Sunday, April 28, 2013

97. The Point! (III)

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The typical cloze test, invented long ago for institutions to check students’ or candidates’ knowledge, is about to change. It won’t take long to admit units that have been called form-meaning pairings, which make sense only when used together. On the contrary, insisting on the existence of slots for individual ‘words’ will only add to people’s fragmented knowledge – with a little luck, no one is doing things with this purpose in mind!

Obviously, such changes take time simply because it is a lot easier to make things stay as they are (see previous episode) than innovate.
Completing the cloze below will be easier indeed if and only if you have watched the previous episodes attentively. You’ll find the key after the page break.

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The national 1. _______ in the Land of Point was a game called Triangle Toss. And Triangle Toss was a game for people with pointed heads. The object of the game was to 2. _______ a triangle as far as you could and then run to the opposite end of a field and catch it on the point of your head. But 3. _______ Oblio had no point, he would throw a triangle and Arrow would jump up on his shoulders and the two of them would run to the opposite end of the field, Arrow making the 4. _______ on the point on the top of his head.

Now, most of the kids in the town thought that it was all right to allow Oblio and Arrow to compete as a team. But there was 5. _______ one kid who was the son of the evil Count, who was the 6. _______ to the King. And the Count’s kid insisted that, since Triangle Toss was for people with 7. _______ heads, and Oblio obviously did not fall into that category, he should not be allowed to play. Well, to settle the dispute, it was decided to have a contest – best two 8. _______ three tosses and catches. If Oblio won, he’d get to play; but if the Count’s kid won, Oblio wouldn’t be allowed to play.
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And that brings us to the game.
At the end of the game, Oblio had beaten the Count’s kid two out of three. And when the Count heard of his son’s disgraceful 9. _______ at the hands of this pointless Oblio, he was outraged. So he went to the King and reminded him of the Law of the Land, which was that all things and all people in the Land of Point was to have one. Since Oblio didn’t have one, he was 10. _______ violation of that law, which called for his banishment. Now, the King, who was a good king, was painfully aware of his duty, which was to convene the Tribunal and to conform to the Count’s 11. _______. And that’s what he did. 


And when the Tribunal reviewed the case, it could only arrive 12. _______ one conclusion: Oblio had no point; he was therefore guilty of being in violation of the law. And so it was decided that he and Arrow – for Arrow was found guilty of complicity – be banished from the Land of Point to the Pointless Forest.
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The next day, Oblio’s mother and father and all the townspeople gathered to bid a sad farewell to Oblio and Arrow. Now, everyone thought that banishment to the Pointless Forest was 13. _______ excessive, but the Law was the Law, and the people were good, law-abiding citizens, and –well – that was the first time anything like this had ever happened and no one knew quite what else to do. So Oblio and Arrow set 14. _______ for the Pointless Forest where all things are pointless and nothing is pointed.

By the way, the distance between the Land of Point and the Pointless Forest was directly proportional to the 15. _______ of time it takes to sing a song--

A BIT
A LITTLE

AMOUNT
ASSISTANCE

AT
CATCHES
DEFEAT
FEAT

HEIR
IN
INSISTENCE
OFF

OUT
OUT OF
PASTIME
POINTED
POINTLESS

SINCE
THIS
TOSS

Now it’s time for the third episode:

96. The Point! (II)

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There is no denying that language is symbolic. I take it to be the rule, for in fact we use the language to mean something, and we expect our interlocutors to see what we mean. If you have already watched the first part of this highly symbolic cartoon film, you have come to know something about Oblio, and the land he was born in. Now, being born somewhere should be a blessing for all those who actually realize that there's a lot to learn in a lifetime. To learn, that is, often the hard way. Only when you finished watching all the (eight) episodes will you grasp the underlying idea; for the time being, there's this stop-and-check of the first episode. Only then are you asked to go on watching Part Two.

Triangle Toss
'This is the town and these are the people
This is the town where the people all stay
This is the town and these are the people
That’s the way they wanted it
That’s the way it’s going to stay

"Everything’s got one
Everything needs one
Couldn’t be without one
Everyone has one

"Years ago, there was a place called The Land of Point. That was because everything in the Land of Point had one: the barns, the houses, the carts, everything – 1. _______ the people. Everyone in the Land of Point had a point on the top of his head. Everyone, 2. _______, with the exception of Oblio.

"Now, although Oblio was born 3. _______ a set of normally-pointed parents, and although he was born physically perfect in every 4. ________ respect, he was born without a point. He was round-headed. And as time passed, Oblio became increasingly 5. _______ his uniqueness. And so did everyone 6. _______, which made life in the Land of Point rather uncomfortable for him and his parents. You see, Oblio became 7. ________ an involuntary celebrity. And he was subject to the sometimes cruel and 8. _______ harassment of his schoolmates. He was 9. _______ being the only pointless person in the Land of Point and, in an effort 10. _______ make life easier, his mother knitted a pointed cap 11. _______ to wear, so as to conceal his pointless condition; but it didn’t do 12. _______ good because everyone knew he didn’t have a point, so it only managed to make Oblio a little 13. _______ . In fact the _______ real friend he had was his dog Arrow.
"Me and my Arrow
_______ than narrow
Wherever we go
Everyone knows
It’s me and my Arrow…"


ANY
AWARE OF
A SORT OF
ELSE
EVEN
FOR HIM
FROM
LONELIER
MANY
MUCH
ONLY
OTHER
STRAIGHTER
THAT IS
THAT WAS
TO
TO
UNEASY
UNUSUAL

  

95. The Point! (I)


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Honest, how many of the lexical units based on point (noun) are you sure you know the meaning of? How many do you use in your active thematic vocabulary?


When you have consulted the examples attached in the previous post, it's time you watched the first part of a film that I hope you will enjoy: it's by courtesy of this as yet exceptionally generous World Wide Web, where information is - you'll have to admit it - at your fingertips!