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Lesson Thirteen Britannia Rues the Waves by Andrew Neil.

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1 Lesson Thirteen Britannia Rues the Waves by Andrew Neil

2 Ⅰ. Background Information  1). Britannia Rues the Waves: This is a parody of Britain's proud boast, "Britannia Rules the Waves". "Rule, Britannia" is a famous naval song much sung and played in the British Navy from the date of its first performance in 1740 to the present day, and generally recognized today as the official march of the Royal Navy. It was written by James Thomson and set to music by Dr. Thomas Arne (1740). The song runs like this:   When Britain first, at Heaven's command,  Arose from out the azure main,  This was the charter of her land,  And guardian angels sang the strain:  Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rules the waves!  Britons never shall be slaves.  The author means that today, instead of ruling the waves,  Britain is sorry that it has lost its dominance on the high seas.

3  2). Andrew Neil: writing on industrial and labour affairs for the ‘Economist'  3). North Sea Oil: oil produced from the British sector of the Continental Shelf under the North Sea. Oil was first discovered under the bed of the North Sea in 1970 and production began in  4). tax concessions: a right or privilege granted by the government to be tax exempt  5). depression: a protracted period in which business activity is far below normal and the pessimism of business and consumers is great. It is characterized by a sharp curtailment of production, little capital investment,a contraction of credit, mass unemployment and low employment, and a very high rate of business failures.  6). doldrums: the belt of calm which lies inside the trade winds of the northern and southern hemisphere. This area, which lies close to the equator except in the western Pacific where it is south of the equator, had great significance during those years when the trade of the world was carried by sailling ships. The term is also used to signify a state of depression or stagnation, an analogy of the general depression of the crews of ships lying motionless while in the areas of the doldrums, unable to find wind to fill their sails.  7). dry cargo: commodities that are not liquids  8). liner: a ship belonging to a shipping company which carries passengers on scheduled routes. A cargo liner is a cargo-carrying vessel with accommodation for a few passengers.

4  9). P & O: Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, founded in 1840, world-wide passenger service  10). container ship: a cargo vessel specially designed and built for the carriage of cargo prepacked in containers. With a standardized size of container, holding 18 tons of cargo, holds and deck spaces can be designed exactly to accommodate containers, leading to greater ease and efficiency in stowage and the eradication of much of the danger of the cargo shifting during heavy weather at sea.  11). UNCTAD: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, set up as an organ of the UN General Assembly by a resolution of December UNCTAD is concerned with the fundamental problems affecting the trade of developing countries. It has its headquarters in Geneva.  12). Iron Curtain: referring to the Soviet Union and the eastern European countries in the capitalist press, first used by Churchill in his speech at Fulton, Missouri, 5 March 1946:"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. “  13). EEC: European Economic Community, established by treaty signed at Rome March 25, 1957, effective January 1, EEC headquarters are in Brussels and it comprises a Council of Ministers, an executive Commission, and the Assembly and Court of Justice.

5 Ⅱ. Questions after the detailed study of the text  1. According to the author Britain is handicapped in her attempts to counter the challenges of the developing world and the Soviet Union at an international level. What are these handicaps or problems? Does this tell us anything about the capitalist world?  2. How are the British shipping companies trying to meet the challenge? Are they confident that they can counter the challenge successfully?  3. Comment on the title of the article. What is the implied meaning?

6 Ⅲ. Analysis and Appreciation of the text  1. The outline of the text  2. Type of literature – exposition

7 Ⅳ. Special difficulties in the text  1. understanding some proper names  2. paraphrasing some sentences  3. identifying figures of speech

8 Ⅴ. Rhetorical Devices  1. antithesis  2. oxymoron  3. simile  4. ridicule

9 VI. Detailed study of the text  1. institution: organization, system  2.cutthroat: very fierce, merciless, intense, implying sth. unprincipled  3. price-cutting: lowering the price  4. settled: stable, fixed, inflexible; not changeable  5. cargo: the goods carried by a ship, plane or vehicle; freight  6. cartel: a combination of independent companies in order to limit competition and increase profits for its members  7. dignified: noble, high-sounding, elegant, grand  8. governing: controlling  9. dodgy: risky, possibly dangerous  10. make a big killing: make a lot of money soon

10  11. times: the prevailing conditions of a period  good times: favorable times when market is lively and business is booming  bad times: difficult times, depression, declining period  13. weather: pass safely through  14. scramble: a rough, eager and disorderly struggle   15. around the corner: very near, imminent  16. boom: a rapid growth, increase  17. quadruple: multiply by four; increase by four times  18. slide: a downward turn, falling  19. cut back: reduce in amount  20. charter: practice of hiring or renting cars, planes, etc., for special use  21. rate: charge, price  22. plummet: drop dramatically   22. estuary: the wide lower part or mouth of a river into which sea enters at high tide

11  23. jammed: crowded; congested  24. mothball: balls stored together with clothes to repel moths; the state of being stored or kept in existence, but not used; the state of having been put aside, as of no further use; (metaphor)  25. British ship owners had been wise enough not to have invested big in tanker trade when oil tankers were in great demand, so they didn’t suffer great losses in this field.   26. slump: a time of seriously bad business condition and unemployment; depression  27. ore: rock or earth etc. from which metal can be obtained  28. by far: by a large degree  29. in the doldrums: in a serious depression, in a state of inactivity  30. feel the pinch: feel the pressure, feel the impact of the slump  pinch: a painful, difficult situation; suffering caused by the lack of necessary things  31. sector: part of a field of activity, esp. of business and trade  32. still a long way from bankruptcy: still far from danger  33. freight: goods carried by some means of transport  freight-liner: ships for moving goods regularly between two places along a fixed route; liner-freight vessel

12  34. strongly-entrenched: firmly and securely established  35. entrench: place or lodge oneself in a safe position  36. call at ports: visit ports after the start of a journey and before the end  37. going freight rate: commonly accepted price at present for using a freight liner  38. parcel service: a service that is convenient like sending a parcel, catering to customers who need to use only part of the space in a ship  39. plus: favorable addition, advantage; plus factor  40. buoyancy: literally, the power of liquid to force upward an object pushed down into it; here, the property of maintaining a satisfactorily high level, as of price, business, or activity; promising state; hopefulness  41.That characteristic put them in a better or advantageous position than that for oil tankers or bulk carriers; making it easier for freight-liners to weather the bad times.   42.see: visit, call at   43.cross-traders are used to carry goods between foreign countries 

13  44.big: doing much business, very influential or powerful  45. run: line, route  46.be out to do: be bent on doing; try to do; make a determined effort to do   47. emerging countries: newly independent countries; countries rising from a poor dependent state to a rich independent state  48. something of: rather a; a fairly good   49. status symbol: a sign which shows or matches one’s high social status; here a symbol to show that these countries have become politically independent and economically strong   50. go for: try to get   51. foresee: form an idea or judgment about what is going to happen; (unforeseen)   52.planning for…the third world: Great Britain is getting prepared for the coming situation, where the new powers will have a bigger share of the trade while Great Britain is cutting down its own percentage in the world trade

14  53. throw in the towel / sponge: admit defeat or failure; surrender; give in  54. tactics: art of arranging military troops for battle and moving them during the battle; the art of using the existing means to get a desired result   55. strategy: art of planning movements of armies or forces in war; more inclusive or comprehensive than tactics   56. hold on to: hang on to; try to keep; not let go; not give up   57. the richest slice: the lion’s share   58. move up-market: to invest in high-tech branches, for instance, container ships, so that the third world countries can not afford to follow and thus not in a position to compete with it   59. put up the money: put in the investment  pioneer: start, initiate, take the lead in   60. dockside: a place where ships are loaded, unloaded, or repaired   61. A container can only be recognized or identified by a number outside, so the thief cannot get to know what the content is, hence safe from theft.

15  62. P & O’s…strategy is by no means the complete reaction to the threat posed by the third world countries. There is much more to it than that. There is more involved in the response.   63. not by purely commercial means, but by institutional means, by setting up certain regulations favorable to the developing countries   64. impose: force the acceptance of, establish   65. guarantee: give a promise of fulfillment about; assure   66. find official expression in: be formally expressed or represented in   67. lay down: stipulate; formulate   68. respective: for, belonging to each of those in question   69. revenue: income, esp. that which the government receives as tax   70. ratify: approve of or make official by signing   71. bring into force: put into effect, make begin to operate   72. Iron Curtain countries: Russia and other Eastern bloc countries

16  73. counter: meet, deal with; overcome   74. justify: warrant, give a good reason for, require, make necessary or probable   75. come into service: begin to serve the public; come into use, get ready for use  76. make major inroads into: penetrate or bite deeply into; carve its way into; take over a large portion of the trade   77. seaborne: carried or brought in ships   78. Russia is deeply involved in the major routes of the world’s cross-trade   79. afford to do: be in a position to do   80. in our sense of the word: in the way we understand the word “profit”  81. the name of the game: the thing that really counts, the real purpose of their action, the most important objective

17  82. hard currency: a currency which other countries want to obtain   83. even sterling: implying and mocking that the position of sterling or pound is not as strong as other money, like dollars, etc.   84. at a loss: in deficit, doing business at a price lower than the original cost  make up: supply sth. not done, lost, or missing; compensate   85. more to it: that is not the only purpose of Russia; there is more involved in the business here   86. mercantile: of merchant or trade   87. mercantile marine: merchant navy / fleet   88. reach: range of influence or power   89. well: to a considerable degree

18  90. perimeter: the outer boundary of an area; fringe; borderline of the country   91. project: get across or extend its influence to others   92..hydrographic: concerning the study of oceans with reference to their navigational or commercial uses   93. deepen contacts: strengthen ties, increase communication   94. If the western companies also compete with others by undercutting by 40%, they are sure to go bankrupt or sure to be elbowed out of market, that is their share of market is sure to be taken over by others.

19 VII. Assignment  Write a composition with a title of -- The Shipping Industry in China


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