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Hãy cùng bấm giờ và thử sức với đề IELTS Reading Passage 1 nhé.

READING PASSAGE 1

Johnson’s Dictionary

photo of library with turned on lights

For the century before Johnson’s Dictionary was published in1775, there had been concern about the state of the English language. There was no standard way of speaking or writing and no agreement as to the best way of bringing some order to the chaos’ of English spelling. Dr Johnson provided the solution

There had, of course, been dictionaries in the past, the first of these being a little book of some 120 pages, compiled by a certain Robert Cawdrays, published in 1604 under the title A Table Alphabeticall ‘of hard usuall English worders’. Like the various dictionaries that came after it during the seventeenth century, Cawdray’s tended to concentrate on ‘scholarly’ words: one function of the dictionary was to enable its student to convey an impression of fine learning.

Beyond the practical need to make order out of chaos, the rise of dictionaries is associated with the rise of the English middle class, who were anxious to define and circumscribe the various worlds to conquer – lexical as well as social and commercial. It is highly appropriate that Dr Samuel Johnson, the very model of an eighteenth-century literary man, as famous in his own time as in ours, should have published his Dictionary at the very beginning of the heyday of the middle class

Johnson was a poet and critic who raised common sense to the heights of genius. His approach to the problems that had worried writers throughout the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries was intensely practical. Up until his time, the task of producing a dictionary on such a large scale had seemed impossible without the establishment of an academy to make decisions about right and wrong usage. Johnson decided he did not need an academy to settle arguments about language; he would write a dictionary himself; and he would do it single-handed. Johnson signed the contract for the Dictionary with the bookseller Robert Dosley at a breakfast held at the Golden Anchor Inn near Holborn Bar on 18 June 1764. He was to be paid £ 1,575 in instalments, and from this he took money to rent 17 Gough Square, in which he set up his ‘dictionary workshop’

James Boswell, his biographer, described the garrer where Johnson worked as ‘fitted up like a counting house’ with a ling desk running down the middle at which the copying clerks would work standing up

Johnson himself was stationed on a rickety chair at an ‘old crazzy deal table’ surrounded by a chaos of norrowed books. He was also helped by six assistants, two of whom died whilst the Distionary was still in preparation

The work was ummense; filling about eighty large notebooks (and withour a library to hand), Johnson wrote the definations of over 40,000 words, and illustated their many meanings with some 14.000 quotations drawn from Elizabethans to his own time. He did not expect to achieve complete originality. Working to a deadline, he had to draw on the best of all previous dictionaries, and to make his work one of heroic sythesis. In fact, it was very much more. Unlike his predecessors, Johnson treated English very practically, as a living language, with many different shades of meaning. He adopted his definations on the principle of English common law – according to precedent. After its publication, his Dictionary was not seriously rivalled for over a century

After many vicissitudes the Dictionary was finally published on 15 April 1775. It was instantly recognised as a landmark throughout Europe. ‘This very noble work’ wrote the leading Italian lexicographer,’will be a perpetual monument of Fame to the Author, an Honour to his own Country in particular, and a general Benefit to the republic of Letters throughout Europe.’ The fact that Johnson had taken on the Academies of Europe and matched them (everyone knew that forty French academics had taken forty years to produce the first French national dictionary) was cause for much English celebration.

Johnson had worked for nine years,’with little assistance of the learned, and without any patronage of the great; not in the soft obscurities of retirement, or under the shelter of academic bowers, but amidst inconvenience and distraction, in sickness and in sorrow’. For all its faults and eccentricities his two-volume work is a masterpiece and a landmark, in his own words, ‘setting the orthography, displaying the analogy, regulating the structures, and ascertaining the significations of English words’’. It is the cornerstore of Standard English, an achievement which, in James Boswell’s words, ‘conferred stability on the language of his country’.

The Dictionary, together with his orther writing, made Johnson famous and so well esteemed that his friends were able to prevail upon King George III to offer him a pension. From then on, he was to become the Johnson of folklore

Question 1-3

Choose THREE letters A-H

Write your answers in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet

NB Your answers may be given in any order

Which THREE of the following statements are true of Johnson’s Dictionary?

A It avoided all scholarly words

B It was the only English dictionary in general use for 200 years

C It was famous because of the large number of people involved

D It focused mainly on language from contemporary texts

E There was a time limit for its completion

F It ignored work done by previous dictionary writers

G It took into account subtleties of meaning

H Its definitions were famous for their originality

Question 4-7

Comple the summary

Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer

Write your answers in boxes 4-7 on your answer sheet

In 1764 Dr Johnson accepted the contract to produce a dictionary. Having rented a garret, he took on a number of 4……………………………, who stood at a long central desk. Johnson did not have a 5…………………………… available to him, but eventually produced definations of in excess of 40,000 words written down in 80 large notebooks. On publication, the Dictionary was immediately hailed in many European countries as a landmark. According to his biographer, James Boswell, Johnson’s principal achievement was to bring 6…………………………… to the English language. As a reward for his hard work, he was granted a 7……………………………by the king

Question 8-13

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?

In boxes 8-13 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

8 The growing importance of the middle classes led to an increased demand for dictionaries

9 Johnson has become more well known since his death

10 Johnson had been planning to write a dictionary for several years

11 Johnson set up an academy to help with the Writing of his Dictionary

12 Johnson only received payment for his Dictionary on its completion.

13 Not all of the assistants survived to see the publication of the Dictionary

Nguồn: Cambridge ielts 5

Đáp án – Giải thích:

person picking white and red book on bookshelf

1 D

2 E

3 G

4 clerks / copying clerks

5 library

6 stability

7 pension

8 TRUE

9 FALSE

10 NOT GIVEN

11 FALSE

12 FALSE

13 TRUE

Từ 1-3: Đáp án không cần theo thứ tự

  1. -D: Ở đây có cụm ‘took into account’ nghĩa là cân nhắc, suy tính một yếu tố nào đó trước khi quyết định một vấn đề quan trọng. ‘’It took into account subtleties of meaning ‘’ – cuốn từ điển đã cân nhắc đến những những ngữ nghĩa khác nhau (sự tinh tế trong của các từ được hiểu theo nhiều nghĩa). Thông tin sẽ trong câu ‘Johnson treated English very practically, as a living language, with many different shades of meaning’
  2. E: Bạn có thể tìm thấy đáp án trong đoạn 7, ở đây ‘’ time limit for its completion’ = ‘working to a deadline’
  3. -G: Bạn cũng có thể tìm thấy đáp trong đoạn 7, ‘’ Johnson wrote the definations of over 40,000 words, and illustated their many meanings with some 14.000 quotations drawn from Elizabethans to his own time.’’
  4. Bạn hãy chú ý phần sau dấu phẩy là mệnh đề quan hệ bổ sung nghĩa cho chỗ trống cần điền và có đại từ quan hệ ‘who’ chỉ người suy ra (1) cần điền một danh từ chỉ người. Gạch chân ‘stood at a long central desk’ thì mình tìm được câu ‘which the copying clerks would work standing up’
  5. Theo keyword ‘40,000 words’ , ‘not have’ , ‘eventually’ mình có thể hiểu câu đơn giản ‘Anh ấy thiếu một cái gì đó nhưng vẫn có thể định nghĩa được 40,000 từ’ qua đó thì mình tìm được ‘filling about eighty large notebooks (and withour a library to hand), Johnson wrote the definations of over 40,000 words’
  6. Gạch chân tên ông ‘James Boswell’ trong Summary và theo đó mình tìm được ‘an achievement which, in James Boswell’s words, ‘conferred stability on the language of his country’’ . Ở đây thì ‘Language of his country’ = ‘English’
  7. Tương tự theo cách làm trên theo ‘the king’, mình tìm được ‘King George III to offer him a pension’
  8. 1 Bạn có thể tìm được thông tin chứa câu trả lời ở đoạn thứ ba trong bài đọc. Hãy underline các keywords ‘middle classes’ và ‘increased’ bạn sẽ tìm được câu ‘the rise of dictionaries is associated with the rise of the English middle class’. ‘associated with’ = ‘connected with’ – ‘liên quan tới’ và mình có từ ‘led’ – ‘dẫn tới’ trong câu trên
  9. 2 Mình đã Skim và xác định được đoạn thứ tám trong bài là đoạn nói về sự ‘sự nổi tiếng’ của cuốn từ điển nên đã xác định statement này là False ‘8After many vicissitudes the Dictionary was finally published on 15 April 1775. It was instantly recognised as a landmark throughout Europe’
  10. Cũng qua Skim mình tìm được thông tin thì cả bài đọc không có phần về ‘planning’. Nên mình khuyên các bạn Skim còn nếu còn thời gian thì Scan một vài đoạn để tìm thông tin nhé
  11. Bạn có thể tìm thấy thông tin trong câu ‘Up until his time, the task of producing a dictionary on such a large scale had seemed impossible without the establishment of an academy to make decisions about right and wrong usage. Johnson decided he did not need an academy to settle arguments about language; he would write a dictionary himself;’
  12. Bạn có thể tìm thấy thông tin trong câu ‘He was to be paid £ 1,575 in instalments, and from this he took money to rent 17 Gough Square, in which he set up his ‘dictionary workshop’. ‘instalments’ cũng là 1 khoản ‘payment’ nhé
  13. Bạn có thể tìm thấy thông tin trong câu ‘He was also helped by six assistants, two of whom died whilst the Distionary was still in preparation’

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