SECTION A MINI-LECTURE
In this section, you will hear a mini-lecture. You will hear the lecture ONCE ONLY. While listening, take notes on the important points. Your notes will not be marked, but you will need them to complete a gap-filling task after the mini-lecture. When the lecture is over, you'll be given two minutes to check your notes, and another 10 minutes to complete the gap-filling task. Now listen to the mini-lecture.
English has the largest vocabulary and the most synonyms of any language in the world. This richness is due to the fact that the English language has grown over the centuries by constantly incorporating words from other languages. Even before the Norman Conquest in 1066, the Anglo-Saxon vocabulary included words borrowed from Latin, Greek, Celtic and Scandinavian. After the Norman Conquest, the English vocabulary was doubled by the addition of French words, especially those words reflecting a higher standard of living and a more complex social life: for example, words connected with food, such as sugar, vinegar, boil, fry, roast, etc.; and words connected with clothing such as garment, robe, mantle, gown, etc.; and words connected with law, such as plaintiff, legacy, and words connected with social rank and organization, such as prince, duke, mayor etc.
While much of the new French vocabulary described new ideas and activities, much of it duplicated the pre-existing Anglo-Saxon vocabulary, thus giving the writer or speaker a choice of synonyms: cure or heal, labour or work, assemble or meet, burglary or stealing, assault or hitting.
With the enormous expansion of classical learning in the Renaissance, there was a great influx of words of Latin and Greek origin into the English language. Also, the larger world discovered through travel and exploration was a great stimulus to culture and language. In the sixteenth century, there also arose a fashion to ornamenting one's discourse with what were then called "aureate" terms drawn from Greek and Latin. As some English-speaking people traded and traveled around the world in modern times-in Europe, North America, India, Australia, Africa; their adventures also expanded the vocabulary. Words were borrowed from Dutch, Spanish, American Indian, Eastern Indian, Italian, Australian, Mexican, Japanese, Malay and many others.
Furthermore, the United States, as a separate nation with its own life and character and institutions, has added vastly to the English vocabulary. With the rise of the United States to a position of world influence in politics, science, industry, trade and popular arts, American words and phrases have gained recognition and prestige everywhere. Ice cream, jeep and rock-and-roll are internationally known terms. Moreover, American terminology for many things exists side by side with an English terminology, thus placing another whole group of synonyms at our service. For example, sidewalk in American English refers to the same thing as the British term pavement does. More examples are railroad and railway, elevator and lift, fall and autumn, druggist and chemist, gasoline and petrol, installment plan and hire-purchase system and so on through an almost interminable list.
So we can see that synonyms in English are of many kinds. Some groups of synonyms are just words of different origins but refer to the same thing. For example, foreword, preface,and introduction. Foreword is an Anglo-Saxon word; preface is from French, and introduction from Latin. Some groups, like plain, prairie, tundra, refer to geographical variants of the same kind of thing. Other groups of synonyms, like teach, educate, instruct, school, tutor, differ from one another principally in degrees of abstraction: teach is certainly the most general word of this group, while the others are more specialized in application.
It can be argued that there really are no exact synonyms-no exact equivalences of meaning. By "meaning" here we refer to the total range of contexts in which a word may be used. Certainly there are no two words that are interchangeable in all contexts. But within a given context, there is often exact synonymy. For example: I mislaid my wallet and I misplaced my wallet. However, in a slightly different context the two words are not interchangeable: it would not be idiomatic to say I mislaid my suitcase. Because mislay applies only to small objects while misplace is applicable to both small and large objects. This example shows again that words which are synonymous in one of their meanings may be different considerably in their other meanings.
Some groups of words describe the same actions, but imply different relationships among the parties concerned. We accompany our equals; we attend or follow those to whom we are subordinate; we conduct those who need guidance, and escort those who need protection; merchant ships are convoyed in time of war. Womanly and womanish are much alike in referring to female characteristics, but the second applies only to males, and in a derogatory sense.
Some differences in locution reveal differences in the degree of formality of the occasions described. For example, a luncheon as distinguished from a lunch. Sometimes different locutions reveal differences not in the situations described but in the formality of discourse about them. For instance, He went to bed as compared to He hit the sack.
Semanticists and linguistic scholars continue to remind us that words change in meaning according to time and place and circumstance. Such warnings are certainly not to be ignored. Yet there are remarkable elements of stability in a vocabulary. The distinctions between fury and rage, between thought and deliberation, have remained remarkably constant since Shakespeare's day in all English-speaking countries.
Nothing is so important to clear and accurate expression as the ability to distinguish between words of similar, but not identical meaning. In a given context, one particular word is certain to be more appropriate than the other. To choose wrongly is to leave the hearer or reader with a fuzzy or mistaken impression. To choose well is to give both illumination and delight. The study of synonyms will help us come closer to saying what we really want to say.
Section B INTERVIEW
In this section you will hear everything ONCE ONLY. Listen carefully and then answer the questions that follow. Questions 1 to 5 are based on an interview. At the end of the interview, you will be given 10 seconds to answer each of the following 5 questions. Now listen to the interview.
(W): Welcome everybody. And today I'd like to introduce you to my guest, Steven Slater, who is going to talk to us something about cycling tours. Steven, welcome.
(M): Thank you. And welcome everybody.
W: So Steven, as a coach at the Sunshine Cycling Club, can you tell us something about preparing for a cycling tour?
M: Well, for anyone who is considering going on a tour, the first thing to consider is safety. Because with the correct equipment, and good riding habits, cycling tours can be so much fun , and indeed, very rewarding.
W: So what should people consider first?
M: It's very important indeed to consider what you wear. Naturally, this is largely determined by the time of year and where it is you actually plan to travel to. So what I propose to give is a general guide. But whatever the weather, time of year or destination, a good quality helmet is essential. They are not expensive but have, in the past, saved many lives. But don't try to cut corners by buying a secondhand helmet. They may look to be in perfect condition but you can never tell. Always invest in a new one. Any good bicycle shop can advise you on one that will suit your needs. So get advice from the shop. Tell them where you are going and why.
W: I see. So firstly, a good helmet. Then, what about clothes? I often see cyclists wear special sportswear. Is that so?
M: You can buy special sportswear for cycling tours. But what is more important is that it can be seen.
W: It can be seen? I don't understand well.
M: Well, you should always be aware that cyclists are notoriously difficult to spot, and many accidents happen because motorists simply fail to see the cyclist. Therefore wear something that can easily be seen, something that stands out. Again, most good bicycle stores keep a supply of inexpensive, brightly colored vests. And if you are riding at night, do make sure you have lamps securely fitted to your bicycle both front and back, and check your bicycle lamps each day to make sure they work properly. In fact, it is always a good idea to carry a spare set of batteries for the purpose. But to be safer still it is often best to avoid riding at night.
W: And Steven, how far would you advise someone to travel in one day?
M: That depends on your level of personal fitness. What is important is not to try to ride too far, too quickly. Take your time, and if you feel tired, stop and rest. Remember that the joy of cycling tours is the ride itself, getting close to nature and seeing things you wouldn't normally see if you were traveling by car or bus. Therefore, plan your journey in short stages. No more than ten or twenty miles per day. And if you are planning your journey in the summer, when it is likely to be hot, take plenty of water.
W: How much water should cyclists take in case of hot weather?
M: In fact, if it is a really hot day, like the sort of weather we had last summer, you are advised to drink at least one liter of water every hour.
W: That is quite a lot of water. Are there any other things you have to prepare in summer?
M: Well, you have to protect yourself against sunshine. Sun cream is essential in hot weather because you can very easily get sun burned without even realizing it. When you buy sun cream, make sure that it contains a high index of SPF and PA. SPF can resist UVB, which results in melanin. You know, the thing that will cause the blackening of your complexion. And PA can resist UVA, which results in wrinkles and slack skin. So the ideal sun cream used for cycling tours in summer should contain SPF30 and PA three plus.
W: Oh, I see. Then how about insect repellent?
M: It is also advisable. Spray some insect repellent on your arms and legs before setting off. And you needn't worry too much about insects when you cycle. Actually some insects are harmful. So you'd better not be bitten or stung by them.
W: Do you have any more general advice for your listeners?
M: What I would say is, prepare for the worst. Always keep a puncture repair kit handy and, of course, don't forget to take a basic tool kit. You can get all kinds of repair kits and tool kits at my club at a favorable price. After all, I'd like to say, ride safely. Use common sense. Respect other road users and adhere to the laws of the road. This is the best way to ensure your own safety. But also care for the environment. Don't leave your rubbish lying around. Keep it with you and dispose of it in a rubbish bin whenever you get the chance.
W: Well, we all should protect the environment, shouldn't we? Steven, thank you very much for all the advice you gave us about cycling. I'm sure with these precautions, our listeners can have a wonderful time when they take up this sport.
M: My pleasure.
Section C NEWS BROADCAST
In this section, you will hear everything ONCE ONLY. Listen carefully and then answer the questions that follow. Questions 6 to 8 are based on the following news. At the end of the news item, you will be given 10 seconds to answer each of the three questions. Now listen to the news.
For the past 36 years, the Irish Republican Army has been waging an armed campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland. The IRA has been fighting the British Army and security forces as well as pro-British paramilitary groups as it tried to reach its ultimate goal, a united Ireland. More than 3,600 people have been killed during the past three decades that have come to be known as "The Troubles."
In a statement released at the end of July, the IRA said it has formally ordered an end to its armed campaign. It instructed its units, in the statement's words, "to dump arms" and said IRA members must now focus on "purely political and democratic programs through exclusively peaceful means." The statement also called on IRA volunteers not to engage "in any other activities."
The British and Irish governments welcomed the IRA decision, but in Northern Ireland, reaction was mixed, split along sectarian lines. Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA reacted positively while the largest pro-British party — the Democratic Unionists — urged caution.
Question 9 is based on the following news. At the end of the news item, you will be given 10 seconds to answer the question. Now listen to the news.
In a busy classroom filled with nearly 20 children, Sabriye Tenberken lectures her pupils to always help others who need it. The children nod, leave their chairs and rush into the kitchen, ready for supper.
The school, founded by Ms.Tenberken and her Dutch partner, Paul Kronenborg, is tucked away in a small alley, not far from a busy street in Lhasa. They founded Braille Without Borders, hoping that one day their work would not only help Tibetans, but also visually impaired people from other developing countries.
Ms. Tenberken, a 34-year-old German woman who has been blind since the age of 12, pursued a master's degree in Tibetan studies in her hometown, Bonn.
When she realized that the Braille writing system for the blind did not exist in Tibetan, she developed one - in just two weeks. Braille uses raised dots on a page to create words - users feel the dots to read the page.
Question 10 is based on the following news. At the end of the news item, you will be given 10 seconds to answer the question. Now listen to the news.
During the Orange Revolution, Viktor Yushchenko's name echoed across Kiev's Independence Square as hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians reversed a fraudulent presidential election and put Mr. Yushchenko in office. But after just nine months, the President's Chief of Staff resigned, after leveling corruption charges against the highest levels of the new administration. The ensuing crisis has disenchanted many in Ukraine.
Expressing disappointment with politicians, however, is something ordinary Ukrainians did not have freedom to do in the past. For centuries, Ukrainian political rivalries were hidden from the public or led to bloody social upheavals. According to Ukrainian historian Orest Subtelny of York University in Toronto, Canada, the current crisis is unusual in Ukraine's history, but not in the history of democracies.
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