THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF PRESENT DAY LIFE
The advantages are clear to anyone who spends time in one of the world’s highly developed nations. The disadvantages of modern life, however, are sometimes not so quickly seen. Consider the average man today in contrast with man 200 years ago. Without doubt, man’s life has been eased considerably. Machines now perform for him many of the services that he previously had to do for himself. They cut his grass, wash his car, open and close his doors, climb stairs for him, serve him coffee, and both put him to sleep and wake him up to music. In two major areas – transportation and communication – great progress has been made. Mass publishing practices have spread newspapers, magazines, and paperback books around the globe. Relayed across oceans by Telstar satellites, television informs and entertains people in every hemisphere. Mail moves swiftly and efficiently; telephone cables connect all continents. More than any other single invention, the gasoline engine has revolutionized modern life. City streets, clogged with automobile traffic tell us that. More recent discoveries have led to the surge of jet and supersonic plane travel. Even as man darts throughout the world, he is protected from disease as no man before him has been, and he can look forward to living a longer life than his grandfather did. Furthermore, man now commands a more plentiful supply of the world’s goods. He may own not only a car and a home but also a stove, a refrigerator, a washing machine, books, phonograph records and cameras. Even his old age is better provided for through pension and retirement plans offered by the government and by industry. Thus the advantages of living in the twentieth century are many.
In contrast, one finds that progress can also have its drawbacks. It is true that today man moves more swiftly through the world. But in doing so, he often loses track of the roots and traditions that give substance and meaning to life. Nor does the fact that he is better informed through television, radio, newspapers, and books necessarily mean that he is wiser than men of earlier generations. Instead, the ease with which the written and spoken word are produced today sometimes seems to lead to superficiality of thought. Although man has been given the gift of leisure and a longer life, he has become more restless and is often uncomfortable when he is not working. Flooded with goods and gadgets, he finds his appetite for material things increased, not satisfied. Man invented machines to replace his servants. But some current observers feel that man is in danger of becoming the servant of his machines. Mass production lowered the cost of many products, but as prices went down, quality also often decreased. Another distressing aspect of modern life is its depersonalization. In many offices, automation is beginning to replace human workers. Some colleges identify students not by their names, but by their IBM numbers. Computers are winning the prestige that philosophers had in an earlier age. The frenzied pace in many cities is another of the less attractive by-products of an industrial society. Soon, man may even fall victim to the subtle loss of privacy that threatens him. Even today, he can be watched on closed circuit television screens as he walks in stores and hotels. He may be tracked by radar while driving on the highway or listened to by means of a microphone concealed in his heating system. He might even be sharing his telephone conversation with an unknown auditor. Certainly many problems face men living in the most technologically advanced era in history. As old enemies have been overcome, new enemies come into view, just like the old ones. Yet if modern man remains the master of his own fate, he can still fashion a satisfying life in this fast-moving century.
(from America English Rhetoric by Robert G.Bander)
The first fall of snow is not only an event but it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up to find yourself in another, quite different, and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found? The very stealth, the eerie quietness, of the thing makes it more magical. If all the snow fell at once in one shattering crash, awakening us in the middle of the night, the event would be robbed of its wonder. But it flutters down, soundlessly, hour after hour while we are asleep. Outside the closed curtains of the bedroom a vast transformation scene is taking place, just as if a myriad elves and brownies were at work, and we turn and yawn and stretch and know nothing about it. And then, what an extraordinary change it is! It is as if the house you are in had been dropped down in another continent. Even the inside, which has not been touched, seems different, every room appearing smaller and cosier, just as if some power were trying to turn it into a woodcutter’s hut or a snug log-cabin. Outside, where the garden was yesterday, there is now a white and glistening level, and the village beyond is no longer your own familiar cluster of roofs but a village in an old German fairy-tale. You would be surprised to learn that all the people there, the spectacled postmistress, the cobbler, the retired schoolmaster, and the rest, had suffered a change too and had become queer elvish beings, purveyors of invisible caps and magic shoes. You yourselves do not feel quite the same people you were yesterday. How could you when so much has been changed? There is a curious stir, a little shiver of excitement, troubling the house, not unlike the feeling there is abroad when a journey has to be made. The children, of course, are all excitement, but even the adults hang about and talk to one another longer than usual before settling down to the day’s work. Nobody can resist the windows. It is like being on broad ship.
(from First Snow by J.B.Priestley)
N o t e s
brownie – (Scottish folklore) benevolent shaggy goblin (haunting houses and doing household work secretly (COD)
Syntax in writing
a) Put statements in positive form:
E.g. Did not remember – forgot
Did not have much confidence in – mistrusted
b) Avoid a succession of simple sentences.
c) Combine ideas logically.
d) Avoid unnecessary words:
E.g. Owing to the fact that – since, because
The fact that he did not succeed – his failure
After a short period of time – after a while.
e) Avoid tautology – repetition of words close in meaning:
E.g. I happened to meet her by chance – I met her by chance.
To connect the paragraphs, sentences and clauses we use transition words or connectives.
1) To list the ideas in time order or order of importance:
First, firstly, first of all, initially, from the very beginning, now, at this time, at present, presently, now and then, second, further, soon, later, some time later, a little later, after this, just after, afterwards, then, next, after that, from then on, meanwhile, in the meantime, at the same time, all this time, by and by, gradually, after some time ,in a while, after a while, his/her next step was, until then, until that time, finally, eventually, at last, in the end.
2) To add another idea:
And, also, furthermore, in addition to, finally, moreover, besides, apart from it.
3) To add an opposite idea:
But, yet, although, even though, however, on the other hand, nevertheless, nor, unlike, by contrast.
4) To add a similar idea:
And, also, likewise, similarly.
5) To give an example:
For example, for instance.
6) To give a cause or reason:
As, for, because, since.
7) To give an effect or result:
So, therefore, consequently, thus, as a result, hence.
8) To give a conclusion:
All in all, in brief, indeed, in other words, in short, in the end, to sum it up.
9) To generalize:
Generally, in general, on the whole, for the most part.
10) To affirm:
Certainly, of course.
1. Шишкина Т.Н. и др. What is the English We Read. Универсальная хрестоматия текстов на английском языке. – М.: Проспект, 2003.
2. Башина И.Г. Словарь русско-английских глагольных эквивалентов. – М.: Р. Валент, 2001.
3. Разумовская Р.Н. и др. Трудности изучения английского языка. - М.: Высшая школа, 1976.
4. Шевцова С.В. Учебное пособие по английскому языку. – М.: ГИС, 1996.
5. Выборова Г.Е. и др. Advanced English. Учебник английского языка. – М.: Флинта, 1999.
6. Mc Carthy Michael, O’Dell Felicity. English Vocabulary in Use. Cambridge: University Press, 1994.
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Отпечатано в РИО ФГБОУ ВПО ИГЭУ им. В.И. Ленина
 rectory: the house of a clergyman
 French window: floor-length hinged window that opens outward
 moor: area of open, often marshy land
 snipe-shooting: Snipe is a popular game bird
 mackintosh: raincoat worn in England, named for the inventor Charles Macintosh (1766-1843)
 Ganges: river in northern India
 pariah: outcast; here, wild
 LCC: London County Council
 a rousing march: a loud march urging to action
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