Department of humanities and sciences


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Topic / Unit: III – THE CONNOISSEUR from Enjoying Everyday English

I. Word Study

1. Stabbed = to push or press with full force

2. Frenetic = hyperactive with .lot of nervous energy

3. Diminish = lessen, cover

4. Pathetically = causing sadness or pity

5. Apologies = formal excuses

6. Underlined = expressed very strongly and with full stress

7. Urgency = importance

8. Perversely = not what one would expect, incorrectly, improperly, wrongly, unreasonably

9. Lavished = spend abundantly

10. Tenderness = affection

11. Bemusedly = confused and dazed

12. Enormous = huge

13. Abandoned = deserted

14. Impelled = to make someone feel that they must do something

15. Passion = intense interest, strong liking

16. Rapture = to express extreme pleasure or excitement

17. Fluted = cylindrical, wavy edges

18. Marveling = wondering

19. Translucence = transparent, shining and glowing

20. Starved = deprived

21. Coarse = rough

22. Discarded = worn, thrown out

23. Craves = to want greatly

24. Petit point = hand crafted

25. Envy = feel jealous

26. Cottage = a small house

27. Astonishing = surprising, amazing

28. Array = group, collection, cluster

29. String = line

30. Amused = laughing

31. Annoyed = irritated, bothered, upset

32. Clutter = mess, dump

33. Presumably = to expect or assume with confidence, used to say what you think is likely

34. Eventually = finally

35. Fastened = closed, locked, tied up securely

36. Shrugged off = take it likely or casually

37. Eccentricity = peculiarity, odd behaviour

38. Spinster = unmarried woman

39. Fidgeting = to make continuous small movements that annoy others

40. Distracting = disturbing

41. Inquisitive = intrusive, curious, interested in inquiring

42. Pooling = collecting, gathering

43. Alarmed = upset, troubled

44. Impulse = urge, desire

45. Flush = turn red in face because of strong emotions or climatic changes

46. Hitched = held

47. Straggling = spread untidily

48. Battered = worn out shabby

49. Looped = circled

50. Domineering = dominating, dictatorial

51. Curious = interesting

52. Pittance = meager amount, minute allowance

53. Scrape = pooled together

54. Panacea = remedy, cure

55. Dividends = Bonus or extra payments

56. For a song = for a very cheap price

57. Fascinated = spellbound

58. Fancy = imagine

59. Acquisition = purchase

60. Embossed = embellished, decorated

61. Lacquered = varnished or finely coated with colour patterns

62. Vague = unclear

63. Sulky = bad-tempered

64. Spry = sprightly. Agile and active

65. Sullen = angry and serious

66. Distrust = disbelief, doubt and suspicion

67. Dismay = shocked, depressed and disappointed

68. Intrigued = confused

69. Startled = worried, shocked

70. Chime = musical sound

II. Reading Comprehension

  1. i

  2. ii

  3. iii

  4. i

  5. ii

III. Summarizing

A summary is a short and concise representation of the main points, ideas, concepts, facts or statements of a text written in your own words. Unlike a paraphrase, which is generally of a similar length to the original text, a summary is much shorter. When either summarising or paraphrasing, you should not alter:

  • The author's original idea(s)

  • The degree of certainty with which the ideas are expressed.

Summarising is the second effective communication skill which forms part of the cyclical process of Listening - Summarising - Questioning that promotes Effective Communication and Effective Conflict Resolution.
Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) or one or several writers into your own words, including only the main point(s). Once again, it is necessary to attribute summarized ideas to the original source. Summarized ideas are not necessarily presented in the same order as in the original source. Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material. Summarize when:

  • You want to establish background or offer an overview of a topic

  • You want to describe common knowledge (from several sources) about a topic

  • You want to determine the main ideas of a single source

  • Read the article.
  • Re-read the article. Underline important ideas. Circle key terms. Find the main point of the article. Divide the article into sections or stages of thought, and label each section or stage of thought in the margins. Note the main idea of each paragraph if the article is short.

  • Write brief summaries of each stage of thought or if appropriate each paragraph. Use a separate piece of paper for this step. This should be a 
    brief outline
    of the article. 

  • Write the main point of the article. Use your own words. This should be a sentence that expresses the central idea of the article as you have determined it the from steps above. 

  • Write your rough draft of the summary. Combine the information from the first four steps into paragraphs. 

NOTE: Include all the important ideas

  • Use the author's key words

  • Follow the original organization where possible.

  • Include any important data.

  • Include any important conclusions.

  • Edit your version. Be concise. Eliminate needless words and repetitions.
    (Avoid using "the author says...," "the author argues...," etc.)

  • Compare your version to the original. 

  • Do not use quotations, but if you use them be sure to quote
    correctly.  Indicate quotations with quotation marks. Cite each
    quotation correctly (give the page number).

  • Do not plagiarize. Cite any paraphrases by citing the page number 
    the information appears on. Avoid paraphrasing whenever possible. 
    Use your own words to state the ideas presented in the article.

In the summary, you should include only the information your readers need.

  1. State the main point first.

  2. Use a lower level of technicality than the authors of the original article use. Do not write a summary your readers cannot understand.

  3. Make the summary clear and understandable to someone who has not read the original article. Your summary should stand on its own.
  4. Write a summary rather than a table of contents. Add no new data and none of your own ideas.

  5. Use a simple organization: 

  • main point

  • main results: give the main results

  • conclusions/recommendations

  1. Unless the examples in the article are essential, do not include the examples in your summary. If you include them, remember to explain them.

So when you write a summary:

  1. State the main point first.

  2. Emphasize the main stages of thought.

  3. State the article’s conclusion.

  4. Summarize rather than give a table of contents.

  5. Keep Summary Short: 3 to 7 sentences

IV. Stress

These sounds that are produced have to be properly stressed in words and sentences. This ‘stress’ is another important component of speaking skill. Stress is the degree of the force of breath with which a particular syllable in a word is spelt or pronounced. It occupies great significance in the spoken language as all the syllables in a word are not uttered with uniform force. Stress helps a speaker to convey the meaning by laying stress on one syllable or the other, or the one word or the other in a sentence. If a word has more than one syllable, only one syllable is stressed.

Syllable that is more prominent than the others is said to receive the accent. This prominence is due to the stress that makes pronunciation easy. The syllable, on which there is a pitch change, is said to have the primary or tonic accent. The next prominent syllable in the order is said to have secondary stress. There are four types of stress. They are:

  • Primary stress: Indicated by a half straight bar ( | )

  • Secondary stress: Indicated by ^
  • Tertiary stress: Indicated by an small bar ( ‘ )

The following words in bold type indicate the stress that has to be placed on the word in the sentences:

I love chocolates (not someone else)

I love chocolates (have a reason)

I love chocolates (not anything else)

This makes it clear that in a sentence all the words are stressed. For the sake of convenience, we call the stressed syllable as the strongly stressed one and the unstressed one as the weakly stressed one. In English, all single syllabled words have stress on the same single syllable. In the case of disyllabic words, there are certain generalizations.

The following words have stress on the first syllable:

doctor, ’writer, ’sister,

mother, ’author, ’empty

hostel, ’useful, ’apple.

The following words have stress on the second syllable:

Examples are: es’teem, ma’chine, ga’rage

  • Some words have stress on both the syllables

Examples are: ’six’teen, ’pre’pared

  • Nouns often have stress on the first syllable and this changes to the second syllable when they are used as verbs.

conduct (n) – con’duct (v)

refuse (n) – re’fuse (v)

object (n) – ob’ject (v)

project (n) – pro’ject (v)

contract (n) – con’tract (v)

  • Words with weak prefixes are stressed on the root word and not the prefix.

Examples are: a’cross, a’bout, a’lone, be’low, be’tween, de’velop

  • Words ending with the suffix ‘ion’ are stressed on the second syllable from the end.

Examples are: appli’cation, oc’casion, sit’uation, pro’motion
  • Words ending in ‘ic’, ‘ical’, ‘ically’ are stressed on the syllable preceeding the suffix.

Examples are: ’Tragic, ’comic, co’mical, eco’nomic, poli’tically.

  • The following two syllable suffixes are almost stressed on the syllable immediately preceding the suffix.

ian – elec’trician, li’brarian

ial – arti’ficial, in’dustrial

ally – confi’dentially, of’ficially

ity – a’bility, ne’cessity

ious – indus’trious, vic’torious

  • Verbs with more than two syllables and the following suffixes are stressed on the third syllable from the end.

ate – ’agitate, ’educate

fy – ’glorify, ’qualify

ze/ise – ’realize, mono’polize

  • Most English compound words have a single stress on the first word.

Examples are: ’daybreak, ’birthday, ’thunderstorm, ’tea party

  • In compound words, where the first element is present participle, the stress is single.

Examples are: ’dining room, ’parking lot, ’washing machine, ’walking stick

  • In compound of two nouns, where the first noun shows the material of which the second is made and the two nouns, which show different characteristics of a same person, the stress is double.

Examples are: ’silver ’bowl, ’iron ’rod, ’coal ’mine, ’woman ’teacher

  • Double stress is used in compound adjectives of which the first element is an adjective.

Examples are: ’old ’fashioned, ’absent ’minded, ’well-bred

  • In case of compound words formed by adding prefixes, which have a distinct meaning of their own, the stress will be on prefix on the root word itself.

Examples are: ex-’president, non-’stop

  • Words ending in –aire, –eer, –esee, –escence, –esque, –ique, –itis take the stress on the first syllable.

Examples are: ’pioneer, ’millionaire, ’physique

  • The inflexional suffixes (es, ing, ed) and derivational suffixes (age, ance, en, ess, fy, hood, ice, ish, ive, less, ly, ment, ness, or, ship, ter, ure, ice, y and zen) do not effect the accent. The stress will be laid down according to the syllable division.

The word stress is syllabic and functional in nature. The stress helps us to learn correct pronunciation.
There is another variation in the stress called as the sentence stress. A sentence is a combination of content words and structural words. All content words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, demonstratives) are stressed and the structural words (articles, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, auxiliary verbs) are not stressed.

Examples are: I was w’alking on the r’oad.

It does not mean that structural words are not stressed altogether. They are uttered but with less amount of speaking force. All the structural words have a strong form of pronunciation and weak forms of accent.
Lesson Overview - THE CONNOISSEUR
Parsi writers in India have contributed a lot to the literature of the country. Nergis Dalal is one of the most prominent feminist and Parsi writers in India. She is a versatile writer with natural talent for writing. In the short story ‘Connoisseur’ an interesting tale of Miss Krishna is presented and author presents her character in a contrast to Miss Krishna.

The story starts with the narration of the writer as she presents her self as a self-contained, self-satisfied and uncomplaining gentle lady. She is busy with her work as a writer and has recognition on the society as a well to do and successful woman. In the course of her visits to the painting exhibitions she happens to meet Miss Krishna and it becomes inevitable to avoid her. She follows the writer to her luxurious house for a cup of tea. The writer is a widow and leads a tranquil life where as, Miss Krishna is a sixty-five year old spinster. She lives in a tiny cottage. She is fond of artistic and beautiful things. She starts visiting the writer frequently and gains her sympathy. Once the writer is forced to invite Miss Krishna to stay with her as the latter’s house was getting painted. But, that becomes a huge problem as Miss Krishna moves in with her black trunks. Though one seems confused and inquisitive with the belongings of Miss Krishna, she never gave any chance for anyone to know about her personal property.

Miss Krishna spent all her life caring for her sick mother whom she gave all her attention sacrificing her whole life. But it was unfortunate that her mother doted on Miss Krishna’s younger sister and devoted all her love and affection to her. She lavished her property on her and married her off, where as Miss Krishna was left all alone after her mother’s death. Miss Krishna shares a love-hate relationship with her mother as she was neglected and uncared for all through her life. That is the reason why she seemed like an abandoned dog for the author. When she moved into the author’s house, the author was dormant that it is only a temporary arrangement and so allowed Miss Krishna into her private life. Miss Krishna was always fascinated by the Chinese carpet, the crystal ash trays, the red ceramic bowls and other beautiful furniture and exquisite articles in the author’s house. Slowly, she started planning to settle down comfortably forever with the author. One morning when Miss Krishna went out for shopping, author impulsively drove to Miss Krishna’s house and found that it is ready after painting which was finished many days back. She made it assertive that Miss Krishna can leave her and move back to her little cottage. Thus Miss Krishna left her though she made it a point to visit her regularly.

Miss Krishna was always a fussy and distracting guest. When she stayed with the author she made fuss with the food. One day she took out a beautiful cup and saucer from her big purse and showed it to the author saying that it was a treatment for all her ills. Whenever she felt sad and life unbearable she would buy herself something lovely. As the piece looked costly, the author was a little bit astonished. But Miss Krsihna said that she found out a small shop in the bazaar where she could get all the things for very less price. Soon it happened that the author visited one of her friends family for a dinner and there found out that the same cups and saucers were there and the fact that one of them went missing. It was also found out that Miss Krishna was known to them. The author was shocked to make a startling discovery that Miss Krishna had Kleptomania that is a neurotic impulse to steal.

One morning, there was news that Miss Krishna did not wake up in the morning. The author rushed to Miss Krishna’s cottage and telephoned the doctor. Later she was told that Miss Krishna died of heart attack as she had a previous history of mild angina attack and that she took her medicines regularly. When Miss Krishna’s sister arrived it was found out that her name was Maya. At first she did not talk to the author because she was not happy with Maya’ will in which she left all her property to the author. The author told Miss Krishna’s sister that she is not interested and it would be improper on her part to take Maya’s property. Her sister was extremely happy and relaxed. She invited the author to finally take a look at the secret trunks of Maya. Both of them were surprised to find that they consisted of glass and silver articles, statues, carved figures, watches jewelry, etc., which were exceptionally valuable. For the writer it was evident that they were all stolen articles. At last, with the permission of Maya’s sister, author only picked up her little clock which went missing three months ago as a remembrance of Miss Krishna.

The word ‘Connoisseur’ generally defines an ‘expert on matters involving the judgement of beauty, quality or skill in food, art and music’. In the essay Miss Krishna is the Connoisseur as she really cared for all the beautiful things. Often we see anyone of us just simply collecting or buying beautiful things for using them. But it was all different in the case of Miss Krishna. She had a troubled childhood, sad and lonely life. So she became a little perverted and sought to find out remedy for all here ills by enjoying all the beautiful things, by stealing them. She adored them, valued them and safely locked them in the trunks. Her behaviour seems confusing but she had a perfect sense of humour as she enjoyed the beauty of life and did not try to make any problem to anyone. At the end she only showed her plainness by returning back all the things to someone who appreciates the beauty of life in spite of all problems as she did . Hence it is appropriate that the title of the story is Connoisseur as it is the story of Miss Krishna.

The author in her simple yet controlled style managed to intricately weave social themes in her short story ensuring that the focus never moves away from the central
characters. The characters in her work are very human in their emotions and mindsets and readers can easily relate to the different shades of their personalities that they witness under varying circumstances. Nergis Dalal presents an interesting story of peculiar character that makes a mark with her tragic and comic tale.

Dr. D. Ashalatha

Professor and Head, Department of HAS


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