Hi, there! For those of you who are beginners in the learning of English, today’s article may not be very easy. I have not gone out of my way to use simple vocabulary and easy sentence construction, so you may not understand in the first read. Please read, at least, three times, if you don’t get meaning in the first reading. Also, make a list of new words that you learn from today’s article.
Here you are:
Nope, please don’t think that I’m about to kick the bucket (it is an idiom which means ‘to die’); it is only for a few minor ailments (illnesses) that in a spate (continuity, sequence) of three days; I had to visit three different doctors. And all three had different effects on my illnesses. Nah, it was not their medicine that did or did not do the trick, it was their demeanor (behavior).
Three different doctors, three different attitudes-
The first one was pleasant albeit (but) a bit sarcastic (rude) and pompous (self- important), the second one seemed to know that healing lies more in a doctor’s kind eyes and gentle words than in her prescription and the third one, poor thing, didn’t even know the spelling of smile, forget about actually smiling. She could have been talking and treating a wall.
Amazingly, the staff of the doctors was a reflection of them. The staff of the first one was snooty (rude) and one of them tugged and pulled (were unkind while treating) at my arm as if he was attending to a carcass (skeleton) that had to be disposed of (thrown away). The second doc’s staff was gentle, humane (kind) and understanding and the third one’s was condescending (superior) and behaved as if they were doing a favor to all.
Alright, so why am I sharing these experiences with you?
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist (that’s a cliché) to know that, now do you? No matter what the profession, it is the person’s attitude towards others that is important. Sooner or later, bad behavior results in the downfall of an individual.
Does it sound like prophecy (prediction)? No, it is the truth that history itself verifies (confirms).
There are innumerable literary characters who have regaled (enjoyed) in their pomposity (self-importance). Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her pet clergyman Rev. William Collins, in Pride and Prejudice (by Jane Austen) are intolerant and cannot stand any kind of disagreement. Darcy, the main protagonist (character) of the same novel, is not as much pompous as he is insolent (rude) His insolence; however, bites the dust (to lose) once he’s bitten by the love bug and Elizabeth’s love brings him down to his knees. There’s Molvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night—a puritan and a pompous man. Mr. Publechook from Charles Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’ is another arrogant character. He dislikes Pip and the sentiment is suitably reciprocated.
Okay, now the meaning of the three phrases that I have used above:
‘To kick the bucket’ means to die. The phrase comes from the practice of keeping a bucket of holy water at the feet of the corpse. In England, people would sprinkle the dead with the holy water.
His uncle kicked the bucket at the ripe old age of 99.
‘To bite the dust’ means to fall dead
The able soldier made his enemies bite the dust.
‘To bring to one’s knees’ means to reduce to a position of subservience or submission
He brought his opponents to their knees with his superb arguments.
‘To be bitten by the love bug’ means to fall in love
Poor fellow, since he’s been bitten by the love bug, he looks like he is been perennially ill.
Try and read the classics: Pride and Prejudice and Great Expectations.
Have a great and safe and lovely Diwali.