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EPISODE 2
LEVEL B1-B2

 

READING COMPREHENSION

 

TEXT MESSAGES

I got myself a brand new mobile phone the other day. I love texting (= sending a written message to sb using a mobile phone), so the size of the screen was important to me. In this new mobile I have the screen is quite big and displays (= shows) images brilliantly. I’ve become pretty good at pressing the keys (= buttons) and typing messages quickly, although I’m never going to beat today’s teenagers with their dexterous (= very skillful) thumbs. After all, this is why they have been nicknamed ‚the thumb generation ‚. There is a ‘but’, however: excessive use of the thumb for pressing keys on a mobile may lead to forms of the so-called repetitive strain injury (= an injury which comes from using some muscles too much and too often), so I try not to overdo (= do something too much or too often) texting.
To save time I often use the special text messaging language . Here is a message I sent to my friend yesterday:

RU in Warsaw? WOT RU up 2 2NIGHT? DO U WAN2 C ME L8R 4 A DRINK?
PCM OR TEXT AFTER 4.

And to help you work it out, here goes the meaning of the text messaging symbols in standard English:

 

RU = are you

WOT = what
2 = to, too
U = you
WAN2 = want to
C = see
L8R = later
4 = for
PCM = please call me

 

Why don’t you try out this ‚code’ yourself with the next text message you write?

 

More contexts for the new words:

In English-speaking countries, the term ‘a text message’ is used much more often than ‘an SMS’. For short, you can say ‘a text’. ‘Text’ can also be a verb.

  • She sends way too many text messages.
  • I just got a text from Ben.
  • Text me when you leave the office, ok?

 

EXERCISE 1

Give words/phrases for these definitions without looking back at the text. The number of the letters is given.

 

  1. skillful in the use of the hands = _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  2. the surface on which an image is shown = _ _ _ _ _ _
  3. to do something too much or too often = _ _ _ _ _ _
  4. a synonym of ‘to show’ = _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  5. an injury resulting from using a part of the body too intensively = repetitive _ _ _ _ _ injury

 

 

EXERCISE 2

Use the words from Exercise 1 to complete the questions and then answer them.

 

  1. Do you think you have …………………. fingers when it comes to texting?
  2. Is the type and size of your mobile’s …………………. an important issue when you choose a new phone?
  3. What kinds of activities do you tend to ………………… ?

 

ENGLISH IN USE

 

Let’s look at one of the sentences from the text:

 

I love texting.

LOVE is followed by a gerund in this sentence. You probably already know that when you want to state your real feelings about something, you can use verbs such as LIKE, LOVE, HATE + GERUND.
In fact, you can also use LIKE, LOVE, HATE + INFINITIVE WITH TO for the same purpose.

The examples below will illustrate this:

I like to get up early in the morning. / I like getting up early in the morning.
She hates doing physical exercise. / She hates to do physical exercise.

 

Another use of LIKE, LOVE, HATE + INFINITIVE WITH TO is to imply that you think something is a good/bad idea to do, e.g.

I love to have my room neat and tidy when I start studying.
Sheila likes to pay her bills on time.

 

You have to remember, though, that when using WOULD LIKE, WOULD LOVE and WOULD HATE you need to put the TO-INFINITIVE afterwards, and so you will say:

They would hate to live in the city.
I‚d love to visit Japan one day.

 

 

IDIOM CLOSE-UP

 

A/ I’ll try to talk to Monique today and we’ll see what she says about the entire situation.

B/ Well, OK, KEEP ME POSTED then.

 

The phrase to keep somebody posted means keeping someone informed about a particular issue. You may ask someone to keep you posted as in the example above, or you may offer that you will let somebody know as soon as you get some information by saying I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

 

PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP

1. If you RING somebody UP, you make a call to this person.

 

I’ll ring you up in the evening.

Ring me up as soon as you know something.

 

 2. If you PICK UP the phone, you decide to answer and talk to the person calling you.

 

The phone’s ringing, can you pick it up please?

I’ve been trying to contact her but she’s not picking up.

 

3. If you HANG UP, you finish the telephone conversation.

 

I tried to tell him everything but he just hang up!

When I hang up the phone, I felt faint and had to sit down.

 

 

 

EXERCISE 3

Match the two columns to make meaningful sentences.

 

  1. Why aren’t you ever picking                 a) me posted and let me know?
  2. I tried ringing                                          b) up on me!
  3. Will you keep                                           c) up the phone when I try to call you?
  4. I can’t believe she just hang                 d) her up, but apparently she’s still at work.

 

 

NEWS

 

THE THUMB GENERATION RULE

 

Recent studies suggest that adapting to the thumb generation will soon need to become an essential goal for both educational facilities and businesses. Classooms will need to adapt to properly serve the needs of students who are plugged in online. Their ability to access information is far greater than any previous generation’s, which can work as a huge advantage in the learning process if schools are able to make use of this opportunity. Workplaces wil also need to prepare for an influx of the thumb generation representatives, who will demand business conducted in an online, multitasking, interactive style. For businesses, the availability of cutting-edge, high-tech tools will directly correspond to productive and happy employees.

 

GLOSSARY

essential – basic, indispensable, necessary

to plug in – to connect something to an electrical outlet

influx – a mass arrival or incoming

cutting-edge – the most recent, modern and advanced

 

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>>Answers

Ex.1

  1. dexterous
  2. screen
  3. overdo
  4. display
  5. strain

 

Ex.2

  1. dexterous
  2. screen
  3. overdo

 

Ex.3

  1. c
  2. d
  3. a
  4. b

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