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高志豪 撰稿

上一期「TOEIC閱讀即戰力(二)」一文中,已經談了閱讀的兩種類型的文章:Question-Answer Pattern(問答型)和Opinion-Reason Pattern(意見理由型)。現在,和各位談談閱讀的另外三種類型——Substantiated Facts Pattern (證實事實型)、Imparting Information Pattern(告知資訊型)和Sharing Experience Pattern(分享經驗型)。!

  • 證實事實型(Substantiated Facts Pattern)

這一類型的文章,開宗明義以「文章主旨(結論)」作為開頭,再列舉事實,證明「主旨(結論)」的可信度和可靠性;同時,作者引用資料、科學觀察及實驗等例證,和「意見理由型」(Opinion-Reason Pattern)明顯不同,而在「證實事實型」的文章中沒有人稱代名詞,沒有I think…,I believe…等的字眼。試舉一篇範文於下——

New from science: a technique to extract DNA from 20,000-year-old dung.

It can’t be used to create extinct creatures like Hollywood scientists do with DNA in dinosaur movies, but it may solve mysteries about animals now gone forever. “This is not ‘Jurassic Park’.” said Hendrik N. Poinar, a University of Munich researcher. Poinar, a molecular biologist, led a team that discovered a chemical agent that will extract from ancient dung DNA fragments that come from the animal and from the food it ate. The researchers, reporting Friday in the journal Science, said the technique has been used on dung from a giant American ground sloth that disappeared from the fossil record about 11,000 years ago. The dung was found in a Gypsum Cave in Nevada and was age dated at about 20,000 years.

 

科學新知:從兩萬年前的糞便萃取DNA的技術

這種技術不能像恐龍電影中,好萊塢的科學家們處理DNA一樣,用於創造絕種的動物。但是,它可能解開永遠消失的動物之謎。「這不是『侏儸紀公園』!」 Hendrik N. Poinar表示,他是慕尼黑大學的研究人員。Poniar是一位分子生物學家,領導一個團隊,發現一種化學劑,能夠從年代久遠的糞便中,萃取來自動物和牠所吃食物的DNA碎片。在星期五的「科學」期刊,研究學者們報導:這項技術一直被用在美洲棲息洞穴的巨大的樹獺的糞便。從化石紀錄看來,牠在一萬一千年前就消失了。這糞便在內華達州的一個「石膏岩洞」中被發現,大約存在兩萬年了。

technique  n.       方法,技術

extract                             v.   抽出,萃取

dung                               n.  (大型動物之)糞便

extinct                             a.  絕種的,消失的,滅絕的

dinosaur                          n.  恐龍

mystery                           n.  謎,不可思議之事物

Jurassic Park                        侏儸紀公園

molecular biologist               分子生物專家

agent                               n.  劑,因素

fragment                         n.  碎片,殘存部份

sloth                                n.  樹獺(產於中南美洲)

fossil                               n.  化石

 

「證實事實型」的文章性質,泰半傾向於科學研究和科學事實的報導,而佐以數據、分析,沒有冗言贅語。請您再看下面一文,係摘錄自2007年12月11日美聯社的一篇報導:

An already relentless melting of the Arctic greatly accelerated this summer, a warning sign that some scientists worry could mean global warming has passed an ominous tipping point. One even speculated that summer sea ice would be gone in five years.

北極原已融冰不斷,今年夏天更加速融冰了。有些科學家憂心忡忡:這個警訊可能意味著全球暖化已經出現了不祥的凶兆。一位科學家甚至猜測,夏天的海面冰層會在五年內消失。

relentless                         a.  不間斷的,無休止的

melt                                 v.   融化,消失

the Arctic                              北極,北極區

accelerate                        v.   加速

ominous                          a.  不祥的,不吉的

tipping                            a.  傾斜的,翻倒的

speculate                         v.   推測,猜測

 

Greenland’s ice sheet melted nearly 19 billion tons more than the previous high mark, and the volume of Arctic sea ice at summer’s end was half what it was just four years earlier, according to new NASA satellite data obtained by the Associated Press.

“The Arctic is screaming,” said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government’s snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colo.

Just last year, two top scientists surprised their colleagues by projecting that the Arctic sea ice was melting so rapidly that it could disappear entirely by the summer of 2040.

This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

美聯社獲得的美國航空總署新的衛星資料顯示:格陵蘭冰帽的融化,比先前的最高紀錄多出幾近190億噸。同時,在今年夏天結束時,北極的海面冰層只剩下四年前的一半。

「北極正在吶喊!」科羅拉多州Boulder的國家冰雪資料中心資深研究員Mark Serreze,這麼說道。

就在去年,有兩位頂尖的科學家,提出令他們同僚吃驚的推測:北極的海面冰層融化速度太快了,可能到2040年夏天,就會完全消失。

本週,美國航空總署的氣候研究員Jay Zwally,在看過新資料以後表示:「照這樣下去,北極海洋可能到2012年夏天結束時,就幾乎沒有冰層了。這要比先前預測的快得多了!」

ice sheet                           冰原,冰帽

previous                      a.  先前的,以前的

volume                        n. 數量

NASA                             (美國)國家航空暨太空總署

(the National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

satellite                        n. 衛星

obtain                          v.  得到,獲得

the Associated Press        美聯社

scream                        v.  驚呼,尖叫;高聲叫喊

rate                              n. 速度;at this rate照這樣下去

 

So scientists in recent days have been asking themselves these questions: Was the record melt seen all over the Arctic in 2007 a blip amid relentless and steady warming? Or has everything sped up to a new climate cycle that goes beyond the worst-case scenarios presented by computer models?

所以,近來科學家們一直問自己這些問題:在2007年,整個北極冰層融化的紀錄,只是持續不斷而穩定的暖化現象的一個小問題嗎?或者是全球已加速進入新的氣候週期,遠超過電腦模擬所能呈現的最壞的可能情況?

blip                             n. 小問題,小延誤,(電腦)光點

speed up                          加速

scenario                      n. 可能的情況

 

誠然,只要看過美國前副總統Gore的An Inconvenient Truth(不願面對的真相),您就知道人類已將地球蹧蹋得快要覓無淨土了。即使新任的美國總統Obama在勝選演說中,都要提到:

 

Even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime—two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

即使今晚慶功,我們也知道明天將面臨的是這輩子最大的挑戰:兩場戰爭,一是瀕危的地球,一是百年僅見的最糟的金融危機。

a planet in peril簡單四個字,控訴著人類的罪惡,也道盡人們心中的沉痛!看完美聯社的這段報導,豈能不心有戚戚嗎?

  • 告知資訊型(Imparting Information Pattern)

Thomas L. Friedman繼2005年出版了The World Is Flat (世界是平的)之後,於2008年又推出Hot, Flat, and Crowded(世界又熱、又平、又擠)的大作,全書主旨放在Why We Need A Green Revolution — And How It Can Renew America。他平實的寫作風格,卻處處透露警世的機鋒。他認為應該以綠化作為國家安全和經濟利益的核心;人類無法不正視日益嚴重的生態破壞、氣候暖化的問題,而應以綠能革命(Green Revolution),作為全球的綠色行動規範(Code Green)。

筆者試著摘譯How, Flat, and Crowded一書中的一小段,供作讀者們參考,該篇提到歐洲小國丹麥以課稅的方式,使能源更加昂貴,促使民眾節約能源,進而提升能源效率——同時,提供讀者們丹麥藉此創新能源的資訊:

 

Premium gasoline in Denmark in 2008 was about $9 a gallon. On top of that, Denmark has a CO2 tax, which it put in place in the mid-1990s to promote efficiency, even though it had discovered offshore oil by then. “When you get your electricity bill you see your CO2 tax [itemized],” the minister said. Surely all of this killed the Danish economy, right? Guess again. “Since 1981 our economy has grown 70 percent, while our energy consumption has been kept almost flat all those years,” she said. Unemployment is a little less than 2 percent. And Denmark’s early emphasis on solar and wind power, which now provide 16 percent of its total energy consumption, spawned a whole new export industry.

在2008年,丹麥的高級汽油價格每加崙約9美元。除此之外,還有二氧化碳稅,這是在1990年代裡,即令丹麥已發現了近海石油,但為了提高能源效率而開徵的稅。「當你收到電費帳單時,你會看到列舉的二氧化碳稅的項目。」部長(Connie Hedegaurd)這麼說。當然,這項措施重創了丹麥的經濟。是嗎?猜猜看!「從1981年以來,我們經濟已成長了70%,而能源消耗量在這些年卻幾乎沒有變化。」她說著。失業率則略少於2%,同時,丹麥早就把重點放在太陽能和風力發電。這提供它目前能源總消耗量的16%,也創造出整個的新的出口產業。

premium                     a.  高品質的,高價的

on top of                          除…之外

efficiency                    n. 效率,效能

offshore                      a.  近海的,境外的

itemized                      a.  逐項列舉的

consumption               n. 消耗(量)

flat                              a.  平的,無變化的

emphasis                     n. 重點,重心,重要性

solar                            a.  太陽的

spawn                         v.  造成,引發;產(卵)

 

底下再介紹一篇短文,摘錄自Elizabeth C. Economy在Foreign Affairs(2007年9月7日~10月7日)發表的文章。

 

China’s leaders plan to relocate 400 million people — equivalent to well over the entire population of the United States — to newly developed urban centers between 2000 and 2030. In the process, they will erect half of all the buildings expected to be constructed in the world during that period. This is a troubling prospect considering that Chinese buildings are not energy efficient — in fact, they are roughly two and a half times less so than those in Germany. Furthermore, newly urbanized Chinese, who use air conditioners, televisions, and refrigerators, consume about three and a half times more energy than do their rural counterparts.

中國領導人計劃在2000年到2030年之間,將四億人口遷移到新開發的都會中心,相當於遠超過了美國人口總數。在這個過程中,他們將興建全世界預計在這段期間內要蓋的大樓數量的一半。一想到中國的高樓大廈並無節能功效,就令人憂慮。事實上,它們的能源效率大約比德國低兩倍半。此外,新近都市化的中國人,他們使用空調設備、電視機和電冰箱,所消耗的能源比鄉村的人多了三倍半。

relocate                       v.  遷移,重新安置

equivalent to                    相當於…,相當於

population                   n. 人口(數)

urban                          a.  城市的

erect                            v.  建造,建立

prospect                      n. 期望,展望,可能性

rural                            a.  鄉村的,農村的

counterpart                  n. 地位、職務相當的人(物)

 

看到這裡,筆者心中百味雜陳,萌生和Friedman一樣的疑問:

What exactly does it look like when crowded meets flat?

當它(世界)變平又變擠時,到底是什麼樣子?

「現代化」的結果,可能造成地球萬劫不復?科技的突飛猛進,帶給人類的是福?或是禍?這真是值得我們省思的問題!

  • 分享經驗型(Sharing Experience Pattern)

以下兩個段落是摘錄自Alice Schroeder著的THE SNOWBALL — Warren Buffett and the Business of Life中的文字,若將它們視作短文來看的話,應當是屬於Sharing Experience Pattern(分享經驗型),因為全是Warren Buffett的現身說法,將自己的體驗、心得說出,與他人分享,所以此類型的文章,經常是作者的經驗之談,也常以第一人稱的口吻敘述。

If you are going to drive 10,000-pound trucks across a bridge repeatedly, it is well to build one that can withstand 15,000-pound loads rather than one that can withstand 10,001 pounds … It is a big mistake to have lots of financial obligations and no cash reserve … Personally, I have never used more than twenty-five percent borrowed money in my life, including when I had only $10,000 and had ideas that made me wish I had $1,000,000.

如果你要開10,000磅重的卡車一再過橋的話,那最好建造一座能承受15,000磅重量的橋,而不是禁得起10,001磅重的橋…負債累累又身無分文,這是一大錯誤…就我個人而言,我這輩子的花用,沒有一筆有超過25%向人借來的。這包括了當我只有一萬美元,而某些妄想使我希望賺得一百萬元的時候,也是如此。

withstand                    v.  承受住,禁得起

load                             n. 重量,負荷,載重物

obligation                    n. 責任,義務

reserve                        n. 儲備,貯存

 

誠然,Buffett就如同他的一位朋友形容他的:He never does anything that isn’t a win for him.(他絕對不做他不會贏的事情。)所以,他不躁進,也不保守,因此累積了驚人的財富。

I don’t enjoy battles. I won’t run from them if I need to do it, but I don’t enjoy them at all. When it came to the board, Charlie and I didn’t even vote against it. We voted yes. We didn’t even abstain, because abstaining is the same thing as throwing down the gauntlet. And there were other things at Salomon. One thing after another would come up that I thought was nutty, but they didn’t want me to say anything. And then the question is, do you say anything? I don’t get in fights just to get in fights.

我不喜歡爭論。如果必須這麼做的時候,我不會逃避,不過我一點也不喜歡爭論。當董事會產生爭論時,我和查理不會投票反對,我們投贊成票。我們不會放棄投票,因為放棄投票,就如同向人提出挑戰。「所羅門」有其他別的事情,我認為瘋狂的事情一件件跟著來(註)。但是,他們不要我說什麼。然後接著問題來了:你說什麼?我才不會為了抗爭而抗爭。(註)「所羅門」為債券公司,其針對客戶需求,提供各種不同的債券。

abstain                        v.  棄權,放棄投票

throw down the gauntlet  向…提出挑戰

這就是Buffett處理「爭論」的態度,不會為了抗爭而抗爭的哲學。他從麵包店、雜貨店打工,在耶誕節也送報…日積月累,小心謹慎地滾動「雪球」,同時—

He wasn’t looking backward to the top of the hill. It was a big world, and he was just starting out.

讀者們,閱讀的類型就談到這裡。在下一期中,換個話題,和您談談如何養成閱讀的習慣,以及三種層次的閱讀。

(高志豪老師撰寫的一系列有關TOEIC的文章,均刊載於聯合新聞網udn校園博覽會英語學習多益情報誌,讀者們可自行上網參閱)。相關資訊亦可參考:

www.globalmate.com.tw   online.globalmate.com.tw

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