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Exercises. I. a. The italicized words and word-groups in the follow­ing extracts belong to formal style




 

I. a. The italicized words and word-groups in the follow­ing extracts belong to formal style. Describe the stylistic peculiarities of each extract in general and say whether the italicized represents learned words, terms or archa­isms. Look up unfamiliar words in the dictionary.

1. "Sir,

in re1 Miss Ernestina Freeman

We are instructed by Mr. Ernest Freeman, father of the above-mentioned Miss Ernestina Freeman, to re­quest you to attend at these chambers at 3 o'clock this coming Friday. Your failure to attend will be regarded as an acknowledgement of our client's right to pro­ceed."

(From The French Lieutenant's Woman by J. Fowles)

2. "I have, with esteemed advice ..." Mr. Aubrey bowed briefly towards the sergeant, ... "... prepared an admission of guilt. I should instruct you that Mr. Freeman's decision not to proceed immediately is most strictly contingent upon your client's signing, on this occasion and in our presence, and witnessed by all present this document."

(Ibid.)

3. R o m e o ... So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,

As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.

The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand,

And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.

Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!

For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.

Tybalt. This, by his voice should be a Montague.

Fetch me my rapier, boy. What! dares the slave

Come hither, cover'd with an antiek face,

To fleer and scorn at our solemnity?

Now, by the stock and honour of my kin,

To strike him dead I hold it not a sin.

 

(From Romeo and Juliet by W. Shakespeare, Act 1, Sc. 5)


1 Usually in modern correspondence you will find the form
re [ri:] without the in.

2 measure (here) — dance.

 

4. "... I want you to keep an eye on that air-speed in­dicator. Remember that an airplane stays in the air be­cause of its forward speed. If you let the speed drop too low, it stalls — and falls out of the air. Any time the ASI shows a reading near 120, you tell George instant­ly. Is that clear?" "Yes, Captain. I understand." "Back to you, George... I want you to unlock the autopilot — it's clearly marked on the control column — and take the airplane yourself. ... George, you watch the artifi­cial horizon ... Climb and descent indicator should stay at zero."

(From Runway Zero-Eight by A. Hailey, J. Castle)

5. Mr. Claud Gurney's production of The Taming of the Shrew shows a violent ingenuity. He has learnt much from Mr. Cochran; there is also a touch of Ham­ mersmith in his ebullient days. The speed, the light, the noise, the deployment of expensively coloured figures ...amuse the senses and sometimes divert the mind from the unfunny brutality of the play, which evokes not one natural smile.

(From a theatrical review)

6. A r t h u r: Jack! Jack! Where's the stage manag­er?

J a c k: Yes, Mr .Gosport?

Arthur: The lighting for this scene has gone mad.

This isn't our plot. There's far too much light. What's gone wrong with it?

J a c k: I think the trouble is they have crept in num­bers two and three too early. (Calling up to the flies.) Will, check your plot, please. Number two and three spots should be down to a quarter instead of full.... And you've got your floats too high, too.

 

(From Harlequinade by T. Rattigan)

II. Read the following jokes. Look up the italicized words in the dictionary (unless you know their meanings) and prove that they are professional terms. State to which sphere of human activity they belong. On what is the hu­mour based in each of the jokes?

1. A sailor was called into the witness-box to give evidence.

"Well, sir," said the lawyer, "do you know the plain­tiff and defendant!"

"I don't know the drift of them words," answered the sailor.

"What! Not know the meaning of "plaintiff" and "defendant?" continued the lawyer. "A pretty fellow you to come here as a witness! Can you tell me where on board the ship the man struck the other?"

"Abaft the binnacle," said the sailor.

"Abaft the binnacle?" said the lawyer. "What do you mean by that?"

"A pretty fellow you," responded the sailor, "to come here as a lawyer, and don't know what "abaft the binnacle" means!"

 

2. "Where did the car hit him?" asked the coroner.
"At the junction of the dorsal and cervical verte­
brae,"
replied the medical witness.

The burly foreman rose from his seat.

"Man and boy, I've lived in these parts for fifty years," he protested ponderously, "and I have never heard of the place."

3. The doctor's new secretary, a conscientious girl, was puzzled by an entry in the doctor's notes on an emergency case: "Shot in the lumbar region," it read. After a moment she brightened and, in the interest of clarity, typed into the record: "Shot in the woods".

 

 

Lecture 4. Etymology of English Words (part 1)


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