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70天攻克考研英语阅读 DAY56

2006-7-28 01:05  

  DAY56

  Reading comprehension

  Direction: In this part, there are four passages followed by questions or unfinished statements, each with four suggested answers marked A, B, C and D. Choose the one that you think is the correct answer.

  Passage 1

  We live in southern California growing grapes, a first generation of vintners, and our home adjacent to the vineyards and the winery. And in order to earn the money to realize our dream of making wine, we worked for many years in a business that demanded several household moves, an incredible amount of risktaking. When it was time, we traded in our old life, cinched up our belts and began the creation of the winery.

  We make small amounts of premium wine, and our lives are dictated by the rhythm of nature and the demands of the loving vines. The vines start sprouting tiny green tendrils in March and April, and the baby grapes begin to form in miniature, so perfect that they can be dipped in gold to form jewelry. The grapes swell and ripen in early fall, and when their sugar content is at the right level, they are harvested carefully by hand and crushed in small lots. The wine is fermented and tended until it is ready to be bottled. The vineyards shed their leaves; the vines are pruned and made ready for the doorman months and the next vintage.

  It sounds nice, doesnt it? But from the start we knew there was a price for the privilege of becoming a winemaking family, connected to the land and the caprices of nature.

  We work hard at something we love; we are slow to panic over the daily emergencies. Some hazards to completing a successful vintage are expected to happen: rain just before harvesting can cause mold; electricity unexpectedly interrupted during the cold fermentation of white wine can damage it; a delayed payment from a major client when the money is needed.

  There are outside influences that take patience, and great perseverance. The bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms regulates every facet of the wine business. A winerys records are audited as often as two or three times a year and every label must be approved.

  But the greatest threat to the winery came out of a lawyers imagination. Our little winery was served notice that we were named in a lawsuit accusing us of endangering the public health by using lead foils on our bottles (it was the only material used until recently)“without warning consumers of a possible risk. ” There it was, our winerys name listed with the industrys giants.

  I must have asked a hundred times:“who gets the money if the lawsuit is successful?” the answer was, and I never was able to assimilate it, the plaintiffs and their lawyers who filed the suit! Since the lawsuit was brought in behalf of consumers, it seemed to me that consumers must get something if it was proved that a lead foil was dangerous to them. We were told one of the consumer claimants was an employee of the firm filing the suit!

  There are attorneys who focus their careers on lawsuits like this. It is an immense danger to the small businessman. Cash reserves can be used up in the blink of an eye when in the company of lawyers. As long as its possible for anyone to sue anybody for anything, we are all in danger. As long as the legal profession allows members to practice law dishonorably and lawyers are congratulated for winning big money in this way, well all be plagued with a corruptible justice system.

  1. The grapes are harvested on a date that

  A. may vary.

  B. is traditionally set.

  C. depends on the approval of the regulatory bureau.

  D. is determined by availability of pickers.

  2. According to the author, the life of vintners is most controlled by

  A. the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

  B. unexpected changes in temperature.

  C. the sugar content of the grapes.

  D. the tempo of the seasons.

  3. The writer complains that when she questioned the lawyers she

  A. never got an answer.B. never got a simple answer.

  C. could make no sense of the answer she got.D. could not understand the answer she got.

  4. Which of the following sentences is right?

  A. The author descended from a small winemaking family.

  B. The grapes are carefully harvested and crushed in small lots by hand.

  C. They always deal with problems sternly.

  D. They should have used another kind of bottle, but they didnt.

  5. The writer thinks that the legal profession

  A. strives to protect consumers.

  B. includes rapacious attorneys.

  C. unfortunately does a poor job of policing its members.

  D. is part of an incorruptible system.

  Passage 2

  Iris Rossner has seen eastern German customers weep for joy when they drive away in shiny, new MercedesBenz sedans. “They have tears in their eyes and keep saying how lucky they are, ” says Rossner. Rossner has also seen the French pop corks on bottles of champagnes as their national flay was hoisted above a purchase. And she has seen American business executives; Japanese tourists and Russian politicians travel thousands of miles to a Mercedes plant in southwestern Germany when a classic sedan with the trademark threepointed star was about to roll off the assembly line and into their lives. Those were the good old days at Mercedes, an era that began during the economic miracle of the 1960s and ended in 1991.

  Times have changed. “Ten years ago, we had clear leadership in the market,” says Mercedes spokesman Horst Krambeer. “But over this period, the market has changed drastically. We are now in a pitched battle. The Japanese are partly responsible, but Mercedes has had to learn the hard way that even German firms like BMW and Audi have made efforts to rise to our standards of technical proficiency.”

  Mercedes experienced one of its worst years ever in 1992. The automakers worldwide car sales fell by 5 percent from the previous year, to a low of 527,500. Before the decline, in 1988, the company could sell close to 600,000 cars per year. In Germany alone, there were 30,000 fewer new Mercedes registrations last year than in 1991. As a result, production has plunged by almost 50,000 cars to 529,400 last year, a level well beneath the companys potential capacity of 650,000.

  Mercedess competition has been catching up in the United States, the worlds largest car maker. In 1986, Mercedes sold 100,000 vehicles in America; by 1991, the number had declined to 59,000. Over the last two years, the struggling company has lost a slice of its US market share to BMW, Toyota, and Nissan. Meanwhile, just as Mercedes began making some headway in Japan, a notorious difficult market, the Japanese economy fell on hard times and the company saw its sales decline by 13 percent in that country.

  Revenues will hardly improve this year, and the time has come for getting down to business. At Mercedes, that means cutting payrolls, streaming production and opening up to consumer needs — revolutionary steps for a company that once considered itself beyond improvement.

  1. The authors intention in citing various nationalities interest in Mercedes is to illustrate Mercedes

  A. superior quality.B. marker monopoly.

  C. sale strategies.D. past record.

  2. Mercedes is having a hard time because

  A. it is lagging behind in technology. B. japan is turning to BMW for cars.

  C. its competition is catching up.D. sales in America have dropped by 13%.

  3. In the good years, Mercedes could sell about

  A. 527,000 cars.B. 529,400 cars.C. 600, 000 cars.D. 650,000 cars.

  4. What caused the decline of Mercedes sales in Japan?

  A. Japan is a very difficult country.

  B. The state of the economy there.

  C. Competition from other car companies.

  D. BMW and Audis improved technical standards.

  5. Whats the authors tone in the last paragraph?

  A. Indifferent.B. Objective.C. Encouraging.D. Hopeful.

  Passage 3

  When she disappeared in July 1937 somewhere desperately close to Howland Island in the pacific, the destination of a 2000mile flight over sharkinfested ocean, Amelia Eurhart was far more than the most famous woman aviator in the western world.

  Armed with great intelligence, obvious courage, natural poise and reticent grace, short hair, she had become the quintessence of female emancipation. She had also become an ambassador extraordinary for the United States. Amelia did not simply break records; she became immersed in her public role, giving lectures, informal talks whenever these could be slotted in.

  During the first twothirds of her final journey, she had given lectures at every stopping point and at boat of official receptions. She complained, quietly but more than once, of morning sickness and tiredness. She may have been pregnant and was certainly exhausted.

  In a letter to be opened only in the event of her death, written to her husband shortly before the fatal leg of her attempted roundtheworld flight, she wrote that she was well aware of her hazards:“women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” her husband, publisher and promoter of Amelia, turned her letters and her partly completed manuscript of a book into a synthetic autobiography of the last flight. This, with books written around the disappearance, sometimes condemning Putnam for pushing Amelia too hard, decorated the legend.

  Theories abound but they tend to conceal Amelia behind speculation. There has been no real biography. None, that is, until Marys. Herself a pilot and something of an adventuress, Mary went painstakingly through the Earhart papers and tangled family history to produce the sound of wings.

  The wild frontiers are never far away. Here is Amelia, aged eight, being given a 22 rifle by her grandfather to “go kill the rats in the barn.” here is Putnam, aged 24, out in the roaring wild west, already editor of a campaigning local newspaper, and forever captured by the isolation of saddle packing alone in the Oregon mountains. The detailed threads of separated and highly complex lives that bring Putnam and Amelia together have the inevitability of a great romantic tragedy. Both were touched by obsession, both gifted, and both imaginative.

  It was Amelia who understood the petty tyrannies of life that block achievement. She found words that mattered and put them into poetry:

  Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.

  The soul that knows it not, knows no release

  From little things;

  Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,

  Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear

  The sound of wings.

  This is the essential Amelia. In this book, for the first time, the little things and the great mingle. That is what biographies are about.

  1. During her last flight, Amelia

  A. was in very good form.B. lacked her usual energy.

  C. was, as always, sure of her success.D. lacked faith in her success.

  2. As a person, Amelia can best be described as

  A. intelligent and reticent, with a natural aversion to publicity.

  B. a person of thought as well as a public figure.

  C. one of those great people completely oblivious of the little things in life.

  D. a gifted person but touched with an obsession for flying that excluded all other interests.

  3. The article tells us that Putman was

  A. an adventurous spirit like Amelia.

  B. ambitious and pushed Amelia too hard.

  C. a good husband but could not free himself from little things as Amelia did.

  D. a good promoter who made Amelia what she was.

  4. In the view of the reviewer, Lovells biography of Amelia

  A. treats the story of Amelia and Putnam as a romantic tragedy.

  B. fails to untangle the family history of the Earharts.

  C. abounds in theories but conceals Amelia behind speculation.

  D. is so far the only biography that reveals the true Amelia.

  5. From the poem, we can infer that Amelia believed a person without courage would

  A. only ever experience petty feelings.B. Always suffer feelings of intense fear.

  C. Never be able to fly a plane.D. Often experience feelings of loneliness.

  Passage 4

  A scientist who does research in economic psychology and who wants to predict the way in which consumers will spend their money must study consumer behavior. He must obtain data both on the resources of consumers and on the motives that tend to encourage or discourage money spending.

  If an economist was asked which of three groups borrow most — people with rising incomes, stable incomes, or declining incomes — he would probably answer: those with decling incomes. Actually, in the year 1947—1950, the answer was: people with rising incomes. People with declining incomes were next and people with stable incomes borrowed the least. This shows us the traditional assumptions about earning and spending is not always reliable. Another traditional assumption is that if people who have money expect prices to go up, they will hasten to buy. If they expect prices to go down, they will postpone buying. But research surveys have shown that this is not always true. The expectations of price increases may not stimulate buying. One typical attitude was expressed by the wife of a mechanic in an interview at a time of rising prices. “In a few'months',” she said, “well have to pay more for meat and milk; well have less to spend on other things.” her family had been planning to buy a new car but they postponed this purchase. Furthermore, the rise in prices that has already taken place may be resented and buyers resistance may be evoked. This is shown by the following typical comment:“I just dont pay these prices; they are too high.”

  Traditional assumptions should be investigated carefully, and factors of time and place should be considered. The investigations mentioned above were carried out in America. Investigations concluded at the same time in Great Britain, however, yielded results that were more in agreement with traditional assumptions about saving and spending patterns. The conditions most conductive to spending appear to be price stability. If prices have been stable and people have become accustomed to consider them“right” and expect them to remain stable, they are likely to buy. Thus, it appears that the common business policy of maintaining stable prices with occasional sales or discounts is based on a correct understanding of consumer psychology.

  1. The best title of the passage is:

  A. Consumers purchasing power.

  B. Relationship between income and purchasing power.

  C. Traditional assumptions.

  D. Studies in consumer behavior.

  2. The example of the mechanics wife is intended to show that in times of rising prices

  A. people with declining income tend to buy less.

  B. people with stable income tend to borrow less.

  C. people with increasing income tend to buy more.

  D. people with money also tend to buy less.

  3. Findings in investigations in Britain are mentioned to show

  A. factors of time and place should be taken into consideration.

  B. people in Britain behave in the same way as those in America.

  C. maintaining stable prices is based on a correct understanding of consumer psychology.

  D. occasional discount and sales are necessary.

  4. According to the passage, people tend to buy more when.

  A. prices are expected to go up. B. prices are expected to go down.

  C. prices dont fluctuate. D. the business policy remains unchanged.

  5. Which of the following statements is not true?

  A. The traditional assumptions dont always hold water.

  B. When prices rise, people have to buy even though they dont want to.

  C. It is still not well known that the traditional assumptions are wrong.

  D. In the old days, businesses always fail because of lack of knowledge of consumer psychology.

  Keys and notes for the passage reading:

  Passage 1

  美国加州一户种植葡萄的农户辛苦地种植葡萄,但本该伸张正义的律师却刁难他们,控诉他们的包装瓶上没有注明可能给消费者带来的潜在危险。

  1. Our little winery was served notice that we were named in a lawsuit accusing us of endangering the public health by using lead foils on our bottles (it was the only material used until recently)“without warning consumers of a possible risk. ”句中,be served notice 指“收到一张传票”,而不是普通的通知;be named in a lawsuit 指在被告人名单里; accuse sb of doing sth 固定搭配,指控告某人做某事;endanger, vt. 危害。

  2. Cash reserves can be used up in the blink of an eye when in the company of lawyers. 和律师呆在一起,钱眨眼就没了。

  1. 「A」见第2段的第一句。

  2. 「B」见第3段的最后一句。

  3. 「C」本题的答案可从第7段的I never was able to assimilate it 中得出。

  4. 「C」见第4段we work hard at something we love. We are slow to panic over the daily emergencies. Some hazards to completing a successful vintage are expected to happen.

  5. 「D」见第7段的最后一句。

  Passage 2

  Mercedes 品牌的轿车从1960年到1991年曾盛极一时。但之后,BMW 和Audi 等后起之秀崛起,Mercedes市场占有额连年下降,其辉煌已成历史,要想重新崭露头角,还需实行一系列的改革措施。

  At Mercedes, that means cutting payrolls, streaming production and opening up to consumer needs — revolutionary steps for a company that once considered itself beyond improvement. 对于Merdedes来说,这意味着裁员、分级生产、面向消费者的需求——这些都是一个曾经无可挑剔的企业所必需的改革步骤。

  1. 「A」在文中第一段,作者提及各个国家都对Mercedes 表现出极大的兴趣,而且对于公司来说,从表面来看,从1960年到1990年是公司的辉煌时期。在文中第二段,作者提及Mercedes公司现在陷入和别的公司的激战中。 除了日本公司外,德国的BMW和Audi公司正努力向Mercedes 的技术优势看齐。因此可推断A为正确答案。

  2. 「C」从文中第二段及上一题后半部分解释可知。

  3. 「C」从文中第三段可知,在销售量下降之前的1998年,公司每年卖出将近600,000辆车。

  4. 「B」从文中第四段最后一句可知B项正确。

  5. 「B」从末段第一句可知C,D 显然是错误的。而从全文来看,作者对Mercedes 的发展并不是漠不关心的,只是做一个客观评论。

  Passage 3

  本文主要是宣传The Sound of Wings一书。该书记录了女飞行员爱米莉亚传奇的一生,收集了许多不为人知的素材,包括她小时候的故事和她与普特曼的浪漫爱情故事,是一本真实可信的传记。

  The detailed threads of separated and highly complex lives that bring Putnam and Amelia together have the inevitability of a great romantic tragedy. 正是这种特立独行而又复杂无比的生活使爱米莉亚和普特曼走到了一起,这样一个爱情故事的丝丝缕缕却难免染上悲剧色彩。

  1. 「B」从第三段中可以读到有关的表述:她曾对人述说早晨起来时头晕、疲倦。也许她怀孕了, 她感觉很累。

  2. 「B」Amelia 敢想敢为,这可以从整篇文章中体会到,她把情感用诗歌表达。文章还告诉读者,她经常演讲,在公众场合露面。

  3. 「A」在第四段中,Putnam被称为冒险家,第六段又把他的冒险行为与Amelia 儿时的勇敢相提并论,可以判断他和她一样具有冒险精神。

  4. 「D」第五段告诉读者,直到Lovell 写出Earhart 的传记,才算有了真正意义上的关于她的传记。

  5. 「A」诗的第二句说,没有勇气的人就无法将琐事忘怀,而不能体验恐惧、愉悦等大气的情怀。

  Passage 4

  本文反驳了两个观点:一是收入不断上升的人借钱最多;二是如果物价将要上涨,人们会加速消费,如果物价呈下降趋势,人们会延迟消费。最后表明:物价稳定时,人们的购买力最强。

  1. A scientist who does research in economic psychology and who wants to predict the way in which consumers will spend their money must study consumer behavior.一位研究经济心理学,并想预测消费者消费方式的学者必须研究消费者行为学。

  2. Investigations concluded at the same time in Great Britain, however, yielded results that were more in agreement with traditional assumptions about saving and spending patterns. 与此同时,在英国进行的市场调查结果却更符合传统的关于存储与消费方式的观点。

  1. 「D」在文章的开头段落中一般都要阐明主旨。 本文第一句就阐明了主旨:研究经济心理和预测消费者如何花钱的科学家都必须作消费行为研究。 第二段和第三段分别举出了具体的例子,说明研究消费者行为的必要性。

  2. 「D」这位主妇计划买车,说明他们有钱,但他们不打算现在就买,而且要在别的东西上面少花钱,这说明他们属于那种有钱却趋于少买的人。

  3. 「C」举过英国的例子之后, 作者并没有强调时间和地点因素,而是说物价稳定最能吸引消费者。 结论是保持物价平稳需要正确了解消费心理。

  4. 「C」文章结论告诉读者:物价平稳时人们乐意多消费。prices are stable 就是 not fluctuate.

  5. 「B」第二段最后两句话表明B是错的。当物价高涨时,消费者宁愿不买。

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