Good morning! My senior tells me that articles are getting more complex by the day. Since the column is meant for the people to learn simple English, I should be more lenient (moderate, easygoing) with the language, he says. Sir, I do agree with you. At the same time, Sir, as a teacher, slowly- I want my students to progress towards more advanced language. I want them to come out of the chasm (gap) between the easy going English and the English of the elite.
After two years if I don’t challenge my student readers they’ll get used to holding on to the crutches of simple and ‘safe’ English and then there shall be no advancement. Yes, I talk to my readers about literature and its mentors and yes, I do time and again bring up intricate (complex) topics related to English. But then, English is so much more than just ‘verbs and articles’. If English is a language that is dictated by the rules of ‘should and would’, it is also a language that speaks of the colours and definiteness (finality) given to it by its propagandists (people who spread a particular thing). Hence the deviation (departure) from the simpler English, Sir… Now, guys, I would like to share two mails with you. The first is almost a repetition of a mail that I’d received a few months back and so I thought of sharing it with you. The first time I’d received a similar mail, I’d been taken aback, this time round, I am just amused. The mail says: “Hello! You must have been quite a catch.” My answer to the gentleman is, “Man, why put me in the era of ‘must have been(s)’? I still am quite a catch…!” The second mail: Hello Surabhi, I appreciate your column in Ahmedabad Mirror very much. Just I want to bring this point to your notice. The meaning of the word “Entomology” is “Scientific study of insects” – that can be any insect not ‘ant’ alone as you have mentioned in your column on 28th July’s edition. Regards, End Well! I haven’t changed a word of the mail. I do accept that Entomology is the scientific study of insects and not just ants and since ants are also insects (thank god), they also become a part of this study. ‘Myrmecology’ is the ‘exclusive’ scientific study of ants. Some of the words that end with ‘cide’: 1. Homicide- To kill somebody other than one’s own self. (Different from suicide.) 2. Matricide- To kill one’s mother. 3. Patricide- To kill one’s father. 4. Fratricide- To kill one’s brother. 5. Bactericide- To kill bacteria. 6. Fungicide- Substance that kills fungi. 7. Virucide- Substance that kills viruses. 8. Germicide- Substance that kills germs. 9. Genocide- Mass killing of a particular genre or community. 10. Insecticide- A substance that kills insects. 11. Pesticide- A substance that kills pests. 12. Vermicide- A substance that kills worms. 13. Weedicide- A substance that kills/ destroys weeds. 14. Foeticide- To kill foetus or embryo. 15. Herbicide- A substance that destroys herbs (particularly unwanted ones, similar to herbicide). The words have been given by Tapan R Shah. Have a great weekend. See you on Monday. Until then, take care…

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