[00:07.36]Over the past century,
[00:09.18]all kinds of unfairness and discrimination
[00:11.80]have been condemned or made illegal.
[00:14.82]But one insidious form continues to thrive: alphabetism.
[00:20.63]This, for those as yet unaware of such a disadvantage,
[00:24.72]refers to discrimination against those
[00:27.24]whose surnames begin with a letter
[00:29.39]in the lower half of the alphabet.
[00:32.37]It has long been known
[00:34.02]that a taxi firm called AAAA cars has a big advantage
[00:40.05]over Zodiac cars when customers thumb
[00:43.19]through their phone directories.
[00:46.12]Less well known is the advantage
[00:48.25]that Adam Abbott has in life over Zoe Zysman.
[00:53.39]English names are fairly evenly spread
[00:55.91]between the halves of the alphabet.
[00:58.44]Yet a suspiciously large number of top people
[01:01.47]have surnames beginning with letters between A and K.
[01:06.72]Thus the American president and vice-president
[01:10.15]have surnames starting with B and C respectively;
[01:14.88]and 26 of George Bush's predecessors
[01:18.10](including his father) had surnames in the first half
[01:21.80]of the alphabet against just 16 in the second half.
[01:27.04]Even more striking,
[01:28.45]six of the seven heads of government
[01:30.47]of the G7 rich countries are alphabetically advantaged
[01:35.10](Berlusconi, Blair, Bush, Chirac, Chrétien and Koizumi).
[01:42.74]The world's three top central bankers
[01:45.65](Greenspan, Duisenberg and Hayami)
[01:49.58]are all close to the top of the alphabet,
[01:52.71]even if one of them really uses Japanese characters.
[01:56.64]As are the world's five richest men
[01:59.27](Gates, Buffett, Allen, Ellison and Albrecht).
[02:04.08]Can this merely be coincidence?
[02:07.20]One theory, dreamt up in all the spare time enjoyed
[02:10.59]by the alphabetically disadvantaged,
[02:13.02]is that the rot sets in early.
[02:15.81]At the start of the first year in infant school,
[02:18.95]teachers seat pupils alphabetically from the front,
[02:22.37]to make it easier to remember their names.
[02:25.39]So short-sighted Zysman junior gets stuck in the back row,
[02:30.65]and is rarely asked the improving questions posed
[02:33.96]by those insensitive teachers.
[02:36.89]At the time the alphabetically disadvantaged
[02:39.49]may think they have had a lucky escape.
[02:42.13]Yet the result may be worse qualifications,
[02:45.34]because they get less individual attention,
[02:48.17]as well as less confidence in speaking publicly.
[02:52.42]The humiliation continues.
[02:54.82]At university graduation ceremonies,
[02:57.54]the ABCs proudly get their awards first;
[03:01.77]by the time they reach the Zysmans most people
[03:04.60]are literally having a ZZZ.
[03:07.81]Shortlists for job interviews,
[03:10.12]election ballot papers,
[03:11.74]lists of conference speakers and attendees:
[03:14.87]all tend to be drawn up alphabetically,
[03:17.69]and their recipients lose interest
[03:20.01]as they plough through them.内容来自 听力课堂网：http://www.tingclass.net/show-8686-251452-1.html