Unit Four    sound.gif (2200 字节)

                            Many people in the United  States  spend most of 

                            their free time  watching television.  Certainly,  there 

                            are many  worthwhile programs on television,  includ-

                            ing  news,  educational  programs  for  children,  pro-

                            grams on current  social problems,  plays, oziies, con-

                            erts,  and so on.  Nevrtheless,  perhaps people should

                            not be spending so much of  their time in  front of the

                            TV. Mr Mayer imagines what we might do if we were

                            forced to find other activities.  

                     TURNING OFF TV : A QUIET HOUR
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       I would  like to propose that for sixty to ninety  minutes each  evening,

     right after the early evening news,  all television broadcasting in  the United

     States be prohibited by law.

           Let us take a serious,  reasonable  look at  what the  results might  be if 

5  such a proposal were accepted. Families might use  the time for a real family 

     hour. Without the distraction  of TV,  they  might  sit around together  after 

     dinner and actually talk  to one another.  It is well known  that  many  of our

     problems -- everything,  in  fact,  from  the  generation  gap  to the  high  di-

     vorce rate to some forms  of mental illness - are caused  at least  in  part  by 

10 failure to communicate.  We  do  not  tell  each  other what  is disturbirig us. 

     The result is emotional difficulty of  one  kind or another. By using the quiet

     family hour to discuss our problems, we might get  to know each  other bet-

     ter, and to like each other better.

           On evenings when  such talk  is unnecessary , families could  rediscover 

15 more active pastimes.  Freed  form  TV,  forced  to  find their  own  ctivities, 

     they might take a  ride  together  to  watch  the  sunset. Or they might  take a 

     walk together (remember feet? ) and  see the  neighborhood  with fresh , new 


          With free time  and  no TV,  children and  adults  might  rediscover  read-

20 ing.  There is more entertainment in a good book than in a  month  of  typical 

    TV  programming.  Educators  report  that  the  generation  growing  up  with 

    television  can  barely  write   an   English  ntence,  even  at  the  college  level.

    Writing  is often learned from  reading.  A  more literate new generation could

    be a product of the quiet hour.

25       A  different  form  of  reading  might also  be done,  as it was  in the past: 

    reading aloud.  Few  pastimes  bring  a  family closer  together than  gathering 

    around and listening  to mother  or father read  a  good  story. The  quiet hour 

    could  become  the  story  hour.When  the quiet  hour ends, the TV  networks 

    might even  be forced  to come  up with better shows  in order  to get us back 

30 frorn our newly diseovered activities. 

          At  first  glance,  the  idea  of  an  hour without  TV  seems  radical. What 

    will  parents  do without  the  electroriic  baby-sitter?  How  will  we spend the 

    time?  But it is  not  radical  at all.  It  has  been only  twenty--five  years  since 

    television  came  to control  American free time.  Those  of us  thirty--five and 

35 older  can  remember  childhoods  without   television,  spent  partly  with  ra- 

    dio -- which  at  least   involved   the   listener's   imagination -- but  also  with 

    reading ,  learning ,  talking ,  playing   games ,  inventing   new   activities.  It

    wasn't that difficult. Honest. The truth is we had a ball.

                            New Words
worthwhile /'wa:6'wail/ a. good enough for the time or effort needed;valu-
     able 值得花时间(或精力)的;有价值的
program(me) /'prau~aem/ n. performance on radio or television 节目
educational a. of or for education; providing education or infor-
  mation 教育的;有教育意义的
current /'k~rant/ a. of the present time 当前的
social /'sauf al/ a. of or in society 社会的
movie /'mu:vi/ n. film that one sees at a cinema 电影
nevertheless /,neva8a'les/ conj. but; however 然而,不过
propose /prapauz/vt. suggest 建议
broadCasting /'bra:d,kaatir~/ n. the action of sending out sound ( or images ) by
  broadcast v. & n.   radio (or television) 广 播
prohibit /prahibit/ vt. forbid by law 禁止
proposal /prapauzal/ n. suggestion 提议, 建议
actually ad. in actual fact, really 实际上
generation /,dgena reif an/ n . all the people about the same age ( )
gap /gaep/ n. an empty space between two things or two parts
        of a thing;a wide difference of opinion, char-
        acter, or the like 缺口, 间隙; 分歧 , 隔阂
divorce /divoa/ n. end of a marriage by law 离婚
rate /reit/ n.
mental /'mentl/ a. of the mind 精神的;思想上的
Communicate /kamju:nikeit/ vi. share or exchange opinions,ideas,etc.交流意
disturb /dista:b/ vt. make (sb. )worried 使烦恼
emotional /i mauf anl/ a. 感情的
pastime /'paataim / n. anything done to pass time pleasantly 消遣, 娱乐
sunset /'s~nset/ n. the going down of the sun; the time when the
    sun goes down 日落 ( 时分 )
neighborhood n. the area around a point or place 邻近地区 ; 地段
adult /'~delt/ n. 成年人
typical /'tipikal/ a. 典型的
educator /'edju(:)keita/ n. a person whose profession is education 教育家
barely /'beali/ ad.  hardly 仅仅, 勉强; 几乎没有
literate /'litarit/ a. able to read and write 能读写的 ; 有文化的
product /'pradakt/ n.  sth. made or grown 产品
network /'netwa:k/ n. 广播(或电视)联播公司;广播(或电视)网
glance /gla:ns/ n.   quick look 一瞥 ; 扫视
radical /'r~dikal/ a. extreme; very different 激进的
electronic /ilek'tronilf/ a 电子的
     electron n.  
baby-sitter /'beibi,sita/ n  someone who looks after a child when the parents
  are away for a short time ( 代人临时 ) 照看婴儿者
childhood /'tfaildhud/ n. time when one is a child 童年
partly /'partli/ ad.  not completely; in some degree 部分地;在一定程度上
involve /irivolv/ vt. have as a part or result (必须) 包括
imagination n. the ability to imagine 想象力
learning n. the gaining of knowledge or skill through studying;
      knowledge or skill gained through studying 学习;
invent /iriyent/ vt . produce (sth. ) for the first time 发明

                           Phrases & Expressions
generation gap failure of the younger and older generations to communi-
    cate and understand one another 代沟
in part in some degree; partly 在一定程度上;部分地
grow up change from a child to a man or a woman 长成, 长大
bring together cause to meet 使相聚
come up wit think of ; produce 想出 , 提出
at first glance when first seen or thought about 乍一看;最初考虑时
have a ball (sl. )enjoy oneself, have a very good time 玩得开心
                                   Proper Names 
Mayer /'meia/ 迈耶(姓氏)
the United States 美国