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✶ 小橡皮擦裡的大學問 How Do Erasers Work?

How Do Erasers Work?
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4/19 解析英語

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小橡皮擦裡的大學問 How Do Erasers Work?
「沒有人是完美的。那就是鉛筆有橡皮擦的原因。」
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目錄 / Words for Reference / Words in Use / More to Learn / Practical Phrases / 中文翻譯

科普園地

  “No one is perfect. That’s why pencils have erasers.” As this saying suggests, we all make mistakes in our lives. ❶The good thing is that it’s always possible to fix those mistakes, just like erasers can undo a misspelled word. Pencils didn’t always come with erasers, though. ❷In fact, before erasers were invented, people used pieces of wet bread to erase their mistakes. But in 1770, British engineer Edward Nairne made an important discovery by accident. To erase a mistake, Nairne reached out for his bread. ❸He grabbed a piece of rubber instead, but found that it worked, too. ❹Nairne’s “rubbers” soon became a hot item, but more than 100 years passed before someone else thought of putting one on the end of a pencil.

  Nairne’s discovery was made by chance, but erasers aren’t magical. We can turn to science to learn how they work. Understanding erasers begins with understanding pencils. Every pencil contains graphite. We often call this gray material “lead,” which is a metal, but graphite is actually a mineral. When you rub the tip of your pencil on a page, tiny pieces of graphite stick to the paper’s surface. The action of rubbing an eraser on paper produces heat in the same way your hands feel warm when you rub them together. This heat makes the eraser’s rubber become just sticky enough to pick up the graphite. Those little pieces you wipe away after you erase something are made of graphite mixed with rubber. Next time you erase a mistake, be grateful that you don’t need a piece of soggy bread every time you want to fix an error on a piece of paper.

 

1.    The sentences in the first paragraph are numbered ❶ to ❹. Which sentence best indicates that the items now known as erasers were first discovered accidentally?

(A)  ❶  (B)  ❷  (C)  ❸   (D)  ❹

 

2.    Which of the following does the passage explain?

(A)  Why lead replaced graphite in pencils.

(B)  The magic involved in making pencil erasers.

(C)  How rubber can be used to erase pencil marks.

(D)  Who first sold pencils with erasers on the end.

 

3.    Which of the following best describes how erasers work?

(A)  Lead is absorbed by the flour in bread.

(B)  Sticky rubber picks up pieces of graphite.

(C)  Rubber sticks to the metal in every pencil.

(D)  Graphite disappears when mixed with lead.

 

答案:1. C   2.C   3.B

 

Words for Reference

◆   rubber [ ˋrʌbɚ ] n. 橡膠
◆   graphite [ ˋgræfaɪt ] n. 石墨(不可數)
◆   lead [ lɛd ] n. 鉛
◆   mineral [ ˋmɪnərəl ] n. 礦物
◆   soggy [ ˋsɑgɪ ] a.(尤指食物)溼軟的
◆   flour [ flaʊr] n. 麵粉

Words in Use

1.    undo [ ʌnˋdu ] vt. 消除,使恢復原狀
      三態為:undo, undid, undone

•   Jenny tried to undo the mistakes of her past, but she found out that it was too late.
珍妮試圖挽救過去的錯誤,卻發現一切都太晚了。

2.    misspell [ mɪsˋspɛl ] vt. 拼錯
(本文為過去分詞作形容詞用)

•   Bill didn’t obtain perfect marks because he misspelled a word.
比爾因為拼錯了一個字而沒有獲得滿分。

3.    erase [ ɪˋres ] vt. 抹去,擦掉
•   Could you please help me erase the blackboard?

可以請你幫我擦黑板嗎?

4.    grab [ græb ] vt. 抓住,握住
•   Sara firmly grabbed my hand when the scary music came on during the movie.

當電影開始出現嚇人的音樂時,莎拉緊緊地抓住我的手。

5.    rub [ rʌb ] vt. 磨擦
•   It is an Inuit custom to rub noses as a greeting.

摩擦鼻子以示問候是一種因紐特人的習俗。

6.    surface [ ˋsɝfɪs ] n. 表面
•   The surface of the table was covered in dirt.

那張桌子的表面布著一層灰塵。

7.    sticky [ ˋstɪkɪ ] a. 黏的
•   Mark used sticky flypaper to catch flies.

馬克用黏蠅紙來抓蒼蠅。
*flypaper [ ˋflaɪ͵pepɚ ] n. 黏蠅紙

8.    grateful [ ˋgretfəl ] a. 感謝的,感激的
•   I’m grateful that Audrey came to my rescue.

我很感謝奧黛麗趕來救我。

9.    involve [ ɪnˋvɑlv ] vt. 包含;牽涉
•   This project will involve a lot of time and hard work.

這項企劃案將需要付出許多時間和努力。

10.  absorb [ əbˋsɔrb ] vt. 吸收
•   The towel absorbs water much faster than the tissue.

毛巾吸水比面紙快多了。

More to Learn

mistake [ mɪˋstek ] n. 錯誤
make a mistake / mistakes  犯錯

•   A careless person tends to make mistakes.
粗心的人容易犯錯。

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
介紹表「錯誤」的英文說法:

a.    mistake 為表示「錯誤」最常見的說法,泛指由於粗心、疏忽、不注意、誤解或誤判等所造成的錯誤。

b.    error 可作可數或不可數名詞,較 mistake 正式,有時可以和 mistake 通用,但多用於某些特定的錯誤、謬誤,如 human error(人為疏失),或電腦、網路系統、電子產品、機器的出錯或異常,如 a computer error(電腦出錯)。
•   This accident resulted from a combination of errors.
許多錯誤的結合導致了這場意外。
•   I suggest you thoroughly check your essay for spelling and grammatical errors.
我建議你仔細檢查文章的拼字及文法錯誤。

c.    fault 通常指需要負責或受指責的「過錯、過失」。
•   Joseph is not to blame for the broken TV. I’m afraid it was my fault.
約瑟夫不是弄壞電視的罪魁禍首。我想那是我的錯。

d.    blunder [ `blVndK ] 通常暗示因無知、愚蠢或粗心所犯的錯誤,有時成為別人取笑的話柄。
•   Neither you nor Mary is to blame for the blunder.
你和瑪麗都不需為這個錯誤負責。

e.    typo [ `tZIpo ] 則是指「打字∕排印的錯誤」或「打錯的字」。
•   I saw a couple of typos in your report, so you need to revise it.

我看見你報告裡有幾個字打錯,所以你必須修改。

Practical Phrases

1.    by accident  偶然地,意外地
=    by chance
=    accidentally [ :AksJ`dEntJlI ] adv.
•   Kelly spilled water on my dress by accident.
凱莉不小心把水灑到我的洋裝上。

2.    reach out for...  伸手去拿……
•   Julie reached out for the novel on the shelf.
茱莉伸手去拿書架上的小說。

3.    turn to...  求助於……
•   I could have lent you the money, but you did not turn to me for help.
我本來能借給你那筆錢,但你沒有向我求助。

4.    stick to...  黏在……上
•   Be sure to stir the beans often or they will stick to the pot.
一定要常攪拌這些豆子,不然它們會黏在鍋底。

5.    pick up...  撿起∕拾起……
•   Tina asked Nathan to pick up the pen she dropped.
蒂娜請納森把她掉落的筆撿起來。

6.    wipe away...  抹去……
•   Anna wiped away her tears and continued to chop the onions.
安娜拭去淚水後繼續切洋蔥。

中文翻譯

小橡皮擦裡的大學問

  「沒有人是完美的。那就是鉛筆有橡皮擦的原因。」正如這句諺語所言,我們在人生中都會犯錯。幸好我們總是有辦法修正那些錯誤,就像橡皮擦可以消除拼錯的字一樣。不過,鉛筆並不總是附有橡皮擦。事實上,在發明橡皮擦之前,人們是用溼麵包片來擦除錯字。但在 1770 年,英國工程師愛德華.奈恩偶然有了一個重大發現。奈恩為了擦掉錯字,伸手要拿他的麵包。他錯拿成一塊橡膠,但卻發現它也跟麵包一樣能擦掉錯字。奈恩的「橡膠」很快便成為熱門商品,但一百多年過去後才有人想到將橡膠放在鉛筆末端。

  奈恩的發現是偶然的,但橡皮擦並不神奇。我們可以求助於科學來了解它們是如何運作。了解橡皮擦始於了解鉛筆。每枝鉛筆都含有石墨。我們通常稱這種灰色材料為「鉛」,它是一種金屬,但石墨實際上是一種礦物。當你用鉛筆尖端在頁面上摩擦時,細小的石墨片會黏在紙的表面。用橡皮擦在紙上摩擦會產生熱能,就像你將雙手摩擦時會覺得溫暖一樣。這種熱能讓橡皮擦的橡膠變得夠黏而足以把石墨帶起。那些你擦掉東西後抹去的小碎屑是由混合著橡膠的石墨製成的。下次你擦掉錯字時,對於你不用每次想在紙上修正錯誤時都需要一塊溼軟的麵包一事要心懷感激。

 

1.    第一段中有被編號為 ➊ 到 ❹ 的句子。哪一句最能說明現在被稱為橡皮擦的物品最初是被偶然發現的?

(A)  ➊    (B)  ❷    (C)  ❸    (D)  ❹

2.    本文解釋了以下哪一項?

(A)  為什麼鉛筆裡用鉛取代了石墨。

(B)  製作鉛筆橡皮擦的神奇之處。

(C)  橡膠如何被使用來擦掉鉛筆標記。

(D)  誰是首位販售末端帶有橡皮擦的鉛筆的人。

3.    以下哪一項最能描述橡皮擦的運作原理?

(A)  鉛被麵包中的麵粉吸收。

(B)  黏黏的橡膠可以把石墨碎片黏起來。

(C)  橡膠黏在每支鉛筆的金屬上。

(D)  石墨與鉛混合時會消失。

 

答案:   1.    C    2.    C    3.    B

 

 

 

 

>> ✶品嘗各國筷子的文化 Get a Grip on Chopsticks

單字片語整理

Words in Use
independence
[͵ɪndɪˋpɛndəns]
n. 獨立
surface
[ˋsɝfɪs]
n. 表面
vi. 浮出水面
involve
[ɪnˋvɑlv]
vt. 使涉入;包含,需要
motion
[ˋmoʃən]
n. (物體的)移動,運動,運轉;動議
rub
[rʌb]
vt. & vi. & n. 摩擦,揉搓
absorb
[əbˋsɔrb]
vt. 吸收;理解
grateful
[ˋgretfəl]
a. 感激的
undo
[ʌnˋdu]
vt. 解開 ; 消除
grab
[græb]
vt. 拿,抓取、匆忙地做某事
n. 攫取,搶奪
sticky
[ˋstɪkɪ]
a. 黏的;(天氣)溼熱的
erase
[ɪˋres]
vt. 擦掉,消除
misspell
[mɪsˋspɛl]
vt. 拼錯
rubber
[ˋrʌbɚ]
n. 橡膠(不可數);橡皮擦(可數)〔英〕
graphite
[ˋgræfaɪt]
n. 石墨(不可數)
lead
[lɛd]
n. 鉛
mineral
[ˋmɪnərəl]
n. 礦物;礦物質
a. 礦物的
soggy
[ˋsɑgɪ]
adj. (尤指食物)溼軟的
flour
[flaʊr]
vt. 撒麵粉
n. 麵粉
Practical Phrases
by accident
 無意地,意外地

Jerry hit the woman by accident and apologized to her.
傑瑞不小心撞到了那女子,就向她道歉。

stick to
 堅守……

Whatever I do, I stick to my principles.
不管做什麼事,我都會緊守原則。

pick up sth/sb
 拾起 / 拿取(某物);(開車)去接人;(非正式)學習(某事)

Pick up the garbage and throw it into the garbage can.
把垃圾撿起來丟到垃圾桶裡。

Lisa picked up the phone as soon as it rang.
電話鈴一響麗莎就立刻接起電話。

Will you come and pick me up after dinner?
晚餐後你過來我好嗎?

Eric picked up some Japanese mainly by osmosis.
艾瑞克主要是靠耳濡目染學會了一點日語。

reach out for...
 伸手去拿⋯⋯

Julie reached out for the novel on the shelf.
茱莉伸手去拿書架上的小說。

turn to...
 求助於⋯⋯

I could have lent you the money, but you did not turn to me for help.
我本來能借給你那筆錢,但你沒有向我求助。

wipe away...
 抹去⋯⋯

Anna wiped away her tears and continued to chop the onions.
安娜拭去淚水後繼續切洋蔥。

by chance
 偶然間

I found the secret by chance.
偶然間發現這個祕密。

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