sábado, 13 de agosto de 2016

Reading test: The science of the quieter home appliance

In this week's reading test we are going to practice the multiple choice vocabulary and grammar task by reading The Times article The science of the quieter home appliance.

Read the article and choose the option A, B or C which best completes each blank. 0 is an example.

The science of the quieter home appliance

Whirring extractor fans, buzzing washing machines, vibrating fridge freezers — is your home full of electrical appliances that (0) … distracting or loud noises? Our homes, (1) … should be calm retreats from the frenetic world outside, are not as quiet as they used to be because they are full of noisy appliances. These harsh sounds often compete with (2) … —people turn up the volume on the television, for example, if someone is vacuuming (3) … —and collectively they produce excessive noise. Yet most of us put up with the din, unaware that we can do something about it.

We have more home appliances than ever but certain factors have exacerbated the problem. With space (4) …, people are living in smaller homes and in shared households, making it harder to escape from noise. Conjoined spaces, (5) … an open-plan kitchen and sitting room, are more common nowadays; these can be very noisy if there isn’t a separate utility room.

Most of us would struggle without household appliances but must we live with a cacophony of daily noise? The good news is that (6) … are beginning to stock “quiet technology” — appliances designed to be less harmful to our ears. The initiative comes from Quiet Mark, a not-for-profit scheme run by the UK’s Noise Abatement Society.

If products pass the acoustic and performance tests, carried out by a team from the Association of Noise Consultants, they are (7) … a purple Quiet Mark symbol. Poppy Szkiler, the founder and managing director of Quiet Mark, says: “The logo is an aid for buyers who want high-performing products that produce softer sounds. We look at every aspect of sound to (8) … the products are not producing painful or intrusive sounds.”

Szkiler, who is the granddaughter of John Connell, the founder of the Noise Abatement Society, (9) … the organisation three years ago. “Sound is central to our lives, (10) … we’re not always aware of it and often have little power to change the sounds that surround us,” she says. “Unfortunately, we too easily accept that noise is the price we pay for evolution and our ever-developing society. If we don’t (11) … something about this soon, our ability to hear the (12) ... sounds around us will disappear.”

So far, 80 products have been given the logo and the categories are continuing to grow. John Lewis, a businessman that stocks Quiet Mark products, has seen a huge increase in sales of small appliances that have been recognised for reducing their noise emissions.

Recent research (13) … by John Lewis shows that people are becoming more aware of how noise from appliances affects their lives. Nearly half of the 2,004 people asked said that they (14) … sound an important factor when they choose such goods.

Szkiler adds: “Manufacturers are putting investment into changing the sound at the design stage. The next era of design will consider sounds and acoustics.”

A create
B do
C make

A that
B where
C which

A each other
B others
C themselves

A closely
B near
C nearby

A abundant
B at a premium
C plentiful

A as
B such as
C unlike

A buyers
B shoppers
C retailers

A accorded
B awarded
C rewarded

A assure
B insure
C make sure

A delivered
B set up
C thought up

A although
B despite
C however

A do
B invent
C make

A sharp
B strident
C subtle

A carried out
B performed
C studied

A consider
B regard
C see

1C 2A 3C 4B 5B 6C 7B 8C 9B 10A 11A 12C 13A 14A