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Messages by electrisity

Article Index
Messages by electrisity
B. Grammar structures
Revision Grammar Exercises
Section 2. Developing basic reading skills
Section 3. Communicative practice
Section 4. Check your progress
Electricity completely changed communications. Once it was discovered that an electric current would flow along a wire, it seemed possible that it could be used for sending messages.

Section 1. Language work

А. Reading vocabulary, what is it?

Vocabulary has to do with words and their meanings. You have four different vocabularies (for speaking, writing, listening and reading). Your reading vocabulary is the largest. It consists of all the words you recognize and comprehend when you see them. Vocabulary of scientists and engineers consists of common words, terms and connectors. Common words are the words we use in ordinary affairs (e.g. table, book). Terms are mostly used in special works dealing with the notions of some branch of science. They are directly connected with the concept they denote. When something new comes along, new terms are invented (e.g. laser, teleprinter). Connectors are words which show how one word is related to another and how one statement is related to another (e.g. of, how).


1.    Add the following words to your reading vocabulary:
communication, a current, a wire, to flow along the wire, a message, to send a message, to connect, to prove, to invent, inventor, invention, a needle of a compass, the Morse code, speed, at great speed, the speed of light, simple, to simplify, insulation, insulator, insulating substance (material), to protect, to leak away, leakage, to be laid under water, to damage, to obtain, unsuccessful attempt, to use, useful, useless, to be of any use, to be widely used, to transmit, cable-laying ship.
Remember: you should be able to recognize these words in the text and comprehend them.

2.    Recognize the new words

Each problem consists of a "test word" followed by five other words, one of which is exactly the same as the "test word'. Find which it is and write down its number. (The exercise is to be timed.)

 test word
 12 3
wire  wind
 wife  wire  wide
message massage marriage carriage  messy  message
 invent invert invest invent involve
 curtain current
 currency currant
 flow blow flow float  flock floor
 obviate observe obstruct
 obtain obstacle
 protect protest
 prospect   protect protract  project


3.    Comprehend the new words

Each problem consists of a "test word" followed by four possible meanings. Write down the number of the word that means most nearly the same as the "test word".

 test word
 12 3
messageprogramtelegramdetail order
wire flow letter
to insulate to help to isolateto repeat
to develop
to connect  to createto closeto answerto put through
rate sleepstylecross
material result
to obtainto getto offer to use
to move
 to transmit  to follow to answer  to transfer  to take

4.    Translate the sentences into Russian

1. Electricity and magnetism are connected. 2. A needle of a compass is a magnet. 3. A needle of a compass moves when it is put near a wire. 4. Electromagnets can be used to send messages. 5. Electric current flows along a wire. 6. S. Morse invented the code. 7. Electric current is used to send messages. 8. The Morse code is widely used because it is the easiest to understand and the fastest to transmit. 9. Dry air is a good insulator. 10. Insulator is used to protect telegraph wires against damages.

5.    Read a microtext. What common words, terms and connectors are used in this text?

The question is often asked: "What is an electric current?". If we examine the inside of a copper (медный) wire while a current is flowing, we can see an electron which leaves one copper atom and moves over to the next copper atom and so on. This stream (поток) of electrons moving along from atom to atom is called an electric current.
No one has ever seen an electric current. We only know of the existence (существование) of a current thanks to its effects. Among other effects it can produce a magnetic effect. When it was test word discovered that electricity and magnetism were connected, telegraphs became possible.

6.    Each problem consists of several connectors.

Read them and say, why they are grouped together, what is their general meaning.
and, or, but, so, however now, then, before, after, whole
here, there, in, out, on, off, to, from some, many, none, a lot of, few I, me, us, we, you, he she, it, him, her is, am, are, make, makes, do, does

7.    Translate the following definitions and memorize the terms:

Cable. A transmission line or a group of transmission lines mechanically assembled into a complex flexible form.
Code. A plan for representing each of a finite number of symbols as a particular arrangement or sequence of discrete conditions.
Communication. The transmission of information from one point to another by means of electromagnetic waves.


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