Saturday 10 October 2009

a test of gain

Fill in the gaps with the correct phrase from below and ONLY THEN click on the “gap” box to check your answer.

gain a foothold
gain admittance
gain credence
ill-gotten gains
nothing ventured, nothing gained

Aristotle leaned against the tall, white pillar, drinking in the sun, with his eyes closed.
'So Theophrastus, what do you think of my new book?'
Theophrastus, sitting on the step below him, looked up from the manuscript he had just finished. 'It's rubbish,' he said, throwing it to the ground.
Aristotle didn't move. 'Rubbish?' he queried.
'Yes,' confirmed Theophrastus. 'The theory of spontaneous generation, the idea that life comes from inanimate matter is just nonsense. Bees come from the carcasses of dead bulls? Oysters from slime? Worms from snow? Please. Who are you trying to kid? This theory will never with scientists.'
'Hmm,' said Aristotle. 'You don't think my ideas will with other philosophers, then?'
Theophrastus grimaced. 'Not a chance. You'll be lucky to to the library ever again, let alone the Scientific Association's annual conference if you publish this codswallop.'
'You don't think other scientists will spend the next 2000 years believing my theory and adding to it, for example, by saying that a scorpion is created by putting a piece of basil between two bricks in the sun?'
Theophrastus laughed. 'Yes, and by saying that a mouse can be generated from a piece of soiled cloth plus some wheat. No, I don't think so Aristotle.'
'O well,' exclaimed Aristotle, opening his eyes. ', I suppose. It's just that my publisher is hounding me for a new book, and I could really do with the cash.'
'Cash? And what would you do with the from this book? Get another bust made of you?'
'You may scoff, Theophrastus, but a man's worth is measured in how many busts he has of himself. And it always will be.' Aristotle picked up the manuscript. 'Now, how about if I tell my publishers that this is a comedy...?'

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Collocation of the Week by Dr Myers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.