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考研英语范文阅读(十七)

2006-7-6 21:40  

  It's a rough world out there. Step outside and you could break a leg slipping on your doormat. Light up the stove and you could burn down the house. Luckily, if the doormat or stove failed to warn of coming disaster, a successful lawsuit might compensate you for your troubles. Or so the thinking has gone since the early 1980s, when juries began holding more companies liable for their customers' misfortunes.

  Feeling threatened, companies responded by writing ever-longer warning labels, trying to anticipate every possible accident. Today, stepladders carry labels several inches long that warn, among other things, that you might—surprised!—fall off. The label on a child's Batman cape cautions that the toy “does not enable user to fly.”

  While warnings are often appropriate and necessary—the dangers of drug interactions, for example—and many are required by state or federal regulations, it isn't clear that they actually protect the manufacturers and sellers from liability if a customer is injured. About 50 percent of the companies lose when injured customers take them to court.

  Now the tide appears to be turning. As personal injury claims continue as before, some courts are beginning to side with defendants, especially in cases where a warning label probably wouldn't have changed anything. In May, Julie Nimmons, president of Schutt Sports in Illinois, successfully fought a lawsuit involving a football player who was paralyzed in a game while wearing a Schutt helmet. “We're really sorry he has become paralyzed, but helmets aren't designed to prevent those kinds of injuries,” says Nimmons. The jury agreed that the nature of the game, not the helmet, was the reason for the athlete's injury. At the same time, the American Law Institute—a group of judges, lawyers, and academics whose recommendations carry substantial weight—issued new guidelines for tort law stating that companies need not warn customers of obvious dangers or bombard them with a lengthy list of possible ones. “Important information can get buried in a sea of trivialities,” says a law professor at Cornell Law School who helped draft the new guidelines. If the moderate end of the legal community has its way, the information on products might actually be provided for the benefit of customers and not as protection against legal liability.

  51. What were things like in 1980s when accidents happened?

  (A)Customers might be relieved of their disasters through lawsuits.

  (B)Injured customers could expect protection from the legal system.

  (C)Companies would avoid being sued by providing new warnings.

  (D)Juries tended to find fault with the compensations companies promised.

  52. Manufacturers as mentioned in the passage tend to ________.

  (A)satisfy customers by writing long warnings on products

  (B)become honest in describing the inadequacies of their products

  (C)make the best use of labels to avoid legal liability

  (D)feel obliged to view customers' safety as their first concern

  53. The case of Schutt helmet demonstrated that ________.

  (A)some injury claims were no longer supported by law

  (B)helmets were not designed to prevent injuries

  (C)product labels would eventually be discarded

  (D)some sports games might lose popularity with athletes

  54. The author's attitude towards the issue seems to be ________.

  (A)biased

  (B)indifferent

  (C)puzzling

  (D)objective

  答案及试题解析

  BCAD

  51.(B)意为:受伤的顾客可望得到法律制度的保护。

  第一段指出,外面是个危险的世界,如果你走出去,可能会滑倒在门垫上,摔伤一条腿;如果点燃炉灶,可能烧毁整栋房屋。可幸的是,如果门垫或炉灶没有警告你可能发生的危害,你可以就自己所受的伤害诉诸法律,成功地获得赔偿。或者,更确切地说,自80年代初以来人们一直这样认为,从那时起,陪审团开始认为更多的公司应该对其顾客遭受的不幸负责。

  第二段提到,为了保护自己,公司开始撰写冗长的标签,但是,正如第三段第二句所指出的那样,这种做法无济于事,因为,如果顾客与公司对簿公堂,大约一半的情况是公司败诉。然而,第四段第一句指出,这种潮流似乎正发生逆转。

  A意为:顾客可以通过诉讼免除自己的灾难。relieve sb. of sth.意为“免除某人某事;解除某人某事;使某人摆脱某事”。relieve的意思与原文表达的内容不相符,根据对选择项B的分析,顾客通过法律获得的是对损失的赔偿。

  C意为:公司将会通过提供新的警示标签避免被起诉。该选择项有两处主要错误:一是avoid的使用,二是new的使用,这两个词的使用使C与原文表达的内容很不一致。

  D意为:陪审团倾向于对公司所承诺的赔偿严加挑剔。

  52.(C)意为:充分利用标签避免法律责任。

  第二段指出,公司感到很大威胁,它们通过撰写比以前更长的警示标签保护自己,企图预料各种可能发生的事故。结果,现在的梯子上的标签有几英寸长,除了警告你其他可能发生的意外之外,还警告说你可能摔下来——这种警告真是莫名其妙!孩子的蝙蝠侠玩具的斗篷上也警告说:本玩具“并不能使拥有者飞行”。在作者看来,这样的警示语都是多余的、不必要的。

  A意为:通过在产品上写长长的警示语满足顾客。根据上文对选择项C的分析,他们这样做的目的主要是避免承担责任,而不是满足顾客的需要。

  B意为:在描述自己的产品的不足上表现得更诚实。

  D意为:不得不将顾客的安全看作头等重要的事。53.(A)意为:某些因伤害提出的索赔再也受不到法律的保护了。

  第三段指出,潮流似乎正发生逆转,虽然因人身伤害引起的索赔案像以往一样不断出现,某些法庭正逐渐开始站到被告一边(side with),特别是在有警示标签也可能无济于事的案件中。在Schutt Sports的案件中,Schutt Sports公司被告生产了不安全的头盔,造成一名橄揽球队员(football player)的瘫痪,但是,陪审团认为,造成球员受伤的不是头盔,而是橄榄球这种运动本身的危险性(the nature of the game)。公司因此胜诉。这一例子用于说明第四段第一、二句提到的现象。

  B意为:头盔不是设计来防止损伤的。戴头盔的目的当然是防止伤害,但是,头盔不可能是万能的。

  C意为:产品标签最终将会被淘汰。discard意为:弃而不用。

  D意为:运动员可能不再会热衷于某些体育运动项目。

  54.(D)意为:客观的。

  这里所说的“问题”指索赔案中孰是孰非这一问题。文章探讨了索赔案所涉及的顾客(原告)、公司(被告)和陪审团三方的反应,重点指出陪审团态度的转变。文章叙述客观,作者没有表达个人观点。

  A意为:有偏见的。

  B意为:冷漠的。

  C意为:迷惑不解的。

  翻译句子

  1、Or so the thinking has gone since the early 1980s, when juries began holding more companies liable for their customers' misfortunes.

  [参考译文]大约自80年代初以来人们就这样认为了,当时陪审团已开始认为更多的公司应对其顾客所遭受的不幸负责。

  2、As personal injury claims continue as before, some courts are beginning to side with defendants, especially in cases where a warning label probably wouldn't have changed anything.

  [参考译文]随着有关个人伤害的指控一如既往地继续着,有些法庭开始偏向被告一方,尤其是在审理那些警告标签可能起不到什么作用的案件的时候。

  补充难句翻译

  ①While warnings are often appropriate and necessary—the dangers of drug interactions, for example—and many are required by state or federal regulations, it isn't clear that they actually protect the manufacturers and sellers from liability if a customer is injured.[参考译文]尽管警告常常是适当而且必须的——比如对于药物相互作用的危险提出警告——许多警告还是按州或联邦政府规定要求给出的,然而 (我们)并不清楚,如果顾客受到伤害时,这些警告是不是确实可以使得生产者和销售者豁免责任。

  [结构剖析]在这个主从复合句中,前一个分句是由while引导的让步从句,这个从句由两个并列句组成,中间用and连接。破折号之间的部分是举例说明warnings的内容,and后面的 many省略了warnings,state与federal共用regulations.主句部分本身也是一个主从复合句,主句用了一个形式主语it,真正的主语是that引导的从句,注意这个从句中有个动词短语protect…… from……,后面是一个if引导的条件从句。

  [阅读重点]首先要把握这个句子的主旨,那就是主句中所阐明的warnings对manufacturers and sellers的保护作用还很不明朗。注意破折号之间的部分对warnings的解释作用以及it作为形式主语的替代作用。

  ②As personal injury claims continue as before, some courts are beginning to side with defendants, especially in cases where a warning label probably wouldn't have changed anything.[参考译文]随着有关个人伤害的指控一如既往地继续着,有些法庭开始偏向被告一方,尤其是在审理那些警告标签可能起不到什么作用的案件的时候。

  [结构剖析]在这个主从复合句中,前一个分句是由as引导的伴随状语从句,注意这里的claims是个名词;主句的时态用的是现在进行时,表示的这种状况正在开始。这个主句有一个较长的状语短语,原因是cases后面跟了一个where引导的定语从句修饰cases,这个定语从句的主干是warning label not change anything,解释的是什么样的cases.

  [阅读重点]主句依然是抓住句子大意的关键,该句所要表达的就是some courts beginning to side with defendants,再者要注意cases后面定语从句指出了哪类cases尤为如此。

  ③In May, Julie Nimmons, president of Schutt Sports in Illinois, successfully fought a lawsuit involving a football player who was paralyzed in a game while wearing a Schutt helmet.[参考译文]五月份的时候,伊利诺斯州Schutt体育用品公司总裁朱力?尼蒙斯就打赢了一场官司。这场官司涉及到一位美式橄榄球运动员,他戴着Schutt公司生产的头盔参加比赛,结果受伤瘫痪了。

  [结构剖析]这个句子的主干是…… president…… successfully fought a lawsuit……。句子的主语是Julie Nimmons,后面逗号之间的部分是她的职位,宾语部分a lawsuit有一个较长的动词现在分词involving所引导的短语,involving的宾语是a football player,后面跟了一个who引导的定语从句,这个定语从句中有一个while引导的时间状语,还原成句子就是while he was wearing a Schutt helmet.找出其中的关键部分:…… president of Schutt…… successfully fought a lawsuit involving a football player…… paralyzed…… while wearing a Schutt helmet.

  ④At the same time, the American Law Institute—a group of judges, lawyers, and academics whose recommendations carry substantial weight—issued new guidelines for tort law stating that companies need not warn customers of obvious dangers or bombard them with a lengthy list of possible ones.[参考译文]与此同时,美国法律研究所——由一群法官、律师和理论专家组成,他们的建议分量极重——发布了新的民事伤害法令指导方针,宣称公司不必提醒顾客注意显而易见的危险,也不必连篇累犊地一再提请他们注意一些可能会出现的危险。

  [结构剖析]这个看起来很长的句子其实是一个简单句,主干是…… the…… Institute…… issued new guidelines for tort law……。其中破折号之间的内容说明的是这个Institute的人员构成,并且用一个whose引导的定语从句说明了这些成员的权威。law后面跟的现在分词stating有一个相当长的宾语从句,这个从句的主语是companies,而谓语有两个动词结构,一个是warn…… of……,另一个是bombard…… with……,叙述了guidelines的内容。

  [阅读重点]这个句子的要点是在stating后面的that从句,对其中两个动词结构warn…… of……和bombard…… with……的正确理解决定了对整个句子的理解。

  ⑤If the moderate end of the legal community has its way, the information on products might actually be provided for the benefit of customers and not as protection against legal liability.[参考译文]如果这个法律团体适中的目的能够实现的话,产品信息的提供就可能的确是为了顾客的利益,而不是为了避免公司承担法律责任了。

  [结构剖析]在这个复合句中,if引导的是一个条件从句,主句部分的谓语用了被动形式,谓语动词provide for有两个宾语,一个是the benefits of customers,另一个是protection against legal liability,not决定了两者的取舍关系:取前者,舍后者。

  [阅读重点]从句给出了前提条件,注意has its way的意思是can be achieved;理解主句部分的关键在于provide for的两个宾语的取舍关系。

  语言点详解

  1.slip滑倒[大纲词汇]slip v.滑,滑倒;滑落,滑掉;溜走;n.疏忽,小错,口误,笔误[经典例句]The old lady slipped on a banana skin and broke her leg.

  2. doormat门前擦鞋垫

  3.light up点燃[大纲词汇]light n.光,光亮,光线;灯,灯光,光源;v.点(火),点燃;(使)变亮,照亮[经典例句] It is getting dark-time to light the lamp.

  4.burn down烧毁[大纲词汇burn v.燃烧,烧伤,烧毁; n.烧伤,灼伤[扩充词汇]burn down烧毁,(使)烧成平地[经典例句]He burned down his enemy's house.

  5.warn of警告[大纲词汇]warn v.(of,a,inst)警告,告诫[经典例句]The notice warned of danger of walking an the frozen river.

  6.lawsuit诉讼[扩充词汇]lawsuit n.诉讼[经典例句]The injured clients brought a lawsuit against the airline.

  7.jury陪审团[大纲词汇]jury n.陪审团;全体陪审员[经典例句]The jury found the prisoner not guilty.

  8.hold liable for认为…应负有…的责任[大纲词汇] liable a.(for)有责任的,有义务的[经典例句]The judge held the defendant liable for his friend's death.

  9.anticipate预料[大纲词汇]anticipate v.预期,预料,预感,期望[经典例句]The directors anticipated a fall in demand.

  10 .interaction相互作用[大纲词汇]interact v.互相作用,互相影响[衍生词汇]interaction n.相互作用,相互影响[经典例句]Researchers observed the interaction between the heart and lungs.

  11.federal联邦的[大纲词汇]federal a.联邦的[经典例句]Congress is the federal lawmaking body of the United States.

  12.liability责任[大纲词汇]liability n.责任,义务;[pl.]债务[经典例句]He accepted the liability for the damage done to the car.

  13.claim索赔[大纲词汇] claim v.要求;声称,主张;索赔n.要求;主张,断言;索赔;权利,要求权,所有权[经典例句]The patient put forward a malpractice claim to the hospital.

  14.side with站在…的一边[大纲词汇]side v.(with)同意,站在…的一边;n.侧面,旁边;坡,岸,一边,一方[经典例句]My mother sided with me in my dispute with my father.

  15.defendant被告[扩充词汇]defendant n.被告[经典例句]The defendant is charged of murder.

  1 6.paralyze使瘫痪[大纲词汇]paralyze/paralyse v.使瘫痪(麻痹);使丧失作用[经典例句]The driver was paralyzed in an car accident.

  17.carry weight有分量[大纲词汇]weight n.重量,重力;负荷,重担;重要性,分量;祛码,秤碗[扩充词汇]carry weight有重要性,有影响,有价值,有分量[经典例句]The mayor's opinion carries great weight in this town.

  18.substantial重大的[大纲词汇]substantial a.实质的,真实的;坚固的;结实的;富裕的[经典例句]She has made substantial progress in her study.

  19.tort law侵权行为法[扩充词汇] tort n.侵权行为

  20.bombard with连续提出…

  [扩充词汇] bombard v.轰炸;痛斥,不断攻击,向…连续提出问题[经典例句]The persecutor bombarded the defendant with questions.

  21.triviality无足轻重的细节[大纲词汇] trivial a.琐碎的;无足轻重的[衍生词汇]triviality n.琐事,无足轻重的事[经典例句]He was criticized for including too many trivialities in his report.

  22.draft new guidelines起草新的方针[大纲词汇]draft v.起草,草拟;n.草稿,草案,草图[扩充词汇]guideline n.方针,原则

  23.moderate end稳健的一派[大纲词汇]moderate a.中等的,适度的,温和的,稳健的[经典例句] People believe he is a moderate leader.

  24.has its way自主行事[扩充词汇]have one's way想怎样就怎样,自主行事[经典例句] It would be disastrous if you let your son to have his way.

  25.for the benefit of为了…受益[大纲词汇]benefit n.利益,好处,恩惠;v.(from,by)收益;有益于[经典例句]He moved to a big city for the benefit of his children.

  26.inadequacy不适当[大纲词汇] inadequate a.(for,to)不充足的,不适当的[衍生词汇]inadequacy n.不充足,不适当[经典例句] This is a reflection of the inadequacy of the public hospital system.

  27.make the best use of使…得到最好的利用[大纲词汇]make use of利用[经典例句]We must make the best use of the limited natural resources.

  28.be obliged to被迫做…

  [大纲词汇] oblige v.迫使;责成;(使)感激,施恩于[经典例句] I felt obliged to invite him to the party.

  全文翻译

  外面是一个危险的世界。如果你走出去,可能会滑倒在门垫上,摔伤一条腿。如果你点燃炉灶,可能会把房子烧掉。但是假如门垫或炉灶上没有警示语告诉你可能发生的危害,那么你或许可以就自己所受的伤害通过法律诉讼,成功地获得赔偿。大约自80年代初以来人们就不再(guangxian注:此处“不再”二字应删除!)这样认为了,当时陪审团已开始认为更多的公司应对其顾客所遭受的不幸负责。

  公司因此感到了威胁,便做出了反应,写出越来越长的警示标识语,力图预先标明种种可能发生的事故。现在,梯子上警告标签有几英寸长,除了警告你其他可能发生的意外情况外,还警告你可能会摔下来,简直是莫名其妙!印在儿童编幅侠披风上的标识语竟然也告诫说,本玩具“无法让用户飞行”。

  虽然警示语常常是合理而必要的,如对药物副作用而产生的危险的警示语,并且很多是州或联邦法规所要求的,但是当消费者受伤,这些警示语能否真正保护制造商和销售商使之免于责任,这还很难说。被受伤的消费者告上法庭的公司中,大约一半的情况是公司败诉。

  现在看来这种趋势正在转变。尽管个人伤害的指控一如既往地继续着,但有些法庭已开始站到被告一方,特别是在处理那些有警示语也无法避免伤害的案件时。五月份,伊利诺斯州的Shutt体育公司总裁朱利?尼蒙斯就成功地打赢了这样一场官司。一名橄榄球队员戴着该公司的头盔在一场比赛中受伤瘫痪,遂将该公司告上法庭。公司总裁朱利?尼蒙斯说:“他成了瘫痪,我们非常难过,但头盔的设计不是为了预防这类伤害的。”陪审团也认为造成该运动员受伤的是这项运动本身的危险性,而不是头盔。与此同时,美国法学会——该学会由一群举足轻重的法官、律师、学者所组成——签署了新的民事侵害法纲要,宣布公司不必警示顾客那些显而易见的危险,或者给顾客列出一份冗长的可能造成的危险的清单。康奈尔大学法学院一位参与起草新纲要的教授说,“重要的信息会淹没在细枝末节的汪洋之中”。如果该法律团体的这一适中的目的能够实现,产品上提供的警示信息实际上是用来保护消费者利益的,而不是为了避免公司承担法律责任的。

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