"did you hear what happened to adam last friday?" lindsey whispers to tori.
with her eyes shining, tori brags, "you bet i did. sean told me two days ago."
who are lindsey and tori talking about? it just happens to be yours truly, adam freedman. i can tell you that what they are saying is (a) not nice and (b) not even true. still, lindsey and tori aren't very different from most students here at linton high school, including me. many of our conversations are gossip (闲话). i have noticed three effects of gossip: it can hurt people, it can give gossipers a strange kind of satisfaction, and it can cause social pressures in a group.
an important negative effect of gossip is that it can hurt the person being talked about. usually, gossip spreads information about a topic — breakups, trouble at home, even dropping out — that a person would rather keep secret. the more embarrassing or shameful the secret is, the juicier the gossip it makes. probably the worst type of gossip is the absolute lie. people often think of gossipers as harmless, but cruel lies can cause pain.
if we know that gossip can be harmful, then why do so many of us do it? the answer lies in another effect of gossip: the satisfaction it gives us. sharing the latest rumor (传言) can make a person feel important because he or she knows something that others don't. similarly, hearing the latest rumor can make a person feel like part of the "in group." in other words, gossip is satisfying because it gives people a sense of belonging or even superiority (优越感).
gossip also can have a third effect: it strengthens unwritten, unspoken rules about how people should act. professor david wilson explains that gossip is important in policing behaviors in a group. translated into high school terms, this means that if everybody you hang around with is laughing at what john wore or what jane said, then you can bet that wearing or saying something similar will get you the same kind of negative attention. the do's and don'ts conveyed through gossip will never show up in any student handbook.
the effects of gossip vary depending on the situation. the next time you feel the urge to spread the latest news, think about why you want to gossip and what effects your "juicy story" might have.
1. the author uses a conversation at the beginning of the passage to _____.
a. introduce a topic
b. present an argument
c. describe the characters
d. clarify his writing purpose
2. an important negative effect of gossip is that it _____.
a. breaks up relationships
b. embarrasses the listener
c. spreads information around
d. causes unpleasant experiences
3. what advice does the author give in the passage?
a. never become a gossiper.
b. stay away from gossipers.
c. don't let gossip turn into lies.
d. think twice before you gossip.
1. 根据第三段中的many of our conversations are gossip以及下面提到的gossip的三个作用可推知，作者用对话作为这篇短文的开头是为了引出话题，故选a项。
2. 根据第四段第一句an important negative effect of gossip is that it can hurt the person being talked about以及其后的内容可知，闲话的一个重要的消极作用就是伤害被说闲话的人的感情，由此可进一步推知，结果有可能会导致不愉快的经历，故选d项。
3. 根据最后一段中的the next time you feel the urge to spread the latest news, think about why you want to gossip and what effects your “juicy story" might have可推知，作者的建议是在你有想传播小道消息的欲望时，要三思而后行，故选d项。