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英语口语对话(高级) lesson 4 Snail Mail - Mikie

所属教程:英语口语对话(高级)

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2015年06月19日

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Summary:

Vanessa and Nick about the possibility for many post offices in the UK to be closed.

In this episode of World Report Vanessa and Nick are in the middle of a live show in a radio studio. Nick is reporting live from London. Listen to their conversation and answer the question that follows about the main idea.

Dialogue:

Vanessa: Hello to all our listeners. Hi Nick. So what’s the scoop on snail mail? Are there actually signs that it’s going the way of the dinosaur?

Nick: Hi Vanessa. Yes, all the signs are that the familiar image of a postman in uniform delivering mail in all kinds of weather may soon be history, at least in many areas of Britain.

Vanessa: Wait a minute. Is this official?

Nick: Well, the spokesperson for the Department of Trade and Industry said approximately 3,000 post offices may be closed in 2007 under cost-cutting plans. And some of the services they provide will now be taken over by local shops.

Vanessa: How was this received?

Nick: It’s sparked a controversy. Some say this was to be expected; others feel post offices, at least those in the rural areas, must be kept open to give people access to essential services.

Vanessa: Nick, you mentioned the government’s cost-cutting plans. So the state-owned postal operator…

Nick: That’s the Royal Mail…

Vanessa: Uh-huh…

Nick: …They’ve been competing with private enterprises since they lost their 350-year monopoly on postal services a year ago. Plus they lost key business when the government started paying benefits like state pensions directly through claimants’ bank accounts.

Vanessa: Can you give us any figures?

Nick: Yes, last year, the loss was two million pounds a week. This year it’s expected to double.

Vanessa: The widespread use of e-mail and texting on cell phones must have dented profits!

Nick: That’s certainly an explanation.

Vanessa: Well, let’s face it. We live in an ever-changing world and it seems there’s no going back: we’re forced to keep up with the times. Thanks Nick.

Now answer the following question…

What is going to happen to the post offices in the U.K?

They are going to close

Now listen again to the dialogue in parts. After each part there will be 3 to 4 questions on some details...

Part 1

Vanessa: Hello to all our listeners. Hi Nick. So what’s the scoop on snail mail? Are there actually signs that it’s going the way of the dinosaur?

Nick: Hi Vanessa. Yes, all the signs are that the familiar image of a postman in uniform delivering mail in all kinds of weather may soon be history, at least in many areas of Britain.

Vanessa: Wait a minute. Is this official?

Nick: Well, the spokesperson for the Department of Trade and Industry said approximately 3,000 post offices may be closed in 2007 under cost-cutting plans. And some of the services they provide will now be taken over by local shops.

Vanessa: How was this received?

Nick: It’s sparked a controversy. Some say this was to be expected; others feel post offices, at least those in the rural areas, must be kept open to give people access to essential services.

Now answer some questions…

1.What does Vanessa mean when she asks “So what’s the scoop on snail mail?”

When Vanessa asks “What’s the scoop on snail mail?” she means “Can you tell me more details about snail mail?”

2. What does Vanessa mean when she asks “Is this official?”

When Vanessa asks “Is this official?” she means “Is this based on a government announcement?”

3. What does Vanessa mean when she asks “How was this received?”

When Vanessa asks “How was this received?” she means “What was the public reaction?”

Now listen to the second part of the dialogue…

Part 2

Vanessa: Nick, you mentioned the government’s cost-cutting plans. So the state-owned postal operator…

Nick: That’s the Royal Mail…

Vanessa: Uh-huh…

Nick: …They’ve been competing with private enterprises since they lost their 350-year monopoly on postal services a year ago. Plus they lost key business when the government started paying benefits like state pensions directly through claimants’ bank accounts.

Vanessa: Can you give us any figures?

Nick: Yes, last year, the loss was two million pounds a week. This year it’s expected to double.

Vanessa: The widespread use of e-mail and texting on cell phones must have dented profits!

Nick: That’s certainly an explanation.

Vanessa: Well, let’s face it. We live in an ever-changing world and it seems there’s no going back: we’re forced to keep up with the times. Thanks Nick.

Now answer some questions…

1.What do Vanessa and Nick mean when they say “the government’s cost-cutting plans”?

When Vanessa and Nick say “the government’s cost-cutting plans” they mean the government’s plans to cut costs.

2.What does Vanessa mean when she talks about “the state-owned postal operator ”?

When Vanessa talks about “the state-owned postal operator” she means royal mail or the postal operator that is owned by the state.

3.What does Vanessa mean when she talks about “in an ever-changing world”?

When Vanessa talks about “an ever-changing world” she means our world is always changing.

Please visit our site at www.hau.gr to find the transcripts, explanations and activities.

GLOSSARY

Benefit: Benefit is a noun that means money that is paid by the state to an employee as added financial help. For example, we talk about housing benefit, child benefit, health benefit, unemployment benefit, etc.

Claimant: A claimant is a person who is entitled to something or has the right to receive something. For example, we say “Pensions will be paid directly through the claimants’ bank accounts.”

Dent: If you dent something, you make a hollow mark in its surface. For example, we say, “I accidentally dropped a box from my balcony, and it dented the trunk of the car that was parked right under it.” The verb dent is also used metaphorically to mean negatively affect or damage. For example, in the radio broadcast you heard, “The widespread use of e-mail and texting has also dented profits.”

Go the way of the dinosaur: Going the way of the dinosaur is an expression that means expected to become extinct or obsolete. For example, when we say “Typewriters have gone the way of the dinosaur,” we mean that they are obsolete.

History: To be history is a similar expression to ‘Go the way of the dinosaur’. When something is history, it’s a thing of the past and it no longer exists. When we say, for example, that the image of a postman may soon be history, we mean that it may soon cease to exist.

Keep up with the times: The expression to keep up with the times (also move with the times) means to change your ideas, opinions or way of living or working in order to adjust to the modern way of doing things. For example, “The way technology keeps developing is forcing us to keep up with the times.”

Snail mail: Snail mail is a noun used to refer to letters or messages sent by conventional mail and not by e-mail.

Spark a controversy / debate: If something sparks a controversy or a debate, it provokes a sudden reaction of the public and it divides their opinion: some people agree to it and some people object to it. The verb spark means cause the start of something, especially the start of a protest or an argument, and the noun controversy means disagreement.

Spokesperson: A spokesperson is a person who is chosen to speak to the media on behalf of the government, or an organization, or a company. This person makes public announcements and answers journalists’ questions.

Texting: Texting is a noun referring to the process of sending a written message from one cell phone or pager to another. It’s also called (text) messaging.

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