Unit FourThe Virtual World Text A A Virtual Life
Pre-reading activities • Background knowledge • Cultural notes • Language points
Find antonyms of "virtual world" and "virtual life"; (real world, real life) -- synonyms for "virtual world"; (cyberspace, etherworld, virtual reality, Internet world, net world, etc.) -- say what people can do on the Internet. (communicating with people, shopping, reading, entertainment, education, working, hacking, publishing, etc.)
Background knowledge: Computer-related vocabulary items: scan Text A to find out vocabulary items related to computer and the Internet. (They are: virtual life, the net, telecommuter, email, Internet mailing lists, computer-assisted, data, link cyber-interaction, on line, system crash, click on the modem, connection, password)
New computer-and-Internet-related vocabulary in English are cyber-, virtual, Net- (net-), Web- (web-), and E- (e-). New English vocabulary items derived from them usually appear in the following forms:
1. combining forms/prefixes + noun: this is the most common type, e.g. virtual life (虚拟生活), virtual world (虚拟世界) , virtual community (虚拟社区) , virtual office (虚拟办公室) , virtual pet (虚拟宠物) , virtual reality (虚拟现实) , cyber-interaction (网络互动) , cyberculture (网络文化), cybernut (网虫), cyberpet (电子宠物), cyberspace (网络空间), netwriter (发送电子邮件的人), nethead (网虫), Webmaster (网站维护者), Web page (网页), website (网址), Web TV (网络电视机) , E-book (电子书籍), E-shopper (网上购物者), e-card (电子货币), e(-)mail (电子邮件) , e-journal (电子杂志), e-business (电子商务) , e-cash (电子货币) , e- commerce (电子商务) .
2. combining forms/prefixes + verb: e.g. cybersurf (网络漫游), netsurf (网络漫游), websurf (网络漫游), email (电子邮件)
3. words like cyber, net, etc. + suffix: e.g. cyberian (cyber + ian, 网络用户), cyberphobia (cyber + phobia, 电脑恐惧症), cybernaut (cyber +naut 网络用户), netter (net + er网民), Webify (web + fy使万维网化), cyberize (cyber + ize, 使互联).
4. clipped word: cyberdoc (cyber + doctor, 网络医生), Netcast (Net + broadcast,网络播放), Netiquette (Net + etiquette, 网规, )Netizen (Net + citizen,网民), Netpreneur (Net + entrepreneur, 网络企业家), Webcam. (Web + camera,网络摄像机), Webcasting (Web + broadcasting,网络播放), Webliography (Web + bibliogrpahy, 网络书目), Webnomics (Web + economics,网络经济), Webzine (Web + magazine,网络杂志), e-tailing (electronic + retailing, 电子零售), e-zine (electronic + magazine,电子杂志).
Structure: Paras. 2-3 现象阐述 Paras.1,4-10,13 问题产生 Para.11 寻求解决方案 Para.12 解决问题的最后出路 两种生活方式的对照和比较
Cultural Notes 1. the Internet: an international computer network for the exchange of information. It was originally used mainly in the academic and military worlds but has since become available to the large and increasing number of people with personal computers. Other services, e.g. the World Wide Web, are available through it.
The Internet is changing our lives and a parallel universe is rapidly emerging online. Today there's scarcely an aspect of our life that isn't being upended by the torrent of information available on the hundreds of millions of sites crowding the Internet, not to mention its ability to keep us in constant touch with each other via electronic mail. The Internet is saving companies billions of dollars in producing goods and serving the needs of their customers. Nothing like it has been seen since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when power-driven machines began producing more in a day than men could turn out in nearly a year. The Internet and e-commerce are viewed as a global mega-trend along the lines of the printing press, the telephone, the computer and the electricity.
You would be hard pressed to name something that isn't available on the Internet. Consider: books, health care, movie tickets, baby clothes, stocks, real estate, toys and airline tickets. American kids today are so computer savvy that it virtually ensures the United States will remain the unchallenged leader in cyberspace for the foreseeable future. Most kids use computers to play games and have email chats with friends.
What's clear is that, whether we like it or not, the Internet is an ever-growing part of our lives and there is no turning back.
2. NBC (the National Broadcasting Company): the first of the original three US national broad-casting companies. It was established in 1926 by Radio Corporation of America as two groups of radio stations. The first NBC television channel opened in 1940. The company is now owned by General Electric. Its main offices are at Rockefeller Center in New York.
3. PBS (the Public Broadcasting Service): (in the US) a television system that broadcasts programs to an association of local stations which use no television advertisements and do not make a profit. It was established by the Public Broadcasting Act and is supported by money from the US Government, large companies and the public. PBS is known for the high quality of its programs.
4. ABC (the American Broadcasting Company): one of the original three major television networks in America. It began in 1943 as the Blue Network of six radio stations. ABC is now owned by the Walt Disney Company.
Language points:1. virtual: 1) created and existing only in a computer Example: I can visit a virtual store and put what I want in my basket at the click of a mouse button. Some people spend too much time escaping from reality into the virtual world conjured up on their computer screens. 2) being or acting as what is described, but not accepted as such in name or officially Example: Our deputy manager is the virtual head of the business. Now that the talks have broken down, war in the region looks like a virtual certainty.
2. interpret: 1) understand (sth. said, ordered, or done) Example: They are worried that the students might interpret the new regulation as a restriction of their rights. She interprets the dream as an unconscious desire to be young again. 2) give or provide the meaning of, explain Example: How do you interpret his refusal to see us? This dream can be interpreted in several different ways. 3) translate what is said in one language into another Example: I am terribly sorry, but I don't understand a word. Could you interpret for me? No one in the tour group spoke Spanish so we had to ask the guide to interpret.
3. tone: a particular quality or intonation of the voice Example: From the tone of her voice I could tell she was very angry. Suddenly he laughed again, but this time with a cold, sharp tone.
4. stretch: (cause to) become longer, wider, etc. without breaking Example: My working day stretches from seven in the morning to eight at night The child stretched the rubber band to its full extent.
5. submit: give (sth.) to sb. so that it may be formally considered (followed by to) Example: You should submit your reports to the committee. I am going to submit an application for that job in Microsoft. Peter submitted his plans for the new town square to the local government.
6. edit: revise or correct Example: Jack is busy editing Shakespeare's plays for use in schools. John didn't finish editing the annual report until the end of last month.
7. email: electronic mail Example: Young people like to keep in touch with their friends via email. I received an email from my student yesterday. vt. send an email to Example: I will email you the instant I get the news. She'll email me a question before she calls so I can think it over in advance.
8. communicate: contact sb. in any way, esp. by speaking to them, writing to them or calling them (followed by with) Example: Some young people depend heavily on email to communicate with each other. They have been divorced for years and never communicated with each other.
9. the Internet: the worldwide network of computer links which allows computer users to connect with computers all over the world, and which carries electronic mail Example: Whether we like it or not, the Internet is an ever-growing part of our lives. You can take online courses and earn your degree via the Internet whenever and wherever you want to. It's believed the Internet was born in 1969 when two computers at the University of California, Los Angeles were connected by a 15 foot cable.
10. relationship: state of being connected Example: What is the relationship between language and thought? The scientist had a good working relationship with his American colleagues.
11. at times: sometimes Example: She has been away from her home for about a year. At times she wishes she had never left. He went on listening to her, at times impatient and at times fascinated.
12. take in: absorb (sth.) into the body by breathing or swallowing Example: The earth takes in heat and light from the sun. Fish take in oxygen through their gills.
13. data: information, usu. in the form of facts or statistics that you can analyze Example: This data is stored on the network and can be accessed by anybody. The data is still being analyzed, so I can't tell you the results.
14. spit: send (liquid, food, etc.) out from the mouth (used in the pattern: spit sth. (out) (at/on/onto sb./sth.)) Example: The baby spat its food out on the table. He took one sip of the wine and spat it out.
15. on line: connected to or controlled by a computer (network) Example: Our system is on line to the main computer. The largest online institution is the University of Phoenix, with some 1000 students today and hopes of reaching 200,000 students in 10 years.
16. symptom: 1) sign of the existence of sth. bad Example: High interest rates are a symptom of a weak economy. They regard the increase in crime as a symptom of a more general decline in moral standards. 2) change in the body that indicates an illness Example: A cold, fever and headache are the usual symptoms of flu. If the symptoms persist, it is important to go to your doctor.
17. nightmare: a terrifying dream Example: Tom didn't eat fish because it gives him nightmares. Watching horror films gives me nightmares. I had a nightmare about falling off the skyscraper.
18. conversely: in a way that is opposite to sth. Example. s: $1 will buy 100 yen worth of Japanese goods. Conversely, 100 yen will buy $1 worth of American goods. You can add the fluid to the powder or, conversely, the powder to the fluid.
19. but then: yet at the same time Example: The failure of China's soccer team looks inevitable. But then, anything can happen in football. Mary performed better than the others in the final exam; but then, she spent much longer on it than they did.
20. jar: have a harsh or an unpleasant effect (used in the pattern: jar sth., jar on sb./sth.) Example: You shouldn't have too many colors in a small space as the effect can jar. The loud bang jarred my nerves. Her squeaky voice jarred on me.
21. suck in: (usu. passive) involve (sb.) in an activity, an argument, etc., usu. against their will (used in the pattern: suck sb. in/into sth.; suck in ) Example: I don't want to get sucked into the debate about school reform. Some teenagers don't want to get involved with gangs, but they find themselves getting sucked in.
22. keep up with: learn about or be aware of (the news, etc.) Example: Carrie likes to keep up with the latest fashions. He didn't bother to keep up with the news. His only concern was to study.
23. Work moves into the background: Work becomes secondary to me.
24. in sight: 1)visible Example: It was early in the morning and there wasn't anyone in sight on campus. As the train pulled into the station my parents standing on the platform were soon in sight. 2) likely to come soon Example: Two months passed, and victory was not yet in sight. The end of the economic nightmare is still nowhere in sight. A solution to the problem of environmental pollution now seems in sight.
25. remark: thing said or written as a comment Example: The principal of the school made some remarks about educational reform at the meeting. Mr. Smith approached us and made a couple of remarks about the weather. His rude remark about my book jarred on me.
26. emotional: 1) of the emotions Example: She is grateful to him for his emotional support while she was in trouble. It's quite difficult to handle emotional problems. 2) having emotions that are easily excited Example: Marie got very emotional when we parted, and started to cry. It's said that the Italians are more emotional than we are.
27. cue: anything that serves as a signal about what to do or say (followed by to/for) Example: When he started to talk about the finances, that was our cue to get up quietly and leave. When I nod my head, that's your cue to give flowers to him. Mr. Clinton's excitement was the cue for a campaign.
28. I say a line: I type a line on the screen.
29. routine: a fixed and regular way of doing things (often adjectival) Example: The job is really just a dull series of fairly routine tasks. I don't think you'll take it. He established a new routine after retirement.
30. rely on/upon: depend confidently on, put trust in Example: Nowadays we rely increasingly on computers to control the flow of traffic. Some children relied heavily on the advice of their parents.
31. abuse: wrong or bad use or treatment of sth./sb. Example: The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a report on drug abuse and addiction. The policemen are making an investigation of child abuse.
32. restore: bring back to a former condition (used in the pattern: restore sth.; restore sb. to sth.) Example: Law and order will be quickly restored after the incident. Winning three games restored their confidence. Doing sports every day restored the old man to good health. The deposed king was restored to power.
33. arrange: prepare or plan (used in the pattern: arrange sth.; arrange to do sth.; arrange for sb./ sth. to do sth.) Example: Her marriage was arranged by her parents. Let’s arrange to have a dinner together some time before we graduate. I have arranged for a taxi to pick us up at 8:00 a.m. I could arrange for you to come along with us if you like.