Readers’ Forum [Archives:2003/624/Education]

February 24 2003

Dear Dr. Sahu
With much respect I write my fist letter to you, and at the same time express my feelings towards your commendable efforts through the column “Improve Your English”. Really it's marvelous and useful.
I'm a regular reader of Yemen Times. Will you please answer the following queries?
1. I have read in one of the previous issues about the word 'Carrier'
You have mentioned that it means “a person or animal that carries or transmits a disease”
Can it also be used for a company who carries and conveys different goods?
2. May you bring out the differences between these words:
password – countersign
caress – hug
Once again, thanks a lot for your efforts.
With best wishes.
Mohammed A. Al-Owainy

Dear Mohammed
Thanks for your compliments.
Regarding your query 'Carrier' is a word that has several meanings including the one you have mentioned. Please note that some words can be used in more sense than one. I usually mention one of the commonest senses in which the word is used loming to the word.
Coming to the word 'Countersign', it means 'to sign a paper that has already been signed by some one else'. It is done to further authenticate the contents of an official document.
'Password' is a secret word or phrase that someone has to speak before they are allowed to enter a sensitive place such as a military camp. Passwords are known to all the bonafide members of the camp and are a means of preventing entry of any undesirable person or one from the enemy camp.
The difference between 'caress' and 'hug' is as follows:
'hug' is the action of putting your arm around someone and holding them tightly to show love or friendship, whereas 'caress' means a gentle loving touch or kiss.
)Dr. Sahu