What is the difference between a monologue and a soliloquy? (J. Mithali, Mysuru)
The ‘o’ in the first and third syllable of ‘soliloquy’ sounds like the ‘a’ in ‘china. The second syllable rhymes with ‘bill’ and ‘pill’, and the final ‘quy’ sounds like the ‘qui’ in ‘quit’ and ‘quick’. The word is pronounced ‘se-LIL-e-kwi’ with the stress on the second syllable. It comes from the Latin ‘solus’ meaning ‘alone’ and ‘loqus’ meaning ‘to speak’; in the case of a soliloquy, a person talks to himself. Shakespeare used soliloquies in his plays in order to let the audience know what the character was thinking. ‘Monologue’, on the other hand, comes from the Greek ‘mono’ meaning ‘single’ and ‘logue’ meaning ‘speak’. In a ‘monologue’, a person talks to himself or with someone else. In a ‘dialogue’ two or more people talk; in the case of a ‘monologue’, it is one person who is doing most of the talking. The other individual will find it difficult to get in a word edgewise.
There were far too many soliloquies in the play.
Gupta’s answer came in the form of a monologue that lasted nearly 10 minutes.
What is the meaning of ‘rushed off one’s feet’? (Vijay Kumar, Villupuram)
According to books on usage, the expression is mostly limited to British English. When you ‘rush/run someone off his feet’, you keep him extremely busy. You make him work so hard that he becomes tired; so tired, that he finds it difficult to remain standing. He is ready to collapse.
You’d better get some rest. With so many people being ill, you are likely to be rushed off your feet tomorrow.
Being a kindergarten teacher is difficult. Vindhya says she’s run off her feet by noon.
What is the meaning of ‘textrovert’? (Akshay, Delhi)
We all know what the words ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ mean. An introvert is someone who is shy and does not really talk to people. The opposite is an extrovert; he or she is outgoing and takes delight in the company of others. While these words have been part of the English language for a long time, ‘textrovert’ and ‘webtrovert’ are of recent coinage. When you meet a ‘textrovert’ in person, he or she is like an introvert — very shy and has very little to say. But when this individual starts texting, he or she becomes a totally different person. He or she comes across as an extrovert, sounds confident, speaks his mind and has many interesting things to say. This individual feels a lot more comfortable texting someone than talking to them face to face. The term ‘webtrovert’ has more or less the same meaning he or she is someone who feels a lot more comfortable chatting with people on the web.
Rani is a textrovert. Face to face, she is absolutely boring.
Is it okay to say ‘few supporting evidence is found…’? (Uma Ramachander, Hosur)
No, it is not. The word ‘evidence’ is an uncountable noun and therefore cannot be used with ‘few’ or ‘many’. These two words usually precede countable nouns like ‘chairs’, ‘children’, ‘items’, and so on. Usually, it is ‘little’ and ‘much’ that precede uncountable nouns like ‘evidence’, ‘truth’, ‘money’ and ‘sugar’.
There is little evidence that can be used in court.
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Introverts are word economists in a society suffering from verbal diarrhoea.
The author teaches at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. [email protected]
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