (to consider something in detail with care): You should think through your future before deciding to marry him.

5. massive (adj) (large, heavy and solid): The engineers are busy assembling the scaffolding for a massive building.

missive (n) (a letter of great length): He spent the evening drafting a missive to his sweetheart.

(C) Synonyms and Antonyms

i. Synonyms

Choose the word that is closest in meaning to the one given at the top

1. august

a. common b. ridiculous

c. dignified d. petty

2. launch

a. review b. begin

c. propel d. push

3. relied

a. emphasized b. depended

c. convinced d. followed

4. obtained

a. combined b. procured

c. acquired d. conquered

5. garnish

a. paint b. garner

c. adorn d. abuse

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Synonym

1. subtle insidious

2. fake imitation

3. infamy dishonor

4. repeal cancel

5. embezzle misappropriate

ii. Antonyms

Choose the word that is most opposite in meaning to the one given at the top

1. prototype

a. favor b. canvass

c. repeat d. duplicate

2. refrain

a. react b. avoid

c. indulgence d. sunder

3. rebuke

a. applaud b. criticize

c. accuse d. blame

4. robust

a. automatic b. weak

c. restored d. none of these

5. rigid

a. feasible b. flexible

c. easy d. helpful

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Antonym

1. pacify irritate

2. peevish cordial

3. protege patron

4. cordiality antagonism

5. parsimonious generous

(D) Spelling

Choose the correctly spelt word

1. a. absence b. absens

c. absance d. absense

2. a. absolut b. absalute

c. absolute d. absaulute

3. a. absorption b. absorbtion

c. absorptan d. absorpshion

4. a. abstein b. absten

c. abstien d. abstain

5. a. abstraction b. obstraction

c. abstruction d. abatration

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. abridge

2. abroad

3. abrupt

4. abscess

5. abscond

(E) Phrases and Idioms

Use the following in sentences

1. bear fruit

2. lose one's marbles

3. separate the sheep from the goats

4. be all over

5. get your act together

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. rush one's fences (to act in haste without care): Don't rush your fences lest you would repent.

2. play it by ear (to do something without making any fixed plans before hand): We haven't chalked out any plans to organize the party – we're just going to play it by ear.

3. as high as a kite (very excited): Children were as high as a kite when the school closed for summer holidays.

4. be crawling with (to be full of): Sana'a is expected to be crawling with foreign tourists after being declared the cultural capital of the Arab World.

5. pie in the sky (hope of success or achievement which has very little or no chance of being fulfilled): His ambition to win the election is nothing but pie in the sky.

IV. Grammar and Composition

(A) Grammar: Dialogue expansion

Make all the changes and additions necessary to produce a conversation from the words and phrases below

Mahmoud: When you get back home?

(1) __

Ezaz: We arrive last week.

(2) __

Mahmoud: What you do since you get back?

(3) __

Ezaz: We try / organize / house / children.

(4) __

Mahmoud: What your wife do while you / work?

(5) __

Ezaz: Well, she be very busy because she manage / get / part-time job.

(6) __

Mahmoud: You start look/job/this country yet?

(1) __

Ezaz: No. I not have / minute since we get back.

(7) __

Mahmoud: Be that the time? I must dash. Come / dinner/ not / forget.

(8) __

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Mammals: chimpanzee, whale, leopard

Birds: eagle, robin, crow

Insects: cockroach, ant, mosquito

Fish: shark, salmon, sardine

Reptiles: tortoise, cobra, crocodile

(B) Composition

Expand the central idea contained in the maxim


Topic of the previous issue



Old people can't change their ways or habits easily. It's but natural because as Propertius rightly asserts, “Everyone follows the inclinations of his own nature.” Over a long period of time, men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way and, thus habits change into character. Old habits die hard. So, it is well nigh impossible for the old people to give these up and adopt entirely new ways, attitudes, values, perceptions and standards. In such cases, the younger generation needs to be more patient and understanding in dealing with the members of the older generation. Either, old people may be allowed to follow their own ways or to change but slowly.

V. Pearls from the Holy Quran

“He that doeth good shall have ten times as much to his credit.”S6: A160

VI. Food for Thought

“The great thing is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.”

)Oliver Wendell Holmes