IELTS Academic Reading Practice 84

 
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This reading practice simulates one part of the IELTS Academic Reading test. You should spend about twenty minutes on it. Read the passage and answer questions 27-40.

Questions 27-31

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write your answers in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

27 Which describes “semantic meaning” as per the passage?

28 Which best describes someone with semantic habits which are different from others?

29 Defining words by using more and more words could be called…

30 According to the author, how is the true meaning of a term found?

31 Which of the following is an example of operationalism in semantics?

Questions 32-35

Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in the reading passage? In boxes 32-35 on your answer sheet, write

YES   if the statement reflects the claims of the writer
NO   if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN   if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

32. If we think differently from those around us we are often considered to be ‘insane’.
33. The semantic meaning of words requires a dictionary to understand.
34. Reacting to a word means reacting only to the sounds forming the word.
35. Humans are not the only species that understand the symbolism behind an object such as a flag.
Questions 36-40

Complete each sentence with the correct ending A-J from the box below.

Write the correct letter A-J in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

36 When the personnel manager states, “I don’t like Harvard men,” this is used as an example of….
37 A basic idea in general semantics is…
38 Semantic habits are seen as…
39 A dollar bill has no value because we...
40 People may be perceived by others as individualistic by…

  1. observing “operations” to find meaning
  2. using a dictionary to understand the meaning of words
  3. study it intensely
  4. having semantic habits are noticeably different
  5. that the meaning of words (or other symbols) is not in the words themselves
  6. reflective of the variability of human behaviors.
  7. being “crazy”
  8. the meaning of the words lies in our response to them
  9. an acknowledgement of a symbol of value
  10. fundamental to all other areas of social science

Answer Sheet
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
N/A
16
N/A
17
N/A
18
N/A
19
N/A
20
N/A
21
N/A
22
N/A
23
N/A
24
N/A
25
N/A
26
N/A
27
N/A
28
N/A
29
N/A
30
N/A
31
N/A
32
N/A
33
N/A
34
N/A
35
N/A
36
N/A
37
N/A
38
N/A
39
N/A
40
N/A


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Semantic Habits

The finished result of education, yours and mine and everybody's, is the pattern of reactions and possible responses we have inside ourselves. If you did not have within you at this moment the pattern of reactions that we call "the ability to read,” you would see here only meaningless black marks on paper. Due to the trained patterns of the response, you are (or are not) blended to nationalism by  music, your sentiments of worship are excited by images of your religion, you listen all the more consciously to the wellbeing guidance of somebody who has "MD" after his name than to that of somebody who hasn't. What I call here a "pattern of reactions", at that point, is the entirety of the manners in which we act in light of occasions, to words, and to images.

Our response patterns, or our semantic habits, are the inward and most critical buildup of whatever long stretches of education or miseducation we may have gotten from our parents’ conduct toward us in adolescence just as their lessons, from the formal training we may have had, from every one of the teachings we have tuned in to, from the radio programs and the films and network shows we have encountered, from every one of the books and papers and funny cartoons we have perused, from the discussions we have had with companions and relatives and from every one of our experiences. In the event that, as the consequence of every one of these impacts that make us what we are, our semantic habits are sensibly like those of the vast majority around us, we are viewed as "ordinary," or maybe "dull." If our semantic propensities are recognizably unique in relation to those of others, we are viewed as "individualistic" or "unique." Finally, if the distinctions are objected to or saw with caution, as "insane."

Semantics is here and there characterized in dictionaries as "the science of the meaning of words"— which would not be an awful definition if individuals didn't expect that the scan for the implications of words starts and finishes with finding them in a dictionary. In the event that one stops to think for a minute, unmistakably to characterize a word, as a dictionary does, is just to clarify the word with more words. To be exhaustive about characterizing, we ought to next have to characterize the words utilized in the definition, at that point define the words used in defining the words used in the definition, etc. Defining words with more words, to put it plainly, gets us into what mathematicians call an "infinite regress". On the other hand, it can get us into the sort of go around. We in some cases experience when we look into "audacity" and think that it's defined as "impudence," so we look into "impudence" and think that it's defined as "rudeness." Yet—and here we go to another regular response design—individuals frequently go about as though words can be clarified completely with more words. To an individual who requested a definition of jazz, Louis Armstrong is said to have answered, "Man you got to ask what it is, you'll never become more acquainted with," proving himself an instinctive semanticist just as an incredible trumpet player.

Semantics, at that point, does not deal with the "meaning of words" as that expression is regularly comprehended. P. W. Bridgman, the Nobel Prize champ and physicist, once stated, "The genuine importance of a term is to be found by seeing what a man does with it, not by what he says about it." He made a tremendous commitment to science by demonstrating that the significance of a logical term lies in the activities, the things done to set up its usefulness, as opposed to in verbal definitions.

Here is a basic, ordinary sort of the case of an "operational" definition. If you say, "This table estimates six feet long," you could demonstrate it by taking a foot rule, making the activity of laying it start to finish while checking, "One...two...three...four..." But if you say—and revolutionists have begun uprisings with simply this announcement "Man is brought into the world free, yet wherever he is in chains!"— what tasks would you be able to perform to show if it's true or false? Yet, let us carry this suggestion  of "operationalism" outside the physical sciences where Bridgman applied it, and see what "operation" individuals perform as the aftereffect of both the language they use and the language other individuals use in communicating to them. Envision a staff administrator contemplating a potential contract's application. He goes to the words "Education: Harvard University," and drops the application blank in the wastebasket (that is the "operation") because as he would say in the event that you asked him, "I don't like Harvard men." This is an instance of  "meaning" at work—yet but it is not a meaning that can be found in dictionaries.

If I seem to be taking a long time to explain what semantics is about, it is because I am trying, in the course of explanation, to introduce the reader to a certain way of looking at human behavior. I say human responses because, so far as we know, human beings are the only creatures that have, over and above that biological equipment which we have in common with other creatures, the additional capacity for manufacturing symbols and systems of symbols. When we react to a flag, we are not reacting simply to a piece of cloth, but to the meaning with which it has been symbolically endowed. When we react to a word, we are not reacting to a set of sounds, but to the meaning with which that set of sounds has been symbolically endowed.

An essential thought when all is said and done in semantics, subsequently, is that the meaning of words (or different symbols) isn't in the words, yet in our very own semantic responses. If I somehow managed to recount an incredibly disgusting story in Arabic or Hindustani or Swahili before a group of people that understands just English, nobody would become flushed or be irate; the story would be neither stunning nor foul initiated, it would not be a story. In like manner, the value of a dollar bill isn't in the bill, however in our social consent to acknowledge it as a symbol of value. If that agreement were to break down through the collapse of our government, the dollar bill would turn out to be just a piece of paper. We don't comprehend a dollar bill by gazing at it long and hard. We comprehend it by seeing how individuals act with respect to it. We comprehend it by understanding the social instruments and the loyalties that keep it significant. Semantics is accordingly a social sutdy, fundamental to all other social investigations

Reading Passage Vocabulary
Semantic Habits

The finished result of education, yours and mine and everybody's, is the pattern of reactions and possible responses we have inside ourselves. If you did not have within you at this moment the pattern of reactions that we call "the ability to read,” you would see here only meaningless black marks on paper. Due to the trained patterns of the response, you are (or are not) blended to nationalism by  music, your sentiments of worship are excited by images of your religion, you listen all the more consciously to the wellbeing guidance of somebody who has "MD" after his name than to that of somebody who hasn't. What I call here a "pattern of reactions", at that point, is the entirety of the manners in which we act in light of occasions, to words, and to images.

Our response patterns, or our semantic habits, are the inward and most critical buildup of whatever long stretches of education or miseducation we may have gotten from our parents’ conduct toward us in adolescence just as their lessons, from the formal training we may have had, from every one of the teachings we have tuned in to, from the radio programs and the films and network shows we have encountered, from every one of the books and papers and funny cartoons we have perused, from the discussions we have had with companions and relatives and from every one of our experiences. In the event that, as the consequence of every one of these impacts that make us what we are, our semantic habits are sensibly like those of the vast majority around us, we are viewed as "ordinary," or maybe "dull." If our semantic propensities are recognizably unique in relation to those of others, we are viewed as "individualistic" or "unique." Finally, if the distinctions are objected to or saw with caution, as "insane."

Semantics is here and there characterized in dictionaries as "the science of the meaning of words"— which would not be an awful definition if individuals didn't expect that the scan for the implications of words starts and finishes with finding them in a dictionary. In the event that one stops to think for a minute, unmistakably to characterize a word, as a dictionary does, is just to clarify the word with more words. To be exhaustive about characterizing, we ought to next have to characterize the words utilized in the definition, at that point define the words used in defining the words used in the definition, etc. Defining words with more words, to put it plainly, gets us into what mathematicians call an "infinite regress". On the other hand, it can get us into the sort of go around. We in some cases experience when we look into "audacity" and think that it's defined as "impudence," so we look into "impudence" and think that it's defined as "rudeness." Yet—and here we go to another regular response design—individuals frequently go about as though words can be clarified completely with more words. To an individual who requested a definition of jazz, Louis Armstrong is said to have answered, "Man you got to ask what it is, you'll never become more acquainted with," proving himself an instinctive semanticist just as an incredible trumpet player.

Semantics, at that point, does not deal with the "meaning of words" as that expression is regularly comprehended. P. W. Bridgman, the Nobel Prize champ and physicist, once stated, "The genuine importance of a term is to be found by seeing what a man does with it, not by what he says about it." He made a tremendous commitment to science by demonstrating that the significance of a logical term lies in the activities, the things done to set up its usefulness, as opposed to in verbal definitions.

Here is a basic, ordinary sort of the case of an "operational" definition. If you say, "This table estimates six feet long," you could demonstrate it by taking a foot rule, making the activity of laying it start to finish while checking, "One...two...three...four..." But if you say—and revolutionists have begun uprisings with simply this announcement "Man is brought into the world free, yet wherever he is in chains!"— what tasks would you be able to perform to show if it's true or false? Yet, let us carry this suggestion  of "operationalism" outside the physical sciences where Bridgman applied it, and see what "operation" individuals perform as the aftereffect of both the language they use and the language other individuals use in communicating to them. Envision a staff administrator contemplating a potential contract's application. He goes to the words "Education: Harvard University," and drops the application blank in the wastebasket (that is the "operation") because as he would say in the event that you asked him, "I don't like Harvard men." This is an instance of  "meaning" at work—yet but it is not a meaning that can be found in dictionaries.

If I seem to be taking a long time to explain what semantics is about, it is because I am trying, in the course of explanation, to introduce the reader to a certain way of looking at human behavior. I say human responses because, so far as we know, human beings are the only creatures that have, over and above that biological equipment which we have in common with other creatures, the additional capacity for manufacturing symbols and systems of symbols. When we react to a flag, we are not reacting simply to a piece of cloth, but to the meaning with which it has been symbolically endowed. When we react to a word, we are not reacting to a set of sounds, but to the meaning with which that set of sounds has been symbolically endowed.

An essential thought when all is said and done in semantics, subsequently, is that the meaning of words (or different symbols) isn't in the words, yet in our very own semantic responses. If I somehow managed to recount an incredibly disgusting story in Arabic or Hindustani or Swahili before a group of people that understands just English, nobody would become flushed or be irate; the story would be neither stunning nor foul initiated, it would not be a story. In like manner, the value of a dollar bill isn't in the bill, however in our social consent to acknowledge it as a symbol of value. If that agreement were to break down through the collapse of our government, the dollar bill would turn out to be just a piece of paper. We don't comprehend a dollar bill by gazing at it long and hard. We comprehend it by seeing how individuals act with respect to it. We comprehend it by understanding the social instruments and the loyalties that keep it significant. Semantics is accordingly a social sutdy, fundamental to all other social investigations

 
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