Here is all you want to know about English! Start your FREE email English course now!

Find penpals and make new friends today!
refuse; trash; disorder
full quiz correct answer

ESL Story: The language of pessimism

Front gardening I hate
Driving lessons
Learning to teach
Holiday in waiting
What''s your sense of direction like?
The scariest thing...?
Do people still get married?
The soccer world cup and ''Wibledon''
Difficult pairs: credible vs. credulous
Difficult pairs: loose vs. lose
Difficult pairs: listen vs. hear
Difficult pairs: people vs. person
Difficult pairs: speak vs. talk
Difficult Pairs: see vs. look
The behaviour of cats and dogs
Seriously though
Just me and English
From one extreme to the other
Are you a gestculatory sort of person?
Are you a TV or radio person?
Are you a nitpicker?
Putting your foot in it
The language of surprise
Have a nice cliché
The language of suspicion
The language of understanding
The language of ups and downs
The language of praise
The language of sleep
The language of sarcasm
The language of silence
The language of pessimism
The language of optimism
The language of relaxation
The language of work
The language of yes
The language of numbers
The language of army
Gerund or infinitive?
A born fiddler
How good is your Polish?
A matter of degree
The Knoblauch-Garlic Story
How to get to Heraklion?
Negotiating a Commission
What does it take to be a firefigher?
How to start a beauty salon?
How to make lambs suckle?
Hooked up
Don''t mess with the Russians
China Kid
China Kid (2)
A story behind a family tree
A story behind a family tree (2)
A story behind a family tree (3)
English Language Exercises 2206 English Exercises
This English grammar test package will help you learn new phrases, idioms, expressions and grammar structures every single day. And you won't even have to cram any grammar rules or vocabulary words into your head. Instead, you will be absorbing bits and pieces of the English language almost without realizing it.
English as a second language
Pimsleur English for Korean Speakers Pimsleur English for Korean Speakers
Learn English through this unique audio course! No grammar exercises, no boring English classes. How did you learn your native language? You can learn English the same way! Try this EFL/ESL audio comprehensive program and you will make progress fast.

Listen to this lesson (English audio, MP3)

Please activate Javascript for view MP3 player

Visit Britain in the Summer and spend a few minutes by the seaside to observe the faces of the sunbathers (and remember the sun does shine here on occasion) or glance at the expressions on the faces of those engrossed in watching the local cricket match and you might get the impression that the world is shortly coming to an end. We do, as you may know, have a tendency to take our pleasures rather seriously and some of us have that unhappy knack of looking on the black side.

Some twenty-five years ago a character on the radio by the name of Mona Lot, who as you may well imagine did moan quite a lot, used a catchphrase that became very popular. After each saga of her woes and miseries she would say in her mournful voice: “It's being so cheerful that keeps me going.

Entertaining English Usage EssaysPrintable, photocopiable and clearly structured format
Designed for teachers and individual learners
For use in a classroom, at home, on your PC or anywhere

Such people as Mona, when asked how they are, will invariably reply in this vein: “Oh, mustn't grumble, you know.” In trade and business two such expressions proliferate. When the graphs in the manager's office show a continuous downward curve, things are said to be going from bad to worse and when the point of bankruptcy is reached, trade is said to have hit rock bottom.

Of course, if you're talking solely about your own despair, you could choose one of these two: to be down in the mouth — which can be a passing bad mood as when you've just heard that the tax on petrol has gone up — or down in the dumps — which is a longer lasting depression and the only solution to which is a holiday long enough to make your problems disappear. If you want to make a metaphor out of your gloom and impress all around that you've read Pilgrim's Progress by the 17th century writer John Bunyan, you can effectively remark: “I'm passing through the — Slough of Despond.” Mind you, you won't get much sympathy for as likely as not your listeners will be hard at work puzzling out the meaning.

Finally, an expression that half apologises for your dark looks by suggesting that such is not your usual frame of mind: “I'm not feeling myself today.” Well, I do hope I haven't made you feel too downcast. If I have, go on and enjoy yourself and have a jolly good cry.

But before you do that, let me go over those expressions once more. If you are prone to be pessimistic about the possibility of success in any venture or situation, you are said to look on the black side. If your despondency refers to business or politics where in your view the position is deteriorating, you say: “Things are going from bad to worse.” And when the business has reached its lowest point, you declare that it has hit rock bottom.

But most of the expressions referred to personal feelings of depression. You can hint at dissatisfaction with life by answering the question: “How are you?” with a brief:” Mustn't grumble: If your bad mood is shortlived you are down in the mouth and if it's a continuing gloom, down in the dumps. This condition of being downcast is described in literary terms as the Slough of Despond. And finally, you can explain the reason for being generally fed up by saying: “I'm not feeling myself today.

Dear Friend,
If you have any questions or comments regarding this essay, please post your answers on the forum here: Pessimism.

Many thanks.

If you have any English grammar or vocabulary questions,
please post them on this English Grammar Forum.

Next:ESL Story: The language of optimism

Author: Alan Townend

ESL/EFL Worksheets for Students and Teachers
Your English Test Package will help you learn new phrases, idioms, expressions and English grammar structures every single day. And you won't even have to cram any grammar rules or vocabulary words into your head! Instead, you will be absorbing bits and pieces of the English language almost without realizing it. This worksheet package is the only printable English test collection currently available on the Internet. It contains 2206 ESL/EFL Tests covering a wide variety of topics and grammatical points.

  copyright © 2003—2022  
Get FREE English course via e-mail