Category Archives: Grammar

Daphne myth & laurel leaves

Ratna Raman Publius Ovidius Naso (43 BCE -17/18CE) or Ovid, the canonical Roman poet, is popularly known for his ‘magnum opus’ (Latin, best work) Metamorphoses (Latin, transformations). A long narrative poem using genres, such as elegiac, tragic, epic, mock-epic and … Continue reading

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Restoration of rights

Ratna Raman A RESTAURANT is an eating house where a person can sit at a table and order a meal and pay for it. This is a restful experience for the harassed homemaker or the hard working adult. With French … Continue reading

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Dogs bark at the moon

Ratna Raman THE moon is not shamed by the barking of dogs’ is a proverb attributed to the native Americans. Popular wisdom the world over also subscribes to similar belief. Many Indian languages demonstrate an acceptance of the fact that … Continue reading

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Women and furies in hell

Ratna Raman WILLIAM Congreve’s play, The Mourning Bride, gave us a familiar expression: “Hell hath no Fury like a woman scorned.” ‘Scorned women’ (women rejected by their lovers) are so bad tempered that they apparently outdo the furies in hell. … Continue reading

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The two-watch theory

Ratna Raman An ‘intriguing’ (puzzling) proverb that did the rounds in the twentieth century declares: ‘May you live in interesting times!’ The expression ‘interesting times’ ironically refers to times of war, confusion and conflict and sets up the placidity of … Continue reading

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Fiddling with the Constitution

Ratna Raman AS school-going children, we were routinely instructed to stop fiddling and sit at our desks quietly. Fiddling refers to the inconsequential fidgeting (shuffling, restless movement) that is so charming in small humans and animals. However, young adults who … Continue reading

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Why we remain tense

Ratna Raman Tenses’ in grammar, rhyme with ‘lenses,’ and just as appropriate lenses correct faulty vision, the correct use of tenses enables us to position ourselves well in the framework of life. ‘The present tense’ enables us to provide a … Continue reading

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