Reading and Use of English|| ||(Exit)|
5: Multiple Choice
You are going
to read the introduction from a book on sports. For question 1-6, choose
the answer (A, B, C, or D) which you think fits best according to
and bars are full of casual obscenity, but most British newspapers are ... well,
not necessarily careful about language, but careful about bad words anyway. The
phrase 'family newspaper' is an ineluctable part of our lives. Newspapers are
not in the business of giving gratuitous offence. It is a limitation of newspaper
writing, and one everybody in the business, whether writing or reading, understands
and accepts. There are many other necessary limitations, and most of these concern
time and space.
Newspapers have dominated sportswriting in Britain for
years, and have produced their own totem figures and doyens. But ten years ago,
a new player entered the game. This was the phenomenon of men's magazines; monthly
magazines for men that had actual words in them - words for actually reading.
GQ was the pioneer and, in my totally unbiased opinion as the long-term
author of the magazine's sports column, it leads the way still, leaving the rest
panting distantly in its wake.
Sport, is of course, a blindingly obvious
subject for a men's magazine - but it could not be tacked in a blindingly obvious
way. Certainly, one of the first things GQ was able to offer was a new
way of writing about sport, but this was not so much a cunning plan as a necessity.
The magazine was doomed, as it were, to offer a whole new range of freedoms to
its sportwriters. Heady and rather alarming freedoms. Freedom of vocabulary was
simply the most obvious one and, inevitably, it appealed to the schoolboy within
us. But space and time were the others, and these possibilities meant that the
craft of sportswriting had to be reinvented.
Unlike newspapers, a magazine
can offer a decent length of time to research and to write. These are, you would
think, luxuries - especially to those of us who are often required to read an
800-word match report over the telephone the instant the final whistle has gone.
Such a discipline is nerve-racking, but as long as you can get it done at all,
you have done a good job. No one expects a masterpiece under such circumstances.
In some ways the ferocious restrictions make the job easier. But a long magazine
deadline gives you the disconcerting and agoraphobic freedom to research, to write,
To write a piece for a newspaper, at about a quarter
of the massive GQ length, you require a single thought. The best method
is to find a really good idea, and then to pursue it remorselessly to the end,
where ideally you make a nice joke and bale out stylishly. If it is an interview
piece, you look for a few good quotes, and if you get them, that's your piece
written for you. For a longer piece, you must seek the non-obvious. This is a
good quality in the best of newspaper writing, but an absolute essential for any
writer who hopes to complete the terrifying amount of words that GQ requires.
If you write for GQ you are condemned to try and join the best. There is
no other way.
GQ is not restricted by the same conventions of
reader expectation as a newspaper. You need not worry about offending people or
alienating them; the whole ethos of the magazine is that readers are there to
be challenged. There will be readers who would find some of its pieces offensive
or even impossible in a newspaper, or even in a different magazine. But the same
readers will read the piece in GQ and find it enthralling.
is because the magazine is always slightly uncomfortable to be with. It is not
like a cosy member of the family, nor even like a friend. It is the strong, self-opinionated
person that you can never quite make up your mind whether you like or not. You
admire him, but you are slightly uneasy with him. The people around him might
not altogether approve of everything he says; some might not care for him at all.
But they feel compelled to listen. The self-confidence is too compelling. And
just when you think he is beginning to become rather a bore, he surprises you
with his genuine intelligence. He makes a broad joke, and then suddenly he is
demanding you follow him in the turning of an intellectual somersault.
What does the writer say about newspapers in the first paragraph?
tend not to include articles readers will find very challenging.
in them do not reflect the way people really speak.
C) They are more concerned
with profit than with quality of writing.
D) They fail to realise what kind
of writing would appeal to readers.
What does the writer imply in the second paragraph?
A) GQ magazine contains
articles that are well worth reading.
B) Some of the more recent men's magazines
are unlikely to survive.
C) The standard of sportswriting in newspapers has
improved in recent times.
D) He is in a position to give an objective view
of sportswriting in magazines.
Why were sportswriters for GQ given new freedoms?
A) Some restrictions of
newspaper writing do not apply to writing for GQ.
B) The magazine's initial
plans for its sports articles proved unrealistic.
C) Notions about what made
good sports journalism were changing.
D) The writers that it wanted to employ
demanded greater freedom.
What does the writer say about the amount of time allowed for producing articles?
A) The best articles are often produced under great pressure of time.
a long time to produce an article encourages laziness.
C) Writers are seldom
satisfied by articles produced in a hurry.
D) Having very little time to produce
an article can be an advantage.
Why can't writers for GQ use the same methods as writers for newspapers?
Articles in GQ are not allowed to consist mainly of interviews.
B) They want
to be considered better than writers for newspapers.
C) Writers for newspapers
do not have so much space to fill.
D) They've been told to avoid the conventions
of newspaper writing.
What does the writer say in the penultimate paragraph about certain pieces in
A) They will create enormous controversy.
B) They unintentionally
upset some of its readers.
C) They are a response to demand from readers.
D) They are a good fit for the GQ reader.