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2009年12月大学英语四级模拟试题(12)

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200912月大学英语四级模拟试题(12)

Part II  Reading Comprehension (Skimming and Scanning)     (15 minutes)

Directions:  In this part, you will have 15 minutes to go over the passage quickly and answer the questions on Answer Sheet 1.

For questions 1-7, mark

Y(for YES) if the statement agrees with the information given in the passage;
N(for NO) if the statement contradicts the information given in the passage;
NG(for NOT GIVEN) if the information is not given in the passage.

For questions 8-10, complete the sentences with the information given in the passage.

The Trouble With Television

It is difficult to escape the influence of television. If you fit the statistical averages, by the age of 20 you will have been exposed to at least 20,000 hours of television. You can add 10,000 hours for each decade you have lived after the age of 20. The only things Americans do more than watch television are work and sleep.

Calculate for a moment what could be done with even a part of those hours. Five thousand hours, I am told, are what a typical col­lege undergraduate spends working on a bachelor\'s degree. In 10,000 hours you could have learned enough to become an astronomer or en­gineer. You could have learned several languages fluently. If it ap­pealed to you, you could be reading Homer in the original Greek or Dostoyevsky in Russian. If it didn\'t, you could have walked around the world and written a book about it.

The trouble with television is that it discourages concentration. Almost anything interesting and rewarding in life requires some constructive, consistently applied effort. The dullest, the least gifted of us can achieve things that seem miraculous to those who never con­centrate on anything. But Television encourages us to apply no effort. It sells us instant gratification(满意). It diverts us only to divert, to make the time pass without pain.

Television\'s variety becomes a narcotic(麻醉的), nor a stimulus. Its serial, kaleidoscopic (万花筒般的)exposures force us to follow its lead. The viewer is on a perpetual guided tour: 30 minutes at the museum, 30 at the cathedral, 30 for a drink, then back on the bus to the next attraction-except on television., typically, the spans allotted arc on the order of minutes or seconds, and the chosen delights are more of­ten car crashes and people killing one another. In short, a lot of television usurps(篡夺;侵占) one of the most precious of all human gifts, the ability to focus your attention yourself, rather than just passively surrender it.

Capturing your attention-and holding it-is the prime motive of most television programming and enhances its role as a profitable advertising vehicle. Programmers live in constant fear of losing anyone\'s attention-anyone\'s. The surest way to avoid doing so is to keep everything brief, not to strain the attention of anyone but instead to provide constant stimulation through variety, novelty, ac­tion and movement. Quite simply, television operates on the appeal to the short attention span.

It is simply the easiest way out. But it has come to be regarded as a given, as inherent in the medium itself; as an imperative, as though General Sarnoff, or one of the other august pioneers of video, had bequeathed(遗留;传于) to us tablets of stone commanding that nothing in television shall ever require more than a few moments\' Concentration.

In its place that is fine. Who can quarrel with a medium that so brilliantly packages escapist entertainment as a mass-marketing tool? But I see its values now pervading this nation and its life. It has be­come fashionable to think that, like fast food, fast ideas are the way to get to a fast-moving, impatient public.

In the case of news, this practice, in my view, results in inefficient communication. I question how much of television\'s nightly news effort is really absorbable and understandable. Much of it is what has been aptly described as \"machine-gunning with scraps.\" I think the technique fights coherence. I think it tends to make things ultimately boring (unless they are accompanied by horrifying pictures) because almost anything is boring if you know almost nothing about it.

I believe that TV\'s appeal to the short attention span is not only inefficient communication but decivilizing as well. Consider the casual assumptions that television tends to cultivate: that complexity must be avoided, that visual stimulation is a substitute for thought, that verbal precision is an anachronism. It may be old-fashioned, but I was taught that thought is words, arranged in grammatically precise.

There is a crisis of literacy in this country. One study estimates that some 30 million adult Americans are \"functionally illiterate\" and cannot read or write well enough to answer the want ad or understand the instructions on a medicine bottle.

Literacy may not be an inalienable human right, but it is one that the highly literate Founding Fathers might not have found unreasonable or even unattainable. We are not only not attaining it as a nation, statistically speaking, but we are falling further and further short of attaining it. And, while I would not be so simplistic as to suggest that television is the cause, I believe it contributes and is an influence.

Everything about this nation-the structure of the society, its forms of family organization, its economy, its place in the world- has become more complex, not less. Yet its dominating communications instrument, its principal form of national linkage, is one that sells neat resolutions to human problems that usually have no neat resolutions. It is all symbolized in my mind by the hugely successful art form that television has made central to the culture, the 30-second commercial: the tiny drama of the earnest housewife who finds hap­piness in choosing the right toothpaste.

When before in human history has so much humanity collectively surrendered so much of its leisure to one toy, one mass diversion? When before has virtually an entire nation surrendered itself whole­sale to a medium for selling?

 

 

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