Showing posts with label Elysian Fields. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elysian Fields. Show all posts

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Know your English !! Part.IV

Cloud-cuckoo-land: An idealized fantasy world: this term is a translation of the name for an imaginary city, floating in the air in the play The Birds by Aristophanes.

Cutting the Gordian knot: Solving a problem by taking prompt and extremely bold or unconventional action: The phrase is based on a supposed incident that occurred in ancient history. The Gordian knot was an enormous and intricate knot tied with rope made of bark by King Gordius of Phrygia in the 4th century BC. According to the oracle, whoever could undo the knot was destined to reign over a large empire in Asia Minor. Alexander the Great apparently took up the challenge by simply hacking through the knot with his sword in 334BC.

Curate’s egg: Something that is actually bad although claimed by some-out of sensitivity or some other reason – to have both good and pad parts. The phrase derives from a punch cartoon in which a nervous young curate at a bishop’s table is given what is obviously a bad boiled egg but fearful of giving offence tells his host that ‘parts of it are excellent.
This term is often misused. It correctly refers to something which is in fact completely bad or which cannot be redeemed, and not to something which has both good and bad qualities.

Beyond the pale: totally unacceptable, unreasonable or unbearable: the original pale was an area surrounding Dublin which was under English control in 12th to 16th centuries. People living outside it were considered to be dangerous and civilized.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Know your English !! Part.II

Weasel Words: Words or phrases with a vague meaning- such as efficiency or not in the public interest- as used in official statements to avoid specific commitments. The idea behind the term is the supposed ability of a weasel to suck out the contents of an egg while leaving the shell intact.

Upper case: Capital letters, the larger and less common form of the letters of the alphabet, as used at the start of sentences or proper names.
The terms ‘Upper Case and Lower Case’ come from the early days of printing when type was stored in a case with capital letters at the top and small letters at the bottom.

Accent: Way in which words are pronounced in a particular region or by a particular social class. It also refers to DIACRITICAL MARKS such as ACUTE ACCENT and GRAVE ACCENT, which adjust the way letters are pronounced in some languages. The word can also refer to the emphasis or stress placed on a particular syllable in a word.
Acronym: Words formed by combining the initial letters or syllables of a name or phrase, and pronouncing it as if it were an ordinary word.
Example:  Radar, Radio Detection And Ranging.

Ante-: Prefix from Latin, meaning ‘before,’ as in anteroom.

Anti-: Prefix, from Greek, meaning ‘against’ or ‘opposed to’, as in anticlockwise

Back-formation: Words created accidentally, on the mistaken assumption that it is an earlier and more basic form of an existing word.
Example: burgle and laze are back formations of burglar and lazy

Thursday, September 1, 2011

History Mystery: Realm of Myths and Legends -14

Druids: Priesthood of pre Roman Celtic religion in Gaul and Britain, whose rites are said to have involved human sacrifice. They seem to have had knowledge of astronomy, and claimed to have prophetic powers. They believed that the soul was immortal. It was once thought that the Druids built Stonehenge and other stone circles as their temples. However, although the Druids may have used Stonehenge, archaeology shows that the circle was finished around 1550 BC- some 1200 years before the earliest know Druids.

The druid means ‘knowing the oak tree’ and may refer to their rituals which took place in sacred oak groves.

Elysian Fields: In Greek mythology, the place where the soul of the righteous go after death. According to Homer, it is a beautiful region at the end of the Earth. Figuratively, the Elysian Fields are a place or condition of ideal happiness.

The French translation of Elysian Fields, ‘Champs Elysees’, is the name of the principal boulevard in Paris.

The Fates: Three Greek and Roman goddess who governed human fate. They are Clotho, the spinner of man’s destiny; Lachesis, the weaver of chance; and Atropos, who cuts the thread of life with her scissors when death comes.

Fairies: Supernatural beings found in the folklore of many countries; often mischievous, they are capable of assisting or harassing humans. Hundreds of kinds of fairies have been described, varying in size, character and magical powers. They are said to cover human babies, and cradle snatching is their chief vice. In place of the stolen baby they leave a changeling- a fairy child or a piece of wood carved to look like a child. The Christian church once thought that fairies were fallen angels, or the souls of babies who had died anabaptized.