Unit 2 Text 1: The Fine Arts of Putting Things Off
? Dictionary work ? Library work ? Questions for discussion ? Language work ? Paraphrases ? Discrimination of synonyms
Dictionary work
?
  1. cool one’s heels: to wait or be kept waiting for a long time, esp. from
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
distain or discourtesy
  2. attest to: to demonstrate; be proof of
  3. apocalyptic: foreboding imminent disaster or final doom
  4. proconsul: an administrator in a colony
  5. ruminate: to go over in the mind repeatedly and slowly; chew the cud
  6. nattering: clicking repeated
  7. echelon: level or grade in an organization or field of activity
  8. fortify: support; encourage
  9. reappraisal: re-evaluation
  10. academe: the academic community
  11. shrink: psychiatrist
  12. subliminal: functioning below the threshold of consciousness; subconscious
  13. truism: self-evident truth
  14. mellow: to ripen; become fully developed Marinate: to steep (meat, fish, etc) in a savory sauce to enrich its flavor; to ripen and mature
Library work
? Lord Chesterfield: an English earl, a statesman, orator, and author. His literary reputation rests on his letters to his illegitimate son, Philip Stanhope. The letters were publish under the title Letters to His Son. ? Dr. Johnson: Samuel Johnson, English poet, critic, and man of letters, who is best know for his Dictionary of the English Language, an innovation in lexicography. He had the strongest influence on the literary thought and style of the latter part of the 18th century.
Questions for discussion
?
  1. What is the main idea of this essay? State it in one sentence. ?
  2. What is the purpose of the writing? Discuss it with a view to Exercise I, p.
  23. ?
  3. What is the function of Para. 1? ?
  4. What is the point of Para. 2? What does it intend to convey? ?
  5. What makes a smooth transition from Para. 2 to Para. 3? What is the method of argument in Para. 3? ?
  6. What is the point of Para. 4? What is the purpose of it? Why is it that “ the number of attorneys who die without a will is amazing”? ?
  7. What is the role of the parody of the proverb, “where there is no will, there is a way”? ?
  8. What is the point of Para. 6? How do you understand the relationship between bureaucratization and procrastination? ?
  9. What point do ideas expressed in Paras. 7 & 8 support? ?
  10. Can we take the last paragraph as the conclusion? What does it do particularly in this text? ?
  11. The point the author argues for is serious, but the tone of the writing is a mixture of seriousness and humor. Can you cite some examples from the text?
?
  6. What is the point of Para. 4? What is the purpose of it? Why is it that “ the number of attorneys who die without a will is amazing”? ?
  7. What is the role of the parody of the proverb, “where there is no will, there is a way”? ?
  8. What is the point of Para. 6? How do you understand the relationship between bureaucratization and procrastination? ?
  9. What point do ideas expressed in Paras. 7 & 8 support? ?
  10. Can we take the last paragraph as the conclusion? What does it do particularly in this text? ?
  11. The point the author argues for is serious, but the tone of the writing is a mixture of seriousness and humor. Can you cite some examples from the text?
Questions continued
Language work
?
  1. How do you interpret the word “well-intentioned” in Line 4? ? And “Hamlet…raised procrastination to an art form”? ?
  2. Explain “the world is probably about evenly divided between delayers and do-it-nowers”. ?
  3. Explain “They seldom pay credit-card bills until the apocalyptic voice of Diners threatens doom from Denver”. ?
  4. How do you understand the parenthesis (Hurry up and wait) in Line 23? ?
  5. How do you understand the word “Blessedly” in Line 25? ?
  6. How do you understand the parenthesis (at $ 50-plus an hour) in Line 53? ?
  7. Explain “To many people, doing something, confronting, is the moment of truth. All frightened people will then avoid the moment of truth entirely, or evade or postpone it until the last possible moment”. ?
  8. Pick out five words for detailed study.
?
  9. Paraphrase the sentences listed in Ex. II, p. 20 workbook. ? (
  1) Moses pleaded a speech defect to rationalize his reluctance to deliver Jehovah’s edict to Pharaoh. ? (
  2) yet for all the trouble procrastination may incur, delay can often inspire and revive a creative soul. ? (
  3) He notes that speedy action can be embarrassing or extremely costly. ? (
  4) Bureaucratization, which flourished amid the growing burdens of government and the greater complexity of society, was designed to smother policymakers in blankets of legalism, compromise and reappraisal?and thereby prevent hasty decision from being made. ? (
  5) They suffer a lot when they begin to write.
 

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