Decide how the following text can be improved in style by using substitution or ellipsis.
It is well-documented that relationships between children and their parents fundamentally affect children's behaviour as adults. But now the importance of the relationships between children and their parents is being challenged as new research shows that a child's relationship with its siblings may have a more important effect on a child's future adult behaviour.
Psychologist Francine Klagsbrun says: 'Our relationship with our siblings is unmatchable. Our siblings are there whether we like our siblings or whether we don't like them. Other relationships change - parents die, friends drift away, marriages break up, but the relationship with siblings carries on and the memories of life that has been shared with our siblings remain with us long after childhood has ended.'
One of the responses in each of these dialogues is not possible. Cross it out, then read the dialogue, thinking about the word stress in each response.
1 Do you think Sue will visit the UK again?
a) She might.
b) She might do.
c) She might do it.
d) She might not.
2 Can I buy you a drink?
a) No thanks, I've just had.
b) No thanks, I've just had one.
c) No thanks, I shouldn't.
d) No thanks. I don't want one.
3 Were you planning to visit us on Sunday?
a) No, but I can do.
b) No, but I can.
c) No. but I can think about it.
d) No, but I can so.
Listen to a mother speaking and decide whether she would agree or disagree with each of these statements.
1 Husbands and wives should share the job of bringing up their children.
2 My daughters seem to have very different interests and characters.
3 I'm worried about my eldest daughter's behaviour.
4 I like my daughters to wear pretty clothes.
2 Listen again. Gaynor describes her daughter as a 'tomboy'. What has she noticed about:
a) Megan's physical appearance?
b) Megan's behaviour?
Now listen to a second mother speaking and decide whether she would agree or disagree with each of these statements.
1 Girls are easier to bring up than boys.
2 It's wrong to have ambitions for your children -they need to find their own.
3 Husbands and wives should share the job of bringing up their children.
4 I don't want my son to become a typical male.
5 My husband and I have the same attitudes towards our son's upbringing.
4 Listen again. Marie talks about boys behaving differently to girls. What examples does she give:
a) of her brothers' behaviour?
b) of her son's behaviour?
5 Look at these extracts from the listening texts. What do you think the highlighted words mean?
1 My husband Rhodri is the breadwinner.
2 Women who mollycoddle their sons turn them into awful husbands.
3 My husband's afraid he'll be picked on at school if he's too soft.
Pushing the boundaries
Read the whole article. Six paragraphs have been removed from the article. Choose from the paragraphs A-G the one which fits each gap (1-6). There is one extra paragraph which you do not need to use.
If you were to spread some jam on a piece of bread and then accidentally drop it Murphy's Law dictates that it would fall, annoyingly, on the side coated with jam. Or, if you were driving hastily to reach an important date, Murphy's Law dictates that your car, for the first time in years, would, of course, break down.
Edward Murphy was an engineer with the US Air Force. He coined the term during a project to test the tolerance of human beings to ejection from the latest jet aircraft. The project involved shooting a rocket-sled across the base, accelerating volunteer passengers to speeds in excess of 630 miles per hour, which then stopped in 1.4 seconds. For one of the experiments, sixteen sensors had to be glued to the volunteer's body. There were two ways these could be attached and, of course, each tended to get stuck on the wrong way round.
Moreover, the project manager kept a list of ‘laws’ that he deemed vital to the success of future experiments. He added the new Murphy's Law, thus making it integral to the aviation industry. Other manufacturing industries picked up on the useful new term and soon it was being quoted in newspapers and magazines and, in 1958, was included in Webster's Dictionary.
You do not, for example, make a two-pin plug symmetrical then label it 'This way up’. If it matters which way it is plugged in, you make it asymmetrical in shape. This is not to say that the law has no use away from manufacturing industries or that it is irrelevant to 30 everyday life.
There is another name for such examples - 'Sod's Law'. This title is derived from the fact that if something catastrophic is likely to go wrong, it will go wrong for the poor soul who needs it least. There are countless other examples, among them: Lotto Law, in which you have been playing the same numbers since draw number one. You fancy a change, and then your original numbers are drawn. Plus, ‘Tots’ aw, which states that if you need to carry a child, he or she will ant to walk. It follows that if you need a child to walk, he or she will want to be carried.
But despite this long pedigree, there is no scientific evidence to support Murphy's Law itself - it's all down to perception. The alarm clock that failed to go off when you needed it most has probably been ultra-reliable for many years. The fact is that you only register the occasions that cause problems and not the dozens of times your day starts smoothly.
But while it is possible that Edward Murphy's so announcement has saved a lot of lives, the sad fact is that he was killed by his own law. One evening Murphy's car ran out of petrol. He hitch-hiked to a petrol station, correctly facing the oncoming traffic, but was struck from behind by a British tourist who was driving on the wrong side of the road.
AHowever, there is a scientific application in that basic premise, 'If something can go wrong, it will.' Bó working on this basis, scientists try to eliminate any possibility of disaster or failure, rather than trust probability.
Â In reality, Murphy's law has been around long before humans walked the planet. You can imagine awounded dinosaur making his way home and being confronted by two different and unknown routes. One leads to home and safety, the other to an ambush - and we all know which one he would take.
Ñ In short. If anything can go wrong it will, or, as Edward A. Murphy first said in 1949: 'If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those can result in catastrophe, then someone will do it.' This sad truth was the basic premise of Murphy's Law.
D So, we should remember that Murphy's Law is not just a throwaway comment to explain why bread would fall jam-side down. It is an integral part of a wide spectrum of technical cultures and only by employing Murphy's Law and acting upon it can engineers be almost certain that nothing will go wrong. In some circles this principle is known as 'defensive design'.
E This is what led Edward Murphy to pronounce the ‘law'. Shortly afterwards, at a press conference, the team's good safely record was put down to a firm belief in Murphy's Law and to the necessity of checking everything twice and twice again to circumvent it.
F The most popular of these is: ‘If anything can go wrong, it will’. This 'folk' variant is sometimes referred to as Finagle's Law, as popularised in the science-fiction novels of Larry Niven. He depicted a frontier culture of asteroid miners who worshipped the dread-god Finagle and his mud prophet, Murphy.
G Today, Murphy's Law is generally looked upon as being less associated with precise and sensible manufacturing techniques and more to the stresses of our modern life and its new-fangled technology. Take the alarm clock - is it not the case that whenever you have something important to do the next morning, the alarm will not go off? Or escalators - can it be that the first one you find is always going the wrong way?