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1. Television:TV; telly (colloq.), the box (BE); the tube (AE), portable television (set); colour television (set); video; video tape-recorder (VT/VTR); cable television; satellite television; network; viewer; viewing; peak viewing hours; prime time (8-11 p.m.); theme tunes; TV addict; compulsive viewing.
2. Operating TV set:to switch on/off; to turn on/off; to turn the sound up/down; to switch (over)/change to another programme/channel; to watch television; to see smth on television; a test card; to correct the picture; to have the TV set fixed.
3. Personnel/People in television:to be in television; announcer; newsreader/newscaster; anchorman/woman (AE); presenter; TV reporter/correspondent; commentator; interviewer; speaker; quizmaster; camera man/operator; editor; producer; technician; soundman; a film crew; a programme crew.
4. Programmes:programme; show; daily; weekly; monthly; the news; current affairs programme; special report; factual re-
portage; live footage (AE), talk (chat) show; discussion, panel discussion; interview; documentary; magazine programme;1 children's programme; cartoon; educational programme; wild/ nature life programme;1 sports programme; the weather report/ forecast; variety show; musical variety; game show; quiz programme;1 feature film, movie (AE); television play/film; television version of a play (adapted for television); thriller; Western;1 serial (a play broadcast in parts, e. g. a three-part serial); instalment (a part of a serial); sitcom (situation comedy);1 soap opera;1 commercial; video clip;1 a regular character of the programme; a regular feature of the programme.
5. Television techniques:to broadcast; to telecast (AE); a live broadcast/show programme; to do a live broadcast; to be on the air; to go on the air; a broadcast speech/interview/discussion; to be on TV (What's on TV tonight?); to appear on the programme; to show on television; to cover smth; news coverage; television coverage; to record/tape/videotape; recorded/ taped/videotaped programme; to do a television show; sound track; sound effects; test card; picture; general view; close-up; caption; still; library film/pictures (= archives material); location (= geographical position of an event); microphone, mike, neck mike; monitor; screen time.
A National Disease?
At any time between four in the afternoon and midnight, at least ten million viewers in Great Britain are sure to be watching television. This figure can even rise to 35 million at peak viewing hours. With such large numbers involved, there are those who would maintain that television is in danger of becoming a national disease.
The average man or woman spends about a third of his or her life asleep, and a further third at work. The remaining third is leisure time — mostly evenings and weekends, and it is during this time that people are free to occupy themselves in any way they see fit. In our great-grandfathers' days the choice of entertainment was strictly limited, but nowadays there is an enormous variety of things to do. The vast majority of the population, though, seem to be quite content to spend their
1For detailed information see Appendix (p. 282).
evenings goggling at the box. Even when they go out, the choice of the pub can be influenced by which one has a colour television it is, in fact, the introduction of colour that has prompted an enormous growth in the box's popularity, and there can be little likelihood of this popularity diminishing in the near future. If, then, we have to live with the monster, we must study its effects.
That the great boom in television's popularity is destroying "the art of conversation" — a widely-held middle-class opinion — seems to be at best irrelevant, and at worst demonstrably false. How many conversations does one hear prefaced with the remarks, "Did you see so-and-so last night? Good, wasn't it!" which suggests that television has had a beneficial rather than a detrimental effect on conversational habits: at least people have something to talk about! More disturbing is the possible effect on people's mind and attitudes. There seems to be a particular risk of television bringing a sense of unreality into all our lives.
Most people, it is probably true to say, would be horrified to see someone gunned down in the street before their very eyes. The same sight repeated nightly in the comfort of one's living-room tends to lose its impact. What worries many people is that if cold-blooded murder — both acted and real — means so little, are scenes of earthquakes and other natural disasters likely to have much effect either?
Such questions are, to a large extent, unanswerable, and it is true to say that predictions about people's probable reactions are dangerous and often misleading. But if television is dulling our reactions to violence and tragedy, it can also be said to be broadening people's horizons by introducing them to new ideas and activities — ideas which may eventually lead them into new hobbies and pastimes. In the last few years there has been a vast increase in educative programmes, from the more serious Open University, to Yoga and the joys of amateur gardening. Already then people have a lot to thank the small screen for, and in all probability the future will see many more grateful viewers who have discovered new pursuits through the telly's inventive genius.
Television, arguably the most important invention of the twentieth century, is bound to be exerting a major influence on the life of the modern man for as long as one dare predict: that
it will also continue to grow in popularity as the years go by is virtually certain. Yet in arousing hitherto unknown interests — challenging to its own hold over the lethargic minds of its devotees — it is not inconceivable that television may be sowing the seeds of its own downfall.
(From: Arnold J., Harmer J. "Advanced Writing Skills". Ldn., 1980)
1. As you read the text: a) look for the answers to these questions:
1. According to the author, how do most British people spend their evenings? 2. What has prompted an enormous growth in television's popularity? 3. What is the effect of continual violence on television in the author's opinion? 4. Why does the author think that television may be "sowing the seeds of its own downfall"?
b) Find in the text the arguments the author gives to illustrate the following:
1. The statement that television is destroying the art of conversation seems to be irrelevant 2. Television is dulling viewers' reactions to violence and tragedy. 3. Television is broadening people's horizons.
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