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In this acrivity you are given a statement. Think of all possible meanings it may convey and contexts it may occur in

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Given to you.

Study the excerpts and pick up all evaluative words and intensifiers. Put them in the corresponding boxes of the table below. Then do the follow-up exercise. Examples are

Answer the questions.

1 What mass media are these excerpts taken from?

2 In your opinion, which of them are more prestigious? Name them.

3 Judging by the sources the reviews came from, can we say that some authors are given more credit for their works than others? If so, how do we know it?

4 Why do you think authors supply their works with these quotations? Is it a kind of promotion or advertising for them?

5 On the other hand, classical works by outstanding British and American writers are seldom, if ever, advertised? Why do you think?

6 The above writers are all well established and successful. Why do you think they have to resort to these means?


104 Language research

Reviews can be positive, negative or both. The above excerpts have been carefully chosen to praise the authors which is achieved by various means including the use of evaluative words and intensifiers.

Evaluative words are words connoting approval or disapproval in addition to the main meaning. For example, blockbuster perfection, breathless chase.

Intensifiers, as the word presupposes, add emphasis to the word described as in exhilaratingly brainy thriller, so fragrantly deligful.


Noun group (n+n, n+adj) Adjectival group (adj, adv.+adj.) Verb group (v, adv+ v) Other
Blockbuster prefection exhilaratingly brainy so flagrantly delighted Wow (interjection)
breathless chase exceedingly clever coaxing them through hoops Long live the Mummy! (exclamation)

105 Now summarize the data you have obtained and say:

§ how many examples of each pattern you have;

§ which pattern/s prevail/s;

§ if there are any words, word combinations or phrases that are repeated;

§ which phrases seem to be ‘ready-made’ and which seem to have been coined by the reviewers;

§ which of them you liked best, why.



Statement Meaning Context
1.Just skim through the second section to save time.    
2. I always skim the financial section of the newspaper.    
3.Could you be a bit quieter – I’m trying to read.    
4.Take a good look atthephoto and see if you recognize anyone in it.    
5.Will you read me a bedtime story?    
6.I’ve read the whole story from beginning to end and still can’t understand it.    
7.Can I read your newspaper?    
8.My stomach churned as the names were read aloud.    
9.I always read her column in the local paper.    
10.Read through your work and correct any mistakes that you find.    

107 The sentences below contain more ‘books’ words. Read them carefully and make sure you understand them.

1 I was an avid reader as a child.

2 My grandchildren are great readers, so I always give them books for their birthday.

3 Along with being an expert in business law, Martin is a voraciousreader of detective stories.

4 I was a real bookworm when I was a child.

5 Charles was a well-read and highly educated man.

6 Although jack stopped his studies at 19, he was very well-read, especially inthe classics.

7 The average reader of science fiction is young and male.

8 Her newspaper now has a readership of more than 500,000.

9 The local newspaper has a circulation of around 16,000.

10 Over the last hundred years people have become healthier, more literate, and better educated.

11 Children are expected to be competent readers by the time they leave this class.

12 Good readers tend to be better at spelling than other children.

13 Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates in the world.

14 His father was an illiterate farm worker.

15 At the end of the day the teacher does half an hour’s extra work with the slow readers.

16 Illiteracy rates among women in many countries are a serious cause for concern.

17 Her writing was so tiny that it was barely legible.

18 I don’t know what this note says- Dad’s handwriting is totally illegible.

19 I received a blurred, indecipherable fax that didn’t help at all.

20 The photocopy was poorly produced and almost unreadable.

21 I couldn’t read the doctor’s scrawl.

22 This is a well-written and readable introduction to the subject of linguistics.

23 Have you seen Amis’ latest book? It’s worth reading.

24 The story of their journey makes interesting reading.

25 Her latest book is clever, funny, and well-written – a very good read.

26 Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is a real page-turner.

27 ‘Unputdownable”, raved the literary critic Helen Jewson, ‘I read it at one sitting.

28 The inclusion of so many figures and statistics make the article virtually unreadable.

29 The book was so badly written that I didn’t get further than the first chapter.



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