Тренировочное задание 39 на подбор заголовков к текстам.
A. How to stay in good shape.
В. Appearances can be deceptive.
С. Live and let live.
D. Measuring madness.
E. Hobby or full-time occupation
F. Some serious research.
G. How times change.
1. British eccentrics are famous the world over. We breed eccentrics and we’re fascinated by them. Eccentrics are found in all walks of life, whether they are lords or lavatory cleaners, teachers or train drivers. Some wear odd clothes, some collect to the point of obsession, while others inhabit strange environments or hold unorthodox beliefs. Provided they are in no way a threat to society, we usually just avoid them but let them carry on in their own sweet way.
2. David Weeks, an American psychologist has conducted the first in-depth psychological study of eccentrics and has concluded that Britain’s are still the best in the world. Weeks did detailed personality tests and taped interviews with 130 eccentrics. “A true eccentric is never acting,” writes Dr David Weeks. ‘They are strong individuals with strange inclinations of their own which they are not afraid to express. They refuse to compromise.” He believes one in 10,000 people in the UK is a genuine eccentric, and that for every female candidate there are nine male eccentrics.
3. One of the most interesting findings was the good health that eccentrics enjoy. “Almost all of them visit the doctor only once every eight or nine years; the rest of us go twice a year.” Eccentrics tend to live longer than the rest of us. The theory is that if you have a particular obsession, whether it is eating cardboard or living in a cave, life becomes full of meaning and significance and the resulting happiness strengthens the body’s immune system. “Eccentrics are living proof that one does not necessarily have to go through life with a fixed set of rules,” says Dr Weeks. “They are their own best leaders and proof followers, and do not feel a need to possess the ordinary things of everyday life. They are prepared to stand out from the crowd.”
4. Some, like botanist Alan Fairweather, a potato fanatic, have turned their eccentricity into a career – he worked for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as a potato inspector. He has lived for thirty years on a diet of potatoes boiled in their jackets, supplemented by Mars bars, baked beans and Vitamin C. He won’t sleep in a bed and his idea of a break is a visit to the International Potato Centre in Peru. There are others who are spare time eccentrics, like Barry Kirk, a computer technician, who likes to paint himself orange and pretended to be a baked bean.
5. Some of Weeks’s collection – such as the man who climbs down tower blocks dressed as a pink elephant – would stick out anywhere, but most are unremarkable on the surface. Weeks believes that inside lie resources of creativity and imagination that are not sufficiently used. “They are neglected, or not taken seriously, because of the way they express themselves. Often they are convicted that they are ahead of their time and that others have stolen or exploited their good ideas.”
6. What counts as eccentricity varies with time and a person’s sex as well as location. Adeline Brudenwell, countess of Cardigan, was regarded extremely eccentric in the 1870s because she would bicycle around London in tight red military trousers and a leopard-skin cape. She would also go for walks in Hyde Park wearing a blond wig, followed by a footman carrying a cushion on which sat a pet dog. Nowadays people would just assume she was an actress or a singer with a new album to promote.
1 – C
2 – F
3 – A
4 – E
5 – B
6 – G