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  在参加许多英语考试时,不少考生认为词汇量是决定成败的关键,如果自己不曾拿本词汇书狂背上一遍两遍,走进考场时也会惴惴不安;反之,如果囫囵吞枣地浏览过一遍,哪怕背多少忘多少,也就吃了定心丸,反正“不求天长地久,只要曾经拥有”。在答阅读部分试题时,词汇量的多少到底重不重要?笔者认为:肯定重要!但是,是不是一遇到生词就要发慌,就读不下去也做不了题,笔者倒不以为然。面对考官所设的种种词汇障碍,怎样才能调用你所积累的相关英语知识和判断能力从而轻松应对呢?愿下文对你有所参考。
  对策①:通过确定该生词在上下文中是positive抑或negative来进行判断。 (来源:英语麦当劳-英语杂志 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

  例一:2001年9月试题第23题:

  23. The word "gimmicks" in this passage is closest in meaning to ________.

  (A) services (B) extras (C) tricks (D) games

  请看原文:

  So how can you make the most of your new power as a consumer? Here are rules to help you find your way.

  1 Never pay list price.

  2 Refuse gimmicks.

  As competition heats up and pushes prices down, businesses scramble to boost their profits by heaping on extras: rustproofing your car, service contracts on your appliances, prepaid gasoline for your rental car. These gimmicks are devised to make you pay more at the last minute and probably aren't a good deal.

  3 Don't buy on impulse.

  4 Say no to platinum prices.

  5 Switch-or threaten to.

  以上是原文的大体框架,从加下划线的第一句我们可以看出,在这篇文章中作者将给消费者提出建议,希望消费者能够避免上狡猾商家的当而多掏腰包。作者希望消费者能做到这5点,所以可以判断出第2点中紧跟refuse的词应该是贬义的或者说负面的。我们直译一下阴影部分的内容:(商家)设计这些gimmicks 是为了让你(消费者)在最后一刻多掏腰包,恐怕可不是什么让你占便宜的啊。再看四个选项中A,B和D都无贬义,只有C表示“花招,伎俩”之意,故正确答案为C。

  看来不必非要知其意才能答对题,开动你的脑筋,通过判断词的褒贬义也可攻破难关。顺便说一下,如果题目问第4点中platinum prices为何意,应该也很好突破,“say no to"后面肯定不是什么好东西,这种价格站在消费者的角度来说肯定是天价。所以即使你不知道platinum(铂金,一种贵重金属, 由其制成的首饰上往往有Pt标志也即platinum的缩写)为何意恐怕也能猜出三分吧。

  例二:1999年9月试题第21题:

  21. The word "hindrance" in line 2 is closest in meaning to _______.

  (A) encouragement (B) assistance (C) procedure (D) interference

  请看原文:

  Experiments have shown that in selecting personnel for a job, interviewing is at best a hindrance, and may even cause harm.

  尽管"hindrance"这个词对大多数考生而言并不是什么生词,但从答题技巧来说我们同样可以通过正面/负面的方法解题。原句中even cause harm说明进行面试会造成不利影响,所以hindrance一词肯定是负面的。回到选项中A,B都是positive, 而C. procedure(程序,手续)则是中性的,所以只有D.interference (干扰、干涉)为负面意义,故答案为D.

  例三:2000年9月试题第8题:

  8. The word "jeopardize" (paragraph 2) is closest in meaning to __________.

  (A) endeavor (B) endanger (C) endorse (D)endow

  请看原文:

  What could be disastrous, however, is that we should press too quickly towards this goal, sacrificing sleep only to gain more time in which to jeopardize our civilization by actions and decisions made weak by fatigue.

  出题者想通过形似的单词(四个选项都是end开头)给考生制造模糊印象,其实我们大可不必惊慌。从上下文来看, "jeopardize"肯定是动词,因此四个选项中应该选相应的动词替换。恰巧选项都是动词,因而增加了答题难度。让我们再分析一下上下文。请注意原文中这几个词:disastrous, too quickly,sacrificing sleep only to gain和weak,fatigue, 我们是否可以看出作者的态度是反对sacrifice sleep的呢?既然如此,通过牺牲睡眠而获得时间似乎也不是什么好事,因为在身体疲倦的状况下做出的决策和行动往往会欠妥,从而对文明的发展不利,所以 jeopardize our civilization肯定是对文明造成负面影响的。A.endeavor大家应该不陌生,表努力,尽力之意。C.endorse表示write one‘s name on the back of a check,即背书,由此引申出认可,赞同之意。当然,如果说Your driving licence has been endorsed.那你的驾照可就有违规记录,你得当心喽!而D表示捐赠金钱、财产等,发善心做善事。看来只有B. endanger (使……处于危险中)才有负面之意,也才合题意。

  对策②:通过构词法,观察单词的前缀、后缀及词根等构成进行判断。

  例一:2000年9月试题第16题:

  16. The word "anthropologist" (line 1) means someone who _______.

  (A) studies the nature of man (B) arranges wedding ceremonies (C) keeps account for newly weds

  (D) records local events

  请看原文:

  An anthropologist recorded the expenses for ceremonies he attended in a village in Thailand. The following chart provides information on the bahts (Thai currency) spent for a wedding.

  这个单词乍一看挺吓人,又臭又长。其实定睛一看并不是不可破解的。也许知道anthrop(o)这个前缀是跟“man"(人,人类)有关的同学不是太多,从而对由此衍生出的单词不认识也就不足为怪了,如:anthropoid a.(猿)似人的,类人猿的;anthropology n. 人类学;anthropophagous a. 吃人的,食人肉的(《参考消息》最近还报道了科学家发现历史上人吃人的确凿证据,令人毛骨悚然!);philanthropist n.慈善家(phil爱,anthrop 人,爱天下之人,具有博爱情怀的人难道不是慈善家么?)但是,我们初中就学过,scientist, biologist, 我们是否可以联想一下原文中"anthropologist"这个词类似于biologist,是与研究某学科有关的人。答案A. studies the nature of man似乎最合意。

  例二:2001年3月试题第23题:

  23. The word "xenophobia" (para.2) means "__________".

  (A) partiality (B) arbitrariness (C) discrimination (D) antipathy

  请看原文:

  The Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF), a London based group, tells me that there is little doubt that, with the massive upsurge of xenophobia against asylum-seekers too, the fallout is affecting anyone perceived to be foreign or different, decent attacks on black people have a ferocity that appalls police and community organizers alike.

  本题中要注意"xenophobia"一词后面的介词against以及前面的upsurge (情绪的激起,汹涌)。首先可推断出xenophobia是一种情绪,这种情绪对asylum-seekers(寻求政治避难的人)是不利的。由于这种情绪的兴起,给所有异族的或不同肤色的人带来灾难性的后果,比如对黑人的攻击异常残忍以致震惊了警方。A. partiality可联想到partial一词,指有偏袒,偏爱,显然与原文语境不符。B任意,专断,不合语意。C似乎比较接近,对……有偏见,有歧视,而且discrimination后也往往跟介词against。但是,如果我们把xenophobia剖开,phobia是指dislike, aversion(反感,厌恶),xeno是指strange, foreign, different, 而D项中pathy与feeling有关,如sympathy, empathy(美学中的移情作用),telepathy(tele远距离的,距离遥远却心心相映,即心灵感应),而anti则是我们最熟悉的前缀,意即 against, oppose, 如anti-dumping, antisocial等。那么antipathy=dislike, aversion, 故答案为D。顺便说一下,fallout这个词原义是核装置引爆后的放射性尘埃污染,后果严重不堪设想。此处借代一般用语“影响”、“余波”、“后遗症”。因为形象恐怖,所以起到的修饰效果十分鲜明有力。我们平时在阅读外刊的过程中要注意积累一些形象生动的表达,包括常用修辞手法的运用实例,这样考试时才能做到游刃有余。

  对策③:不拘泥于词或短语的本义,而从其引申义来考虑。

  例一:2000年9月试题第23题

  23. The phrase "take off (paragraph 4) means _________.

  (A) transfer to another vessel (B) cause to lose weight (C) begin to develop markedly (D) cause to leave the ground

  请看原文:

  Over here, in Britain, Computertowns have taken off in a big way, and there are now about 40 scattered over the country. David Tebbutt thinks they are most successful when tied to a computer club.

  take off本义为(飞机)起飞或物体离开地面,选项D即为take off的本义,但是把D带到原文中解释不通,可见,出题者并不是想考我们take off的本义,而是在文中的引申义。请注意原文中紧跟take off的方式状语in a big way,后面指出已有约40个之多的Computertown散布在全国各地,后面successful一词进一步说明Computertown是朝着 positive方向发展的, 所以答案明显为表示快速发展的C。

  例二:2001年3月试题第11题

  11. The word "wasteland" (para.1) is used to describe ________.

  (A) western badlands (B) average television programs (C) TV film studios (D) theatrical plays

  请看原文:

  When the television is good, nothing-not the theatre, not the magazines, or newspapers-nothing is better. But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there without a book, magazine, newspaper, or anything else to distract you and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland. You will see a procession of game shows, violence, audience-participation shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, more violence, sadism, murder, Western badmen, Western goodmen, private eyes, gangster, still more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly, commercials that scream and cajole and offend. And most of all, boredom. True, you will see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, try it.

  wasteland本义为land that is desolate, barren, or ravaged,即荒地,废地。A中badland即为wasteland的本义,带到原文中等于同义替代,并没有作出解释,显然不是出题者的意图所在。而从wasteland后面的内容可以看出电视节目中充斥着暴力、血腥、谋杀、俗套的喜剧种种格调不高的内容,总之无聊透顶,所以答案不言自明,B是也。作者采用了metaphor(暗喻)的手法,对令人失望的电视节目大加讽刺,从另一个侧面反映了西方社会精神食粮的匮乏和作者在看似调侃的语调中对电视文化流露出的失望和愤慨。顺便赏析一下阴影部分,难道你不觉得作者这样写很风趣幽默吗?我们是否在写作时也可模仿一下,比如:When money is good, nothing is better. But when money is bad, nothing is worse. If you thank I exaggerate, try it. 你觉得如何呢?

 

 

 

 
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