发布时间： 2021-03-06 05:00:06
Americans no longer expect public figures, whether in speech orin writing, to command the English language with skill and gift. Nor do theyaspire to such command themselves. In his latest book, Doing Our Own Thing: TheDegradation of Language and Music and Why We Should ,Like, Care, JohnMcWhorter, a linguist and controversialist of mixed liberal and conservativeviews ,sees the triumph of 1960s counter-culture as responsible for the declineof formal English.
Blaming the permissive 1960s is nothing new, but this is not yetanother criticism against the decline in education. Mr. McWhorter’s academicspeciality is language history and change, and he sees the gradualdisappearance of “whom”, for example, to be natural and no more regrettablethan the loss of the case-endings of Old English.
But the cult of the authentic and the personal ,“doing our ownthing”, has spelt the death of formal speech, writing, poetry and music. Whileeven the modestly educated sought an elevated tone when they put pen to paperbefore the 1960s, even the most well regarded writing since then has sought tocapture spoken English on the page. Equally, in poetry, the highly personal,performative genre is the only form that could claim real liveliness. In bothoral and written English, talking is triumphing over speaking, spontaneity overcraft.
Illustrated with an entertaining array of examples from both highand low culture, the trend that Mr. McWhorter documents is unmistakable. But itis less clear, to take the question of his subtitle ,why we should, like, care.As a linguist, he acknowledges that all varieties of human language, includingnon-standard ones like Black English, can be powerfully expressive-there existsno language or dialect in the world that cannot convey complex ideas. He is notarguing, as many do, that we can no longer think straight because we do nottalk proper.
Russians have a deep lovefor their own language and carry large chunks of memorized poetry in theirheads, while Italian politicians tend to elaborate speech that would seem old-fashionedto most English-speakers. Mr. McWhorteracknowledges that formal language is not strictly necessary, and proposes noradical education reforms-he is really grieving over the loss of somethingbeautiful more than useful. We now takeour English "on paper platesinstead of china". A shame, perhaps, but probably an inevitable one.
The description of Russians' love of memorizing poetry shows the author' s_______.（单选题）
A. interest in their language
B. appreciation of their efforts
C. admiration for their memory
D. contempt for their old-fashionedness
请阅读 Passage 2，完成第 26~30小题。
Americans don't like to lose wars. Of course, a lot depends on how you define just what a war is. There are shooting wars-the kind that test patriotism and courage-and those are the kind at which the U.S. excels. But other struggles test those qualities too. What else was the Great Depression or the space race or the construction of the railroads? If American indulge in a bit of flag-when the job is done, they earned it.
Now there is a similar challenge-global warming. The steady deterioration of the very climate of this very planet is becoming a war of the first order, and by any measure, the U.S. is losing. Indeed, if America is fighting at all, it's fighting on the wrong side. The U.S. produces nearly a quarter of the world's greenhouse gases each year and has stubbomly made it clear that it doesn't intend to do a whole lot about it. Although 174 nations approved the admittedly flawed Kyoto accords to reduce carbon levels, the U.S. walked away from them. There are vague promises of manufacturing fuel from herbs or powering cars with hydrogen. But for a country that tightly cites patriotism as one of its core values, the U.S. is taking a pass on what might be the most patriotic struggle of all. It's hard to imagine a bigger fight than one for the survival ofa country's coasts and farms, the health ofits people and stability ofits economy.
The rub is, if the vast majority of people increasingly agree that climate change is a global emergency, there's far less agreement on how to fix it. Industry offers its plans, which too often would fix little. Environmentalists offer theirs, which too often amount to native wish lists that could weaken America's growth. But let's assume that those mterested parties and others will always bent the table and will always demand that their voices be heard and that their needs be addressed. What would an aggressive, ambitious, effective plan look like-one that would leave the U.S. both environmentally safe and economically sound?
Halting climate change will be far harder. One of the more conservative plans for addressing the problem calls for a reduction of 25 billion tons of carbon emissions over the next 52 years. And yet by devising a consistent strategy that mixes short-time profit with long-range objective and blends pragmatism with ambition, the U.S. can, without major damage to the economy, help halt the worst effects of climate change and ensure the survival of its way of life for future generations. Money will do some of the work, but what's needed most is will. "I'm not saying the challenge isn't almost overwhelmmg," says Fred Krupp. "But this is America, and America has risen to these challenges before."
What does the passage mainly discuss?
A. Human wars.
B. Economic crisis.
C. America 's environmental policies.
D. Global environment in general.