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Look at the statements about superstitions. Read the text to decide if each statement is correct or incorrect.
1 Usually people can’t explain why they act on superstitions.
2 As a rule a superstition is a matter of habit.
3 People who are involved in dangerous or unpredictable business are more superstitious than those who aren’t.
4 There is a superstition that names of several Shakespeare's heroes shouldn’t be mentioned backstage.
5 Michael Jordan is superstitious.
6 The majority of people prefer not knowing their future.
7 The zodiac sign is connected with the date of birth.
8 The “stars forecasts” can be found only in special editions.
9 The phrase “Just my luck!” means to thank one’s lucky stars.
10 People read horoscopes even if they don’t believe them.
Many superstitions may seem foolish, some border on the ridiculous, but they continue to influence our behaviour, and probably always will! Superstitions can be defined as, irrational beliefs, that certain things or events will bring good or bad luck. Many people believe that luck plays an important role in their lives, and they wish somebody luck (=good luck) in many situations, e.g. before an exam or when they get married.
People learn superstitions while they are children, and though few adults will admit to being superstitious, many act in the strangest of ways on superstitions out of habit. Superstitions cause people to believe in odd things and leave them unable to explain the reasons why.
Certain groups of people involved with dangerous or unpredictable activities tend to be very superstitious indeed. With actors there are lot's of Do's and Don'ts to be followed backstage in the theatre. One of the biggest Don'ts concerns the name of Macbeth, one of Shakespeare's most famous plays. If anyone says the name backstage then the cast will have all sorts of unlucky problems and the show will certainly fail. Also, actors never wish each other, 'good luck' before a performance as it might have the opposite effect. It's safer to tell an actor heading for the stage to 'break a leg'! With sportsmen there are many little peculiarities. The great Michael Jordan wore his old college shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls uniform for an extra bit of good fortune on the court. Amateur golfers can have a successful day on the course if they start their round with odd numbered clubs and don't use balls with numbers higher than 4!
People are also interested in fate (a power that controls everything) and in knowing what will happen to them in the future. Most people know which sign of the zodiac they were born under, and read their horoscope or “stars” in magazines, though only a few take what is said seriously. People may thank their lucky stars for a piece of good fortune. When things go wrong they may say “Just my luck!”, blaming their own bad luck, or look back on an unlucky act that has, in some unexplained way, caused their current problem.
Find in the text correct variants of statements which were incorrect in activity 3. In pairs, discuss whether you consider yourself being superstitious or not. Give some examples from your own life.
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