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Dialogue-main. Text I. Pre-Reading Questions. General Reading. Background Notes. Text. Comments on the Text. Exercises. Dialogue-main. Text II. Text. Comprehension. Pre-Reading Questions 1. Pre-Reading Questions. Think about the following questions before you read the text.
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Dialogue-main Text I Pre-Reading Questions General Reading Background Notes Text Comments on the Text Exercises
Dialogue-main Text II Text Comprehension
Pre-Reading Questions1 Pre-Reading Questions Think about the following questions before you read the text. 1. What do people usually do to prepare for a wedding? 2. When getting married, why do most Chinese people hold a wedding ceremony after getting a marriage certificate? 3. Which do you prefer, the Chinese-style wedding or that of the western style? 4. Among all the wedding ceremonies you have attended, which one impressed you most? Why? 5. In your opinion, what are some indispensable elements of an ideal wedding ceremony? Why?
Pre-Reading Questions 2 For your reference These are open questions. You may choose any one or more of the above questions to discuss with your classmates. Your original ideas will be highly valued.
General Reading General Reading Go over the text rapidly once and then decide which of the following statements best sums up the content. ___ ___ ___ 1. Alice, Simone’s step-mother, didn’t keep her promise she made when marrying Simone’s father. 2. Simone deserved the punishment her step-mother dealt out to her on her wedding day, and failed to marry Tom in the end. 3. Simone should feel happy for herself that she didn’t marry Tom because he loved money more than her. √
Background Notes1 Background Notes bridesmaid Bridesmaids are members of the bride’s party in a wedding. A bridesmaid is typically a young woman, and often a close friend or sister. She attends to the bride on the day of a wedding or marriage ceremony. Traditionally, bridesmaids were chosen from unwed young women of marriageable age.
Background Notes1 honeymoon A honeymoon is the traditional holiday taken by newlyweds. It can be the first moments a newly-wed couple spend together, or the first holiday they spend together to celebrate their marriage.
Dialogue-Text1 The Wedding Letter In the bride’s room, sipping champagne with her bridesmaids, Simone could not help but think about all that had gone into getting to today. Her wedding day was going to be the biggest, most lavish event of the social calendar to date. There had been some hiccups, namely her frugal, meek mannered, goodie two shoes, step-mummy, Alice.
Dialogue-Text2 Alice would never get it, no matter how hard she tried to interfere, she simply was no match. From the day she was born, Simone was Daddy’s little girl, she was named after him, it didn’ttake a genius to figure out what kind of future was in store for her.
Dialogue-Text3 This was Simone’s wedding, her big day, so what if she went a little over budget? Daddy always said money was for spending. Simone knew Alice had tried to love her, always appealing for commonsense, always lecturing about being financially responsible, as if Daddy wouldn’t be around to bail her out when she got in over her head.
Dialogue-Text4 Daddy would never allow anything bad to happen; Simone was the apple of his eye. Turning to her bridesmaids, Simone just had to gloat. “Only just the other day I had to put Alice back in her place. I told her, ‘Thank you for your concern Alice, I know you try to be the best step-mummy you can be, but really, the way I spend my father’s money has nothing to do with you. I will always get what I want. So please just try to be happy for me and let’s get along for Daddy’s sake.’ You really should have seen her face.” Simone knew her politely disguised coldness could send a shiver down spines, her bridesmaids knew it too.
Dialogue-Text5 Simone continued telling them how Alice had been a good sport from then on, keeping the peace, obviously biting her tongue, each time another wedding bill came across her desk. “All she had to do was sign the cheques; Daddy’s company was footing the bill, not like it was coming out of Alice’s pocket.” Simone shrugged. Just then her mobile rang, Simone rolled her eyes, it was Alice, and shushing the bridesmaids she deliberately put the phone on hands free.
Dialogue-Text6 After a few minutes of niceties, Alice tentatively enquired about the future, “So Simone, what are your plans for after the honeymoon, any interesting career options? You know Tom isn’t earning much yet, so you may have to cut back on your expenses, at least for a while.” At Simone’s facial express the bridesmaids were thankful looks really couldn’t kill.
Dialogue-Text7 “Oh I don’t have to worry about that. Daddy is giving us the company penthouse, and doubling my allowance. After an appropriate amount of time, with the proper grooming of course, Tom will be ready to take over the company. We will be all set,” Simone replied flippantly, as if Alice was a bothersome fly.
Dialogue-Text8 “That’s certainly interesting news, it never occurred to me your father had that in mind for the company. Guess he thought not to bother me while I was helping with the wedding preparations,” Alice surrendered. But Simone hadn’t finished, “What does it matter? It’s not like you were ever going to inherit or take over. It’s in your prenuptial agreement, what was Daddy’s before the marriage stays Daddy’s after divorce or death. So don’t fret none and just enjoy my day.” Stunning Alice into silence, she hung up her phone.
Dialogue-Text9 Simone was still preening with smugness an hour later when a special delivery arrived. When the guests heard the bloodcurdling scream, the priest rushed to investigate, followed closely by the father of the groom. Inside they found Simone in a heap on the floor screaming and ranting; pulling at her hair; make up tear streaked down her face, uncontrollably sobbing, clutching a single piece of paper.
Dialogue-Text10 Dearest Simone, I regret to inform you that the wedding has been cancelled. After our phone call, I had a lovely chat to your fiancé and when I told Tom the facts, he decided he couldn’t in good faith, marry you. My marriage to your father was shrouded in a lie, a lie to protect his reputation and your impression of him. When I fell in love with your father I wanted to do anything to make him happy, that included pretending his company was flourishing when really it was bankrupt and bought by my company. All so his little girl would think him a great success.
Dialogue-Text11 Tom, unfortunately, will not be groomed to take over my company; nor will there be a penthouse for you, also consider your allowance not doubled but cancelled altogether. Please inform your father he is fired and divorced, effective immediately. All the best for the future, kindest regards, Alice. By Katherine Brechin
sip sip:v. drink something slowly, taking very small mouthfuls e.g.: The graceful lady was sitting at the table sipping her tea. We chatted about learning Chinese as we walked and sipped coffee at the same time.
lavish lavish:a. very elaborate and impressive, spending a lot of money; very generous e.g.: The apartment building was lavishly decorated. We were always lavish with financial aid in times of crisis.
hiccup hiccup:n. a small problem or difficulty; [usually plural] a sudden repeated stopping of the breath, usually caused by eating or drinking too fast e.g.: A recent sales hiccup is nothing to panic about. She laughed so much she got hiccups.
frugal frugal: a. avoiding waste e.g.: She lives a frugal life. As children we were taught to be frugal and hard-working.
meek meek:a. very quiet and gentle and unwilling to argue with people e.g.: Their boss was always so meek and mild. You can be alternately as meek as a lamb or as mad as a hornet.
It didn’t It didn’t (doesn’t) take a genius to: It was (is) easy/evident to, it took (takes) no effort to e.g.: It doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines. I know that it doesn’t take a genius to work out that sleep is important for good health.
in store in store: in readiness; awaiting e.g.: The King was, of course, optimistic and excited about what the future has in store. It is an indication of their talent and the bright future that most young men believe is in store.
appeal appeal:v. make a serious public request for help, money, information, etc. Farmers have appealed to the government for help. The two countries appealed for a speedy solution to the hostage crisis. e.g.:
bail out bail out: escape from a situation that someone does not want to be in any more After many years in the business, his father is baling out. They will discuss how to bail the economy out of its slump. e.g.:
gloat gloat:v. show pleasure at one’s own success or at other people’s failure in an arrogant and unpleasant way e.g.: The opposing team gloated over our bad luck. She gloated over the fact that she received the highest score on the exam.
disguised disguised:a. having its true character concealed with the intent of misleading e.g.: When more people are engaged in some activity than the number of person required for that , this is called disguised unemployment. Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.
foot foot:v. pay for something, especially something expensive that one does not want to pay for He ordered drinks and then left me to foot the bill! We ended up having to foot the bill for a new roof because our insurance didn’t cover storm damage. e.g.:
shush shush: v. tell someone to be very quiet, especially by putting one’s fingers against lips or by saying “shush” e.g.: The little girl started to cry and her mother shushed her. Shushing someone is the silent equivalent of screaming “Shut up”.
nicety nicety:n. [usually plural] questions and remarks made for the sake of politeness; the quality or state of being nice e.g.: We met the new captain while we were taking enemy fire and were unable to observe the niceties of formal introductions. The diplomatic niceties from a career bureaucrat betray a serious underlying tension that is getting difficult to conceal.
grooming grooming:n. activity leading to skilled behavior e.g.: Vincent is going to succeed his father as President of the company, but he still needs a lot of grooming.
flippantly flippantly: ad. in the manner of not being serious about something that other people think one should be serious about e.g.: He answered the reporters’ questions flippantly. Do not speak without careful consideration, or flippantly make promises.
inherit inherit: v. receive money, property, etc., from someone after they have died e.g.: Each generation seems to inherit not only new knowledge but also new ignorance. In most cases identical twins who inherited almost the same genes have different personalities.
prenuptial prenuptial: a. relating to events before a marriage e.g.: He was asked whether or not he would sign a prenuptial agreement.
stun stun:v. surprise or upset someone so much that he/she does not react immediately e.g.: The youngest footballer stunned the crowd with a last-minute goal. Most audience were stunned by the film’s violent and tragic end.
preen preen:v. spend time making oneself look tidier and more attractive e.g.: She was preening herself in front of the mirror. The study revealed that 50% of men under 35 spend at least 20 minutes preening themselves every morning in the bathroom.
smugness smugness:n. an excessive feeling of self-satisfaction e.g.: Their new neighbour had the smugness that many doctors show. Smugness is, as you note, never an attractive trait — whether it is justified or not.
bloodcurdling bloodcurdling: a. extremely frightening e.g.: They gather around and tell bloodcurdling horror stories on the hottest summer nights. On the trip, the cat let out what the driver described as a “bloodcurdling cry” and went limp.
rant rant:v. talk or complain in a loud excited and rather confused way because of feeling strongly about something e.g.: She was still ranting about the unfairness of it all. I suppose my grandfather will rant and rave when he finds out about the broken window.
streak streak:v. move quickly in a straight line e.g.: A jet streaked across the sky a few minutes ago. On a clear night scores of meteors streak the sky.
clutch clutch: v. hold something tightly e.g.: A drowning man will clutch at a straw. She was found clutching a bottle of champagne near the railway station.
shroud shroud:v. keep information secret so that people do not know what really happened; cover or hide e.g.: The incident has always been shrouded in mystery. Her little boy was shrouded under a dark blanket.
goodie two shoes goodie two shoes: Also “goody two shoes”, it refers to a person who always does the “right thing”, never does anything that they’re “not supposed to do” and acts “perfect” in every single way possible. A goodie two shoes is usually a very peppy and happy person who is a “go getter”, and is also usually a girl. These people can be very annoying because of these traits. e.g.: Oh my god, that girl is such a goody two-shoes. I hate the way she acts like the teacher’s pet.
she simply was no match... … she simply was no match: She absolutely was not able to challenge my role in my father’s heart. Here, the phrase “be no match (for somebody or something)” means “be less powerful or effective than something or someone else”. e.g.: Health warnings are no match for the addictive power of cigarettes.
send a shiver down spines send a shiver down spines: feel very frightened or excited e.g.: Here’s a tale of medical incompetence that should send shivers down your spine.