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文/高志豪

新版多益測驗閱讀部份的Part 7中,單篇文章的閱讀測驗大約考七至十篇文章,回答二十八個問題;而雙篇閱讀的閱讀測驗,則考生須看完四組的兩篇文章五個問題,共有十篇文章、二十個問題。總計閱讀測驗的部份,大約是十五至十七篇文章、四十八道題目。在七十五分鐘之內,要答完句子填空四十題、短文克漏字十二題(三或四篇文章),再加上單、雙篇閱讀,這「份量」對欠缺閱讀經驗的考生,未免太沉重了!然而,如何減輕這沉重的負擔呢?那得靠養成不斷地閱讀的習慣才行!

國人的英語學習,多半只重逐字逐句的文法解析和翻譯,傾向死氣沉沉而被動的閱讀方式——就是要有老師講解一句,才懂一句。這樣就算完全看懂了,充其量也只是sophomore(半瓶醋、半壺水)。殊不知閱讀的樂趣可以從主動的閱讀中獲得,進而增進我們的理解力——就是讓文章、書本直接引領我們!

筆者就此簡單地來談一下「分類的閱讀」——藉著閱讀養成邏輯思考的能力,和判定文章屬性的知覺。

一般閱讀文章可分成五類,即Question-Answer Pattern(問答型)、Opinion-Reason Pattern(意見理由型)、Substantiated Facts Pattern (證實事實型)、Sharing Experience Pattern(分享經驗型)、Imparting Information(告知資訊型)。筆者一一說明如下——

  • 問答型 (Question-Answer Pattern)

此類文章通常在標題或第一段開始,作者便擺明了所要討論的問題,敘述問題癥結所在。接著,便自問自答,討論解決之道,或只說明問題發生的原因、現象,讓讀者去思考解決的方法。例如底下這篇短文——

Which is more valuable? To provide a $100,000 heart transplant for an ailing child of indigent parents? Or to use that money for prenatal care that may enhance the life expectancy of fetuses being carried by 120 expectant mothers? Surely the leader of the democratic capitalist world can afford both. Yet a growing number of health experts argue that the most developed countries, in fact, no longer has the financial resources to provide unlimited medical

treatment for all those who need it. The only solution, they say, is rationing health care.

哪一種較有價值?為貧窮父母的生病小孩,提供十萬美元的心臟移植手術?或者,把同樣的金錢花在產前照顧,而可能提高一百二十位孕婦對胎兒生命的期待?當然,民主的資本主義世界的領導者,有能力負擔以上這兩者。但是,愈來愈多的醫療保健專家認為:事實上,大多數已開發國家不再有財力,提供給所有需要的人無限制的醫療照顧。他們表示,唯一的解決之道,就是定額分配的醫療保健。

 

 

valuable                          a.  有價值的,有用的

transplant                        n.  移植

ailing                               a.  生病的

indigent                           a.  貧窮的

prenatal                           a.  產前的

expectancy                      n.  期待,期望

fetus = foetus                  n.  胎兒

expectant                         a.  即將生孩子的

capitalist                          n.  資本家

afford                              v.   能堪,提供,付得起

unlimited                         a.  無限制的

treatment                         n.  治療,待遇

solution                           n.  解決(方法)

rationing                         a.  定量分配的

 

Which is more valuable ~ expectant mother? 便是作者點出的問題。至於解決之道,則作者提出專家們的意見:rationing health care。

關於健康保險的醫療制度,一向是各國政府芒刺在背的棘手問題;是該站在人道的立場考量呢?還是顧慮健保照護的合理性、公平性?這是值得看完以上這篇短文的讀者們深思的一個問題。若看完後,不加思索,則只能增加我們的資訊,卻不能增進理解力。即使是閱讀八卦新聞(gossip news),也該作一番思考才對。

 

  • 意見理由型(Opinion-Reason Pattern)

1998年,美國總統Bill Clinton和白宮女實習生Monica Lewinsky「轟動武林、驚動萬教」的性醜聞(sex scandal)曝光之後,在司法調查和共和黨提出的彈劾案下,Clinton雖然「滿面豆花」,卻也驚險過關,未被定罪,這是史上有名的Zippergate(拉鍊門醜聞)。此一事件中,Clinton總統以一場簡短而令人動容的電視演說,為這件不光彩而煽情的醜聞,劃下了休止符。且讓我們欣賞一下這篇精彩的演說詞 ──

Clinton’s Speech to American Public

“Good evening. This afternoon in this room, from this chair, I testified before the Office of Independent Counsel and the grand jury.

[單字]       testify                            v. 作證,證實

Independent Counsel      (美)獨立檢察官

grand jury                       大陪審團

“I answered their questions truthfully, including questions about my private life, questions no American citizen would ever want to answer.

“Still, I must take complete responsibility for all my actions, both public and private. And that is why I am speaking to you tonight.

[筆者按]    美國人最忌諱去探人隱私(personal privacy),

Clinton則表示願意回答有關私生活的問題,且

又肯負責。

[筆者按]     您看!多麼坦蕩蕩、多麼偉大!

“As you know, in a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information.

“Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible.

[單字]       deposition       n. 證詞,宣誓作證

volunteer       v. 主動提供(資訊)

critical             a. 非常重要的,吹毛求疵的

lapse              n. 過失,疏忽,行為失檢

failure             n. 失敗

[筆者按]    這段話的意思:我只是沒有主動提供檢察官資料而已,在法律上,我還是站得住腳的。我和Lewinsky的關係,可說是「不恰當」(有什麼大不了的!)嘿,不對,不對!只是觀念上有嚴重過失,是我個人的失敗啦!

“But I told the grand jury today and I say to you now that at no time did I ask anyone to lie, to hide or destroy evidence or to take any other unlawful action. I know that my public comments and my silence about this matter gave a false impression. I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.

[單字]       mislead   v. 誤導

[筆者按]    這段話意味著:我沒有要別人撒謊、隱藏或摧毀證據,或者採取不法行動(是我自己撒謊…)。我公開的談話也好、沉默也好,都會造成你們錯誤的印象(你們真的不好「款待」)。我深深地regret(遺憾)。但是我絕對不講I’m very sorry for that. 或者I sincerely apologize for that.因為這件事情沒那麼嚴重嘛!

“I can only tell you I was motivated by many factors. First, by a desire to protect myself from the embarrassment of my own conduct.

“I was also very concerned about protecting my family. The fact that these questions were being asked in a politically inspired lawsuit, which has since been dismissed, was a consideration, too.

[單字]       motivate v. 激起,促使

conduct   n. 行為,處理方式

inspired a. 被激起(喚起)的

lawsuit    n. (非刑事案件的)訴訟

dismiss   v. 駁回,不受理

[筆者按]    這段話的意思:我撒謊,是因為不願意受困窘嘛!我還顧慮到家人呢!(我的老婆Hillary Clinton可不好惹的!)還有,這絕對是政治化的訴訟造成的(可能是政治迫害)!

“In addition, I had real and serious concerns about an independent counsel investigation that began with private business dealings 20 years ago, dealings I might add about which an independent federal agency found no evidence of any wrongdoing by me or my wife over two years ago.

“The independent counsel investigation moved on to my staff and friends, then into my private life. And now the investigation itself is under investigation.

[單字]       business dealings   商業交易,商務關係

federal agency        聯邦機構

wrongdoing            n. 違法,犯罪

move on to             轉向

[筆者按]    這段話牽扯到過往的Whitewatergate(白水門醜聞):那該死的獨立檢察官Kenneth Starl!他從1994年起,就開始調查我擁有50%股份的Whitewater Department Corporation,說什麼官商勾結啦,妨礙司法、作偽證啦!還好,當時上帝正在睡覺,Starl找不到確切的證據。但是,天殺的,該死!他轉向調查我的員工,甚至於私生活吔!Starl調查了幾年,花了近千萬美元的公帑,耗費鉅大的社會成本,他的調查報告和資料堆滿了好幾個房間!他現在也在被調查是否過度浪費民脂民膏。活該!該死的Kenneth Starl!

“This has gone on too long, cost too much and hurt too many innocent people.

“Now, this matter is between me, the two people I love most – my wife and our daughter – and our God. I must put it right, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to do so.

“Nothing is more important to me personally. But it is private, and I intend to reclaim my family life for my family. It’s nobody’s business but ours.

[單字]       reclaim    v. 重得,取回

[筆者按]    這段話的意思是:這件八卦也扯太久了。可不要因為我是美國總統,就緊追不放,還累及無辜!這是我的私事,不干別人的閒事哪!

“Even presidents have private lives. It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and get on with our national life.

“Our country has been distracted by this matter for too long, and I take my responsibility for my part in all of this. That is all I can do.

[單字]       pry                  v. 刺探,打聽

distract           v. 使分心(分散注意力)

[筆者按]    雖然我是總統,也有私生活啊!你們不要被這件緋聞,噢,不對!不要被「不恰當的關係」的閒話,分散了注意力!當然,我是該負全責的啦!

“Now it is time – in fact, it is past time to move on.

“We have important work to do – real opportunities to seize, real problems to solve, real security matters to face.

[單字]       more on          變換花樣,花樣翻新

[筆者按]    這是換個話題的時候了!我們有正事要辦、有問題等著解決、有安全問題要面對吔!

“And so tonight, I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of the past seven months, to repair the fabric of our national discourse, and to return our attention to all the challenges and all the promise of the next American century.

Thank you for watching. And good night.”

[單字]       spectacle         n. 異常的事(現象)

fabric             n. 結構

discourse        n. 交談

promise          n. 前途,希望

[筆者按]    今晚,就拜託各位換個話題吧!我們必須轉移注意力到下一個美國人的世紀的挑戰和願景,這才對嘛!

[筆者按]    這段話讓筆者回想起求學時代的演講或作文,在結尾的時候,都必然加上:我們要處變不驚、慎謀能斷,然後自立自強,進一步反攻大陸,    拯救大陸同胞於水深火熱之中!

讀者們,看完這篇演說詞,您有何感想呢?您可知道:當時Clinton的民調支持度,已低落到百分之三十左右。然而,從電視上看到他初始以和緩低沉的語調,然後似乎愧疚又帶著辯解意味的言語,進而轉為鏗鏘有力、鼓

舞人們奮發的言詞,這堪稱是一場精采絕倫的表演。在Clinton電視演說之後,他的民調支持度居然遽升到百分

 

之六十五左右;而以此醜聞猛烈抨擊他的共和黨,在1998年期中選舉中卻敗下陣來。美國人的天真幼稚(naive)於此可見,令人為之搖頭。

這篇演講稿裡,充斥著I tell…, I say…, that is why…, as you know…, I know…, I had concerns about…, I take…, I ask you…諸如此類的字眼,都是要陳述自己的意見、看法、理由,這是標準的Opinion-Reason Pattern;同時,從以下其他的文字也可以看出來,如I think…, I believe…, I prefer…, I judge…, I regard…, I sure…, as I see it…, in my opinion…, according to my viewpoint…,這些都是「意見理由型」的文章經常出現的字眼。(待續)

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