Published: 27th July 2019
India on the moon: How to use the phrases 'bounce back', 'technical glitch' and others correctly in sentences
To ‘bounce back’ means to return quickly to a normal condition after a difficult situation, crisis or setback
On July 22, when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched Chandrayaan 2, the nation’s second Moon mission, almost all leading international newspapers and TV channels covered the event.
The historic event of India launching Chandrayaan 2 prompted a reader to request me to discuss the important words and phrases used in news reports on a space mission to the Moon. A good suggestion, indeed. While going through various reports and tweets, I came across the following useful words, phrases and collocations: bounce back, with flying colours, technical snag/technical glitch, a giant/big/huge leap forward, liftoff/lift-off, congratulations to someone on something, to soar towards, to get off the ground.
Immediately after the launch of the Chandrayaan 2, the chairman of the ISRO said that ISRO ‘bounced back with flying colours’.
He used the phrase ‘bounce back’ to refer to how the scientists at ISRO were able to overcome a technical snag and successfully launched the space vehicle. To ‘bounce back’ means to return quickly to a normal condition after a difficult situation, crisis or setback.
The England cricket team bounced back after losing important wickets.
The phrase ‘with flying colours’ refers to accomplish something very successfully. Here are examples:
After a major technical snag in the launch vehicle earlier, ISRO has come out with flying colours.
In the phrase ‘technical snag’, the word ‘snag’ means an unexpected difficulty or obstacle. The alternative term for ‘technical snag’ is ‘technical glitch’.
ISRO scientists worked relentlessly to remove the technical glitch.
What is the meaning of ‘lift-off’? The action of the vertical take-off of a spacecraft is called ‘lift-off’. Hailing the Indian Moon mission, Washington Post said, “We have liftoff! India launches Moon mission on the second attempt.” The Guardian has used ‘lift-off’ as a phrasal verb in the example below:
India’s Chandrayaan-2 Moon mission lifts off a week after aborted launch. (The Guardian)
Which is correct: to congratulate someone on or for something? Though the verb congratulates collocates with both the prepositions ‘on’ and ‘for’, the meaning is slightly different. When we give our good wishes to someone, we use ‘congratulate’ with ‘on’ and when we praise someone for their achievement, we use ‘congratulate’ with ‘for’.
Look at these tweets:
The U.S. Embassy India: Congratulations #ISRO on today’s giant leap! Next stop – the Moon.
The American space agency NASA: Congrats to @ISRO on the launch of Chandrayaan 2, a mission to
study the Moon.