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Old Tuesday, April 01, 2008
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ENGLISH (Précis and Composition)


1. Make a Précis of the following passage in about 200 words:

Man is pie-eminently an animal good as gadgets. However, there is reason for doubting his good judgment in their utilization. Perhaps the first chemical process which man employed for his own service was combustion. First utilized to warm naked and chilled bodies, it was then discovered to be effective for scaring off nocturnal beasts of prey and an admirable agent for the preparation and preservation of food. Much later came the discovery that fire could be used in extracting and working metals and last of all that it could be employed to generate power. En ancient times man began to use fire as a weapon, beginning with incendiary torches and arrow and proceeding to explosives, which have been developed principally for the destruction of human beings and their works. In the control and utilization of gases, the achievements of our species have not been commendable. One might begin with air, which man breathes in common with other terrestrial vertebrates. He differs from other animals in that he seems incapable of selecting the right kind of air for breathing. Man is for ever doing things which foul the air and poisoning himself by his own stupidity. He pens himself up in a limited air space and suffocates, he manufactures noxious gases which accidentally or intentionally displace the air and remove him from the ranks of the living, he has been completely unable to filter the air of the disease germs, which he breathes to his detriment, he and all his works are powerless to prevent a hurricane or to withstand its force. Man has indeed been able to utilize the power of moving air currents to a limited extent and to imitate the flight of birds, with the certainty of eventually breaking his neck if he tries it. Man uses water much in the same way as other animals, ho has to drink it constantly, washes in it frequently, and drowns it occasionally — probably oftener than other terrestrial vertebrates. Without water, he dies as miserably as any other beast and with too much of it, as in floods, he is equally unable to cope. However, he excels other animals in that he has learned to utilize water power.
But it is rather man’s lack of judgment in the exercise of control of natural resources which would disgust critics of higher intelligence, although it would not surprise the apes. Man observes that the wood of trees is serviceable for constructing habitation and other buildings. He straightaway and recklessly denudes the earth of forests. in so far as he is able. He finds that the meat and skins of the bison are valuable and immediately goes to work to exterminate the bison. He allows his grazing animals to strip the turf from the soil so that it is blown away and fertile places become deserts. He clears for cultivation and exhausts the rich land by stupid planting. He goes into wholesale production of food, cereals, fruits and livestock and allows the fruits of his labour to rot or to starve because he has not provided any adequate method of distributing them or because no one can pay for them. He invents machines which do the work of many men, and is perplexed by the many men who are out of work. It would be hard to convince judges of human conduct that man is not an economic fool.

2. Write a prose versions of the following poem in simple English and then comment on the difference in the language of both the poem and its prose version:

Without that once clear aim, the path of flight -
To follow for a life-time through white air,
This century chokes me under roots of might,
I suffer like history in Dark Ages, where
Truth lies in dungeons, from which drifts on whisper,
We hear of towers long broken off from sight
And tortures and war, in dark and smoky rumour,
But on man’s buried lives there falls no light.
Watch me who walks through coiling streets where rain
And fog down every cry and corners of day
Road drills explore new areas of pain,
Nor summer nor light may reach down here to play.
The city builds its horror in my brain,
This writing is my only wings away..

3. a) Distinguish between the meaning of the words in the following pairs, and use them in sentences to illustrate:
  1. Grateful, gratified,
  2. Imaginary, imaginative,
  3. Negligent, negligible,
  4. placable, placeable,
  5. Restive, restless.
b) Use any five of the following idioms in your own sentences to illustrate their meaning:
  1. When all is said and done,
  2. An axe to grind,
  3. Turn anew leaf,
  4. Burn the candle at both ends,
  5. Leave in the lurca,
  6. Goes without saying,
  7. Like a red rag to a bull,
  8. Not a leg to stand on,
  9. Under the thumb of,
  10. The writing on the wall.
4. Develop the following quotation into a paragraph of about 120 words:
"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them, that’s the essence of humanity.” (GB. Shaw in The Devil’s Disciple. Act II)


Give a brief but complete statement of your ideals and dreams of life in simple English.

5. List, with some amplification the steps that the Government of Pakistan should take in order to check inflation and rising prices in the country.


Compose a short speech for a Forum on international understanding and goodwill
The Me you have always known, the Me that's a stranger still.
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