SECTION 1 Questions 1-14
Read the text and answer Questions 1-7
Set Up Desktop Video Conferencing
Desktop Conferencing offers an easy, fun and practical way to see and talk to one another over the web, each at your own desk! Here are instructions for what you need to get started, how to set it up, and how to use it.
You will need
A camera with a microphone (around $80), a computer with a USB port (standard on newer computers), Internet access, MSN Messenger and NetMeeting conferencing software installed, a Microsoft Passport for directory services to contact other users, a video-conferencing partner with all of the above.
Setting it Up
1. Purchase any H320 Standard camera such as a Logitech QuickCamWeb model. Note most popular lower-priced cameras are H320s, more expensive ones are H323 standard. You will want to use the same standard camera as your colleagues.
2. Install the driver from the CD that comes with your camera and plug your camera into your computer’s USB port.
3. Install MSN Messenger if you don’t have it already. This messaging tool offers a range of features equivalent to AOL's Instant Messenger, with the value that it is integrated into Microsoft products and services. Go to www.microsoft.com and search for Messenger. Download the program to your hard drive, then double click on it to install. The MSN Messenger Window will open. Click on the link to sign in.
4. Set up a Microsoft Passport if you don’t have one already. Click on the link that says ‘Don't have a Passport? Get one here’. At the top of this window, it will say ‘Don’t want to create a Hotmail e-mail account? Try this instead’. Click on this link. We recommend using your firstname.lastname@example.org mail address as a standard so others in our community can easily locate you. Use whatever password you wish, and Agree to the terms.
5. You will need to reply to the passport confirmation email before you can use the service. This is usually sent to your email account immediately.
- Your contacts is a list you create of others with whom you want to video conference. They will also want to add you as a contact. You will need to know their passport email address, and they will need to know your passport email address (therefore, using the email@example.com standard is valuable in facilitating this step.)
- Open Messenger and sign in with your passport login. Click on Messenger’s Add Contacts link on the toolbar. Search for the email address of the person(s) you wish to add as contacts.
Read the text and answer Questions 8-14
Tips For Using Language Effectively
If you want your words to have the greatest appeal and impact, you need to pay special attention to the quality (versus quantity, i.e. “word count”) of your creative writings. Here, we’ll look at seven valuable tips for making your pieces “pop” by employing effective language usage and choices.
A Select your words with care.
If you want to pen the strongest, most meaningful works possible, you’ll need to be highly selective when it comes to picking appropriate words and phrases. Even if you’ve been told that your novel, play, or short story needs to be of a minimum length, don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of inserting bits of “fluffy” (and ultimately hollow) prose just to fill space.
B Use your thesaurus sparingly... and with a dictionary in hand.
Your computer’s word processing software probably comes with a built-in thesaurus, which is a boon to writers everywhere. However, though it can be a helpful guide, it’s not a foolproof method of finding the right word. Don’t rely on the thesaurus every time you’re searching for the “perfect” term, as not all the synonyms listed mean exactly the same thing. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with using the thesaurus as a tool... just make sure you have an old-fashioned dictionary on hand to ensure the properness of the word you choose.
C Read, read and read some more!
One of the best methods of becoming more literarily confident is to read others’ works. Even if you simply pick up the local paper every morning and peruse the main section, you’ll be increasing your personal stash of words and phrases. When you read a particularly captivating metaphor or a term with which you were previously unfamiliar, take a moment and write it down in a notebook. Then, the next time you’re stumped for something to say, open your personal “dictionary” and find some instant inspiration!
D Edit someone else’s creative piece.
When you agree to look over another author’s creative writings as a sharp-eyed editor, you’ll begin to recognise some of the same “traps” that you might have fallen into yourself. These can include the inclination to overuse “filler” words such as “really” and “nice” or reuse the same phrase in practically every paragraph.
E Make sure you’re saying what you think you’re saying.
Another common problem that creative writers stumble upon is transferring an idea from the mind to paper (or computer screen). If you’re not 100% certain that your reader will understand what you’ve written, ask for some help from a friend, editor, or writing coach. After all, if your audience can’t appreciate or follow your story, you haven’t done your job.
F Verbosity doesn’t equal greatness.
Many individuals falsely believe that complexity translates to superiority; however, that’s often not the case. Typically, simplicity is the key to making your creative writing sing. Otherwise, your pieces could become so bogged down that no one will be able to plod through the pages or, in the case of poetry, verses.
G Know your audience.
Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to keep in mind the people who will read your works. For example, if you’re putting together a childrens book, you’ll have to tone down your verbiage; otherwise, your young audience might become bored or confused. Similarly, if you’re working on a poem aimed at retirees, the language you use will need to be relevant to your age group, possibly even referring to your readers’ shared generational experiences.
Language is a beautiful thing and one of the cornerstones of civilisation. Use it wisely and reap the rewards.
SECTION 2 Questions 15-27
Read the text and answer Questions 15-21
Top tips on complaining
Before you complain
Be clear in your mind why you are dissatisfied. Was it the way you were treated? A wrong decision? Defective goods? What exactly went wrong?
Be clear in your own mind what you want to happen as a result of making a complaint. Do you want an apology? Do you want a different decision? Do you want the proper service that should have been provided in the first place? Do you want replaced goods? You should mention this to the organisation you are complaining to and ask for prompt action.
Who to complain to
This will be different depending on what type of organisation you are complaining to and the scale of your complaint. The following four steps are a general guideline. For more specific complaint procedures see the Information Section where you can find the specific steps for each organisation;
1. You should attempt to resolve your complaint directly with the parties involved: i.e. take the product purchased back to the shop, or attempt to have the service redone.
2. You should contact the relevant senior management or customer services department. It may be necessary to communicate with them several times before taking the next step. Most good organisations will have internal complaints procedures and complaints are often resolved using these. However sometimes they aren't and that's when you should consider the third step. It is worth mentioning that you are considering or have decided to take your complaint to the relevant authorities, sometimes this may provoke more serious consideration of a complaint
3. You should contact the relevant authority or overseer who will be able to give advice on how to exacerbate your complaint if you are still not satisfied. Ask the institution which is the relevant independent ombudsman to whom you can take your complaint. Alternatively you can contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Trading Standards Office who will be able to help and give you advice on who you should contact next. Some Ombudsman or executive agencies such as Oftel or Ofgem may take complaints up for you.
4. Finally, if all else has failed then court or arbitration services maybe the final choice. The Legal Section on this site contains information regarding legal options. Small claims court proceedings are inexpensive but time consuming and arbitration is available for many industries and services.
What to Remember
Various valuable hints which should help you to get the result you are looking for:
•Keep a record of events. If you speak to someone on the phone make a note of who you speak to, when and what was said. If you use 'snail mail' then keep a copy of your letter and any replies you receive.
•Keep the evidence. Retain all receipts/invoices, letters and e-mails regarding products and services that you may have purchased/received. If you are asked to present these at any stage then present copies and keep the originals yourself.
•Stay Calm. If you have confronted someone directly then don't let the emotion of the moment get to you. If you are clearly not getting an adequate response then simply take the next step in the procedure as advised above. Don't be shy to use a bit of humour.
•Write clearly and concisely. Be polite and courteous but don't be afraid to convey the detail of any incident and to articulate your disappointment. Be clear about what you think would resolve your complaint.
•You should make an attempt to know your rights. See the Know Your Rights Section of this site if you are unsure.
•Don't give up.
•Praise where praise is deserved. Organisations welcome complaints but most certainly praise too!
Read the text and answer Questions 22 - 27
The Generation Language Gap
As America changes, the English language changes, too. Some words have vanished and others have appeared to replace them. Words and phrases that mean completely different things. This was illustrated pretty vividly a couple of days ago when we were having our daily budget meeting - that’s the meeting when we decide which stories will go on which pages the next day.
Naturally, we’ve joined the Internet age. We offer morning, afternoon and late afternoon updates as well as Twitter alerts. Since you can use only so many words in a Twitter message, we try to “Twitter” a story that’s especially important. We have to find something that is “tweet worthy.” Managing Editor Samantha Perry wondered how we would have reacted just a few years ago if any of us had suggested that a story was “tweet worthy.” My guess is that person would have gotten a lot of stares.
Then sports writer Tom Bone remarked that a World War II soldier who had just come home would think that we’re all a bit nutty if he overheard us complaining about the spam in our mailbox. We think of messages while the soldier thinks of hundreds of rectangular cans of Spam overflowing the kind of mailbox we see along the side of the road; in fact, I think a Vietnam soldier from back in the 1960s would have the same vision. Who could imagine that a name for canned meat could become a word that means electronic junk mail?
Terms like PC, Internet and laptop are fairly new, too. Folks who suddenly time traveled here from 30 or 40 years in the past wouldn’t understand what we were talking about. To them, a virus is only something that makes you sick. Complaining that your computer has a virus would earn you some stares. A “pop up” would be something that comes from a toaster and a “tweet” would be that sound a bird makes. Frankly, our language wouldn’t make much sense.
Even my favorite literary character, Sherlock Holmes, is used in a creative way. If somebody makes a painfully obvious observation - somebody comes into your house soaking wet and you deduce that it’s raining outside - your observation is likely to be greeted with something like “No kidding, Sherlock.”
Coping with this new, growing vocabulary isn’t easy. Sometimes I try to use new words and, again, get stares. Reporter Kate Coil told us the story of an aunt who thought LOL, Laugh Out Loud, meant Lots of Love. She commented on a web page about a relative who had died of cancer, ending her message with LOL. Naturally, a younger person interpreted this a bit differently. “Dude, you aunt is harsh!” he told his friend.
This generation language gap was harsh on me when I tried the teaching profession. A few years ago I was teaching English Composition at a Virginia high school, and my kids often didn’t understand my vocabulary. Another teacher told me that I often “spoke over the head” of the students. Frankly, I thought they had a pretty poor vocabulary. Most of them rarely read anything longer than a text message - another term I wouldn’t have understood 20 years ago - so their vocabulary is pretty limited.
I’m not the only person who has these feelings. I sometimes visit YouTube and watch programs like “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” Naturally, fellow Holmes fans and myself will comment about the shows and talk about related subjects. One time we started lamenting the fact that our language seems downright crude compared to the flowing phrases used in Victorian England.
I said that Holmes and his friend and colleague, Dr. Watson, might as well be speaking Russian as far as my students were concerned. However, one person argued that kids’ vocabularies are more about English changing than decaying. They have different priorities and different needs, so they need new words to go with them. I’m fine with that as long as I don’t get compositions written in texting language, a habit that dropped more than one grade under my control. I insist on real words, not text slang or text abbreviations.
My students thought I was harsh.
SECTION 3 Questions 28 - 40
Read the text and answer Questions 28 - 40
Languages around the world are dying off at a tremendous rate. Linguists estimate that between 20 per cent and 50 per cent of the 6000 languages now spoken are no longer being taught to children, and will become extinct in the next century. According to linguists at the AAAS, the loss of language is bad not only for linguists but for all humanity. "The world would be less beautiful and less interesting without linguistic diversity," said Michael Krauss of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. "I challenge anyone to prove to me we are better off without linguistic diversity."
Languages are dying as improved transport and telecommunications bring different peoples into closer contact, and speakers of minority tongues abandon them for the languages of more dominant cultures. Sometimes the switch is voluntary, but often it is forced. Earlier this century, for example, American Indian schoolchildren were punished for speaking their native tongue.
The most basic reason why linguistic diversity should be preserved is that language helps people to retain their culture. But speakers cited several other good reasons too. "As linguists we need linguistic diversity," said Kenneth Hale of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "We wouldn't even know what questions to ask with only one language."
Linguists are especially interested in the rules of grammar that seem common to all languages, because they provide important clues to how the mind works. As an example, Hale pointed to the distinction between singular and plural forms, such as "cat" and "cats". Trying to figure out the deeper rule that allows this distinction, a linguist who knew only English might come up with two possible explanations. One is that built into the brain there is a basic binary distinction between "one" and "more than one". Alternatively, there might be in-built distinctions between one subject, two, three or more. In English, it is impossible to tell which of these processes is at work. But by studying many different languages, linguists find the common factor is the binary distinction.
Hale also argued that language should be seen as "the product of human intellectual toil" rather than something that evolves unaided. For example, he studied a language called Damin, an offshoot of Lardil, an Australian Aboriginal tongue. Damin was a special language spoken only by young men in the first few years after their initiation. It was an extremely abstract, simplified form of Lardil, which could be taught to initiates in a few hours. Hale said the genius of Damin was the way it broke Lardil down into its most basic concepts. Lardil, for example, has many words for "fish" while Damin has only two - one meaning "bony fish", and one meaning "cartilaginous fish". This shows that for Lardil speakers, there is a fundamental distinction between the two.
In a similar vein, Lardil has about 90 words to cover pronouns such as "me" and "you" and determiners such as "this" and "that". But in Damin, these are boiled down to two words, "niaa" and "niuu", meaning "I" and "not-I". "I hope you'll realise this is a very big invention," said Hale. "It's not just joking around." It is as if an expert linguist had sat down to make a basic study of the Lardil language, he said. Unfortunately, Damin is no longer spoken, and Lardil is dying out.