ENGLISH is a wonderful language. Try altering the sequence of two words in a sentence – words, for example, which may have the same spelling but different meaning or where one is used as a verb and the other as a noun and then reversed. The result, I assure you, is very interesting.
Here’s what I mean. Take the following expression: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
The first “going” refers to the journey which if it is tough (difficult), can only be survived and endured (they “get going”) by those who are themselves “tough” in nature (strong or hardy). When the “tough get going”, this means they will not be daunted but will rise to the challenge instead.
Here’s another sentence: If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
In this case, the words “fail” and “plan” are both used as verbs but the meaning of the phrase is altered simply by exchanging the placement of the words. “Failing to plan” indicates one who did not do any planning at all. Without any detailed planning or thorough preparation, such a person is bound to fail. In other words, it is as if he planned (or had decided) to fail, right from the very start.
I could very well say that “ the right start is when you start right”. By doing the right thing at the beginning, you will ensure yourself success.
ENGLISH IN MANAGEMENT
changing the order of words in a sentence can bring about a whole different meaning.
In management books, it is also has further queries on the matter often written that: or has read something contrary to
Being efficient is doing the thing what the teacher’s given answer is. right, My favourite expression, with its
While being effective is doing the play on words and the subsequent right thing. depth of thought required, is this:
Yes, an efficient person makes Do you see the seed in the apple, or good and careful use of resources the apple in the seed? – such as manpower, money, methYes, we all know that apples conods, machines and materials – and tain seeds, don’t they? We throw therefore, ensures that whatever these seeds away without a single project or programme is planned thought for their significance. But, if will be carried out correctly with you think about it – isn’t it true that minimum waste. the seed contains the embryo of the
Meanwhile, the effective person apple tree and if you germinate the focuses on the end result, which is seed, it will develop into an apple the “effect” he wishes to produce. seedling, grow into an apple tree A salesman, for instance, will want which will, one day, bear apples? to increase sales revenue and he is Therefore, it is true that there “effective” when he does this – that are apples in every seed! Amazing, is, he has done the right thing! isn’t it?
A teacher friend of mine, who It’s like the man who said to me, considers himself both efficient and when he handed me a book on effective, also likes the following philosophy: There is a place for every expression: A teacher answers his word, and a word for every place. student’s questions, but an intelligent Even this expression reminds you student will question his teacher’s not to take what you say or write answers. lightly, but to think carefully about
This means that while teachers what word to use and when. generally help to answer the quesI must also remind you that, if tions posed by students, the student you wish to take to the road, then you who is capable of intelligent thinkmust decide what road to take. ing will question the teacher if he In other words, don’t leave home feels the answer given is not exact without knowing where it is that or appropriate, or unsuitable. He you wish to go to exactly. Or, if you may even question the answer if he are a student and you wish to study abroad or away from home, don’t just dream of leaving home but do think carefully of what course you would like to take, where it is offered and what it entails to study it.
What about this expression – Some people eat to live, some live to eat?
It makes you laugh, doesn’t it? I have met people who do love their food and live to savour every meal for all that it is worth while others practise discipline and eat only what they really require to be healthy and fit.
Meanwhile, here’s yet another common expression: Don’t trouble trouble, until trouble troubles you.
Basically, it means that you should stay out of trouble as much as you can!
Here’s an interesting expression I saw on a bookmark. In times of dif- ficulty, don’t ever say, “GOD, I have a BIG problem.” Say instead, “Hey, problem, I have a BIG GOD!” and everything will be all right.
I came across another interesting example in Aravind Adiga’s novel, The Last Man In The Tower. In it, he talks about a sign that originally read: “Work in Progress; Inconvenience is regretted.” But, the sign had been changed to read: “Incovenience in Progress; Work is Regretted.” I had a good laugh.
Finally, an ode to Emily Dickinson, who wrote in one of her poems:
“Much madness is divinest sense – to the discerning eye.
Much sense – the starkest madness – tis the majority.”
The play on the words “madness” and “sense” – that’s what a reverse take is all about. English is to be enjoyed!