Posted by: a2cristina | April 15, 2016



Read the text and complete the chart below with a word from the list that comes after the text. Every word can only be used ONCE. There are five words that you do not need to use.




The Noughties began, late, with a bang — on 11 September 2001 — and continued in a half-awake fantasy punctuated by spasms of anxiety. 1) ________________ when we had just got used to the idea that Armageddon (even in the form of the Millennium Bug) had been postponed, did al-Qaeda gallop in on apocalyptic horses.

Some trends piled up in that decade. The technology of culture, for example, reinforced social atomisation. Now that the internet did more than provide train timetables (with even Wikipedia proving valuable), there was 2) ________________ need to speak to anyone, except by mobile phone. Bookshops closed, and 3) ________________ did record shops, since music was downloadable too. As were films, news and Tweets, too.

How many times have you seen someone on a mobile phone all the way through his transaction at the supermarket checkout? It is 4) ________________ if the girl at the till were not a human being. With ‘automatic’ checkouts, even her human contact was eliminated.

5) ________________ did anything last. It was easy to take pictures on a digital camera, but few were printed or kept in albums. With email, there was no need to write with a pen any more, but there love no letters to keep either.

Blogs did not, in the Noughties, make the 6) ________________ expected of them. For the most part, they were like poetry: more people wrote them than wanted to read them. Their authors would find a bigger audience if they photocopied a dozen sheets of A4 and left them on the Underground.

Television still dominated the popular culture of the Noughties, with four hours a day consumed, on 7) ________________. You and I might have watched less, but someone was watching much more. The Noughties were the last decade of television 8) ________________ as a live medium. This was the end of a common culture discussed the next day. The future choice of viewing, wide but shallow, would be downloaded at any time, for a price.

I’m not convinced, though, that life is imitating reality TV. Big Brother, it is true, began in 2000 and is still alive. At the beginning of the Noughties it had more than four million viewers, while its 10th series in 2009 captured only 9) ________________ as many. That means about 58 million did not watch it

By a paradox, food in the Noughties  improved, while the ability to cook it declined. Cookery programmes were popular, but few learnt to cook from a mother, since both Noughties parents had to go out to work.

By the Noughties houses had changed from places to live into certificates for ever-expanding wealth. The bubble burst, as no one can be 10) ________________. We may blame the bankers, but house-price speculation was an insane expression of avarice. So the young, leaving university with debt and a useless degree, could not  afford houses. That was one more dose of anxiety for them.

Adapted from ©Christopher Howse


          ALSO                    BREAKTHROUGH LESS                     REGARDED

          AS                        EITHER                 MORE                  REGARDING

          AVERAGE             HALF                    NOR                     SO

          AWARE                FORGETFUL         ONLY                   UNAWARE



1         6      
2 7
3 8
4 9
5 10





  1. ONLY
  2. LESS
  3. SO
  4. AS
  5. NOR
  9. HALF



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