IGCSE English (First Language): Specimen Questions with Answers 13 - 15 of 34

Passage

Total mark: 20

Read the Passage A carefully, and then answer

Modern man remembers even telephone numbers. He remembers the addresses of his friends. He remembers the dates of good vintages. He remembers appointments for lunch and dinner. His memory is crowded with the names of actors and actresses and cricketers and footballers and murderers. He can tell you what the weather was like in a long-past August and the name of the provincial hotel at which he had a vile meal during the summer. In his ordinary life, again, he remembers almost everything that he is expected to remember.

As for myself, anyone who asks me to post a letter is a poor judge of character. Even if I carry the letter in my hand I am always past the first pillar-box before I remember that I ought to have posted it. Weary of holding it in my hand, I then put it for safety into one of my pockets and forget all about it. After that, it has an unadventurous life till a long chain of circumstances leads to a number of embarrassing questions being asked, and I am compelled to produce the evidence of my guilt from my pocket. This, it might be thought, must be due to a lack of interest in other people’s letters; but that cannot be the explanation, for I forget to post some even of the few letters that I myself remember to write.

As for leaving articles in trains and in taxies, I am no great delinquent in such matters. I can remember almost anything except books and walking-sticks and I can often remember even books. Walking sticks I find it quite impossible to keep. I have an old-fashioned taste for them, and I buy them frequently but no-sooner do I pay a visit to a friend’s house or go a journey in a train, than another stick is on its way into the world of the lost. I dare not carry an umbrella for fear of losing it. To go through life without ever having lost an umbrella- has even the grimmest— jawed umbrella-carrier ever achieved this?

The sportsmen have worse memories than their ordinary serious-minded fellows. A considerable number of footballs and cricket-bats, for instance, were forgotten. This is easy to understand, for boys, returning from the games, have their imaginations still filled with a vision of the playing-field, and their heads are among the stars — or their hearts in their boots — as they recall their exploits or their errors. They are abstracted from the world outside them. Memories prevent them from remembering to do such small prosaic things as take the ball or the bat with them when they leave the train. For the rest of the day, they are citizens of dreamland. Absent-mindedness of this kind seems to me all but a virtue. The absentminded man is often a man who is making the best of life and therefore has no time to remember the mediocre.

I have heard of a father who, having offered to take the baby out in a perambulator, was tempted by the sunny morning to pause on his journey and slip into a public-house for a glass of beer. Leaving the perambulator outside, he disappeared through the door of the saloon bar. A little later, his wife had to do some shopping which took her past the public-house, where to her horror, she discovered her sleeping baby. Indignant at her husband’s behavior, she decided to teach him a lesson. She wheeled away the perambulator, picturing to herself his terror when he would come out and find the baby gone. She arrived home, anticipating with angry relish the white face and quivering lips that would soon appear with the news that the baby had been stolen. What was her vexation, however, when just before lunch her husband came in smiling cheerfully and asking: “Well, my dear, what’s for lunch today? ” having forgotten all about the baby and the fact that he had taken it out with him. How many men below the rank of a philosopher would be capable of such absent-mindedness as this? Most of us, I fear, are born with prosaically efficient memories. If it were not so, the institution of the family could not survive in any great modern city.

Question 13 (6 of 8 Based on Passage)

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Short Answer▾

The list of articles lost in trains suggests that sportsmen have worse memories than their ordinary serious minded fellows. Why does Lynd say this?

Explanation

  • Sportsmen forget to take their footballs and cricket bats, when they leave the train. It is because they have their imaginations filled with a vision of the playing fields.

  • But the ordinary man arrives at his destination with his entire luggage safe. So Lynd rationalizes their acts.

Question 14 (7 of 8 Based on Passage)

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One Liner▾

What are the articles the writer forgets most often?

Explanation

The writer forgets books, umbrellas and walking sticks most often

Question 15 (8 of 8 Based on Passage)

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Short Answer▾

Describe the story of the father, the baby and the perambulator in brief.

Explanation

  • Once a man took his baby in a pram for outing. On his way, he slipped into a pub for a glass of beer leaving the baby outside. By chance his wife happened to be there on her way to the market. She was horrified to find her sleeping baby in the pram.

  • She wheeled away the pram and expected that her husband would come trembling. But he came and asked his lunch cheerfully. He had completely forgotten about the child.