By Shree Prakash Sharma
Like alphabets, words are the basic units in the making of languages across the world. All words have their own conspicuous meanings, rigid constitutions and special contexts. They can make and, if not correctly chosen and carefully used, also mar the beauty of language and its interpretation. Words heal magically, allure naturally and bind the people together in an amazingly cohesive relationship. They also alleviate the pain and balm the agony of the people. At the same time words also enrich the wisdom, enlighten the heart and illuminate the spirit.
On the contrary, words also hurt beyond any repair. They also humiliate and embarrass. Jean Paul Sartre, the famous French philosopher and playwright, once had said, “Words are loaded pistols.” So we need to be pretty much cautious about the correct use of words, especially in writing which gets permanently recorded in the print and which the intelligentsia across the nations use as references and cross-references.
First, a writer must mind avoiding the use of weak words and dead words in writing. Weak words are usually found in the form of weak verbs. Conventionally, a writer must always use strong verbs which convey actions correctly, emphatically, effectively and surgically.
Grammarians say that verbs like ‘be’, ‘has’, and ‘have’ are spoilers and for effective writing a writer must do their best to avoid their uses. Let us take an example of how the use of weak and strong verbs makes differences while conveying action and imparting meanings:
Weak verb: The opposition parties were of the opinion that the proposed bill was likely to disturb the situation of communal harmony in the country and so they have planned to protest against it in the upcoming Parliament session.
Strong verb: The opposition parties have planned to protest against the proposed bill in the upcoming parliament session fearing that it may disturb the communal harmony in the country..
In addition, some verbs work as dead verbs or empty verbs which waste the paper and valuable time of the enlightened and erudite readers. So, the writers are essentially required to be very cautious about the proper use of words to make the meaning precise and expression very much clear.
Dead verb: Many of the students, who fail to score very good percent of marks in the examinations, often say that defective curriculum of the state board was the main reason of their problems.
Correct verb: Many of the students who fail to score very good percent of marks in the examinations pass the buck on the defective state curriculum.
Or, Many of the students who fail to score very good percent of marks in the examinations often blame it on the state curriculum.
WORDS MATTER MOST
Choose the closest meaning of the words given in the capital letters –
(A) mischief (B) worry (C) romantic
(A). aggressive (B) unreasonable (C) difficult, hard to deal with
(A) duplicate (B) false teeth (C) scintillating
(A) spoil (B) a quantity of something (C) instigate
(A) to waste (B) to volunteer (C) to annoy
(A) social blunder (B) dangerous (C) poetic
Answers: 1.A 2. C 3. B 4. B 5. A 6.A
Choose the word most nearly opposite to the words given in the capital letters
(A) to grow fast (B) to respond (C) to attack
(A). unaccustomed (B) refined, sophisticated (C) expert
(A) to cut (B) to bloom, to grow (C) to shrink
(A) cruel (B) zenith, apex (C) torture
(A) harsh (B) explicit (C) futile
(A) affirm (B) to clarify (C) to muddle
Answers 1.A 2. B .3.B 4. B 5. B 6.B
TO PULL DOWN – to destroy, to demolish, to dismantle (The Mumbai municipality has started pulling down all buildings constructed on the encroached government land.)
TO PULL OUT – to start moving, to leave (The train pulled out in time despite dense fog in the city.)
TO PULL ONE’S SOCKS UP – to brave challenges or problems very courageously (The state government has decided to pull its socks up in the wake of drastic bad financial condition.)
TO SOB OUT – to tell a story or something while crying bitterly (The old woman, I came across yesterday in the market, sobbed out the whole story of her distressed life.)
TO SPEAK VOLUME ABOUT – to show or indicate the condition of something (The fast increasing annual fiscal deficit speaks volume about the mismanagement of resources by the present government at the centre.)
Be nuts about (something or someone) – to be very much excited and enthusiastic about something or someone (The children are nuts about the upcoming festive seasons and holidays.)
A hard nut to crack – a very difficult problem (If you are very consistent in your efforts then getting through civil services examinations is not a hard nut to crack.)
To rise to the occasion – to be able to do what is required in a situation (He has always been a timid student. But when he was elected to the president of the students’ union he so splendidly rose to the occasion.)
To rest on one’s oars – to rest after a very hard work (After the annual examination, all the students of the local coaching institutes are resting on their oars.)
To pour oil on troubled waters – to try to assuage, to calm a difficult situation (He had had a scuffle with his neighbours last night, but at last, his parents tried hard to pour oil on troubled waters.)
WORDS USUALLY USED IN MEDIA
The writing is on the wall (for) – used to indicate that something or someone will fail
Vicarious – the experience you get by watching someone doing it rather than doing it yourself
Touchstone issue – the subject or issue which tests the standard of something
The tip of the iceberg – a very small sign of the problem which is so enormous
WORD OF THE WEEK
G-STRING: Noun. A very scanty lingerie which is large enough to cover only the sexual organs
Author Is Principalm Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya , Mamit,Mizoram. He Can Be Reached At :[email protected]
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