Monday, 13 February 2012

Objective Proficiency p 136. The Adventure of English. Extra Listening

Watch this playlist to learn about the history of the English language:

Listening activity

Video currently unavailable

Fry’s Planet Word Episode 4. ’27 ’’38- ’34 ‘’33
Listen to the programme and fill in the gaps.
1.       It is the simplicity of the alphabet and the ability easily to rearrange letters, that gives it its ____________________ as a tool for spreading the word.
2.       Movable type (printed letter) freed the written word from the _____________ of hand-scribing and allowed it to _________________ in printed texts.
3.       There is something magical about a ____________________of printed text. I can never forget the moment I first saw a novel I had written that had arrived from the printers. I put it on the table and I looked at it and I _____________ my eyes to its level, I ________________ it, I opened it, I walked and _____________ it .
4.       Printing would after Guttenberg ____________ knowledge and new ways of thinking that would change everything.
5.       The city of Norwich has a long history of printing. It was the first town in Britain to have a provincial newspaper. “ This __________________ , _____________________ of the river Wensum, in the shadow of Norwich cathedral was once, hard to believe as it may be, the centre of a kind of Silicon Valley of Europe because here was a ________ and prosperous printworks”
6.       Chaucer was fed up with the ___________________ of those who copied out his works for readers. In the envoi (a line or a group of lines which forms the conclusion to a poem) of one of his poems, Troilus and Cressida, Chaucer makes a request that it isn’t too badly ______________.
7.       We say ________________ and ________________ because the capitals used to be in the _________________ on the frame and the small letters used to be in the ____________________.
8.       When the printer tells Stephen Fry that he was 16 when he started and he did 5 years. Stephen Fry exclaims “__________ !”
9.       English in the Middle Ages was incredibly_______________. Dialects of different regions had different words for the same thing and different spellings. When Caxton brought the printing press to Britain in 1476, he was faced with a __________. He couldn’t print all the different ____________ spellings that were spread around the country. By setting words in print, Caxton started to make the English language more ______________ and printed books spread these changes across the country.
10.   With printing, the written word truly began to spread. Printed books, like the Phoenician alphabet ______________ before, _______________ knowledge. Reading was no longer just an activity for the___________, but something that ordinary people could afford to learn to do.

1.       potency (/ˈpəʊtnsi/ the power that somebody/something has to affect your body or mind. E.g. the potency of desire.)

2.       Drudgery (/ˈdrʌdʒəri/ hard boring work. E.g. domestic drudgery)

take flight (to run away. E.g. the gang took flight when they heard the police car.)

3.       bound volume (bind, bound, bound: bind something (in something). To fasten the pages of a book together and put them inside a cover. E.g. two volumes bound in leather)


sniffed (sniff: to breathe air in through the nose in order to discover or enjoy the smell of something)  


4.       unleash (to suddenly let a strong force, emotion, etc. be felt or have an effect. E.g. the government's proposals unleashed a storm of protest in the press.)

5.       ivy-clad (ivy: a climbing plant. E.g. stone walls covered in ivy; clad: dressed) 

 willow-lined stretch (willow: Sp. sauce. –lined: having the object mentioned along an edge or edges. E.g. a tree-lined road. Stretch: an area of land or water, especially a long one. E.g. You rarely see boats on this stretch of the river)

thriving (thrive: to become, and continue to be, successful, strong, healthy, etc. Flourish. Sp. Prosperar. E.g. New businesses thrive in this area. A thriving industry.

6.       sloppiness (sloppy: that shows a lack of care, thought or effort. Sp. Descuidado, desaliñado. E.g. sloppy thinking. Your work is sloppy. A sloppy worker).  

Mangled (mangle something: to spoil something, for example a poem or a piece of music, by saying it wrongly or playing it badly)

7.       upper case

lower case

8.       Coo! (/kuː /used to show that you are surprised. E.g. Coo, look at him!)

9.       Diverse




10.   Millennia (millennium / mɪˈleniəm/ plural: millennia / mɪˈleniə/)


elite / i ˈliːt/

To watch more episodes go to: Fry's Planet Word

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