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Advanced English Book 1

Lesson 13

Britannia Rues the Waves

Background Information

How Britain gained naval supremacy

Some facts & figures about the recent naval expansion of the Soviet Union

North Sea Oil

Detailed

Study of the Text

Language Points

Exercises

Exercise Exercise

Exercise

Background Information

How Britain gained naval supremacy

Facts and figures

North Sea oil

How Britain gained naval supremacy


In mediaeval times, the trade of the world and the center of maritime power lay in the Mediterranean Sea. The discovery of the Cape route to India and the discovery of the American continent shifted the center from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean. The early major sea powers were the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and France.

How Britain gained naval supremacy


Henry (1485-1509) laid the foundation of the British merchant navy.
Henry (1491-1547) founded the British Royal Navy. He created ships specially manned and commissioned to fight and his shipbuilders designed a new kind of ship (firing broadsides), better adapted to the ocean and to manoeuvring in battles.

How Britain gained naval supremacy


In 1588, Elizabeth (1558-1603) defeated the Spanish Armada, a fleet of 130 great ships, sent by King Philip of Spain against England. There was a running gun fight in the British Channel and the Armada was routed. The remnant of the Spanish fleet later met a storm along the coasts of Scotland and Ireland. Out of the 130 ships, only about half reached home. This victory established England as a major sea power.

How Britain gained naval supremacy


The battle of Trafalgar took place on October 21, 1805, between the British fleet and the combined French and Spanish fleet, off Spains Cape Trafalgar. The British fleet, 33 ships in all, was commanded by Admiral Nelson. The battle ended with the capture of 20 French ships. Nelson was badly wounded and died shortly before the battle came to and end. The victory established Britains naval supremacy which was unchallenged for over a century.

Some facts & figures about the recent naval expansion of the Soviet Union
The total tonnage of the Soviet maritime fleet in 1950 was 2.1 million tons, ranking 21 in world tonnage. Between 1971 and 1975, the Soviet Union Spent $ 2.8 billion on buying 990 ships from Japan, Britain and other European countries. By 1979, the Soviet Union had a fleet of 7,997 ships, with a total tonnage of over 32 million tons, accounting for 5.6 percent of world tonnage. The average ship age of two-thirds of the fleet was under ten.

Some facts & figures about the recent naval expansion of the Soviet Union
The total volume of Russian seaborne trade in 1976 was 214.5 million tons, an increase of 370 per cent over that in 1953. in 1976 alone, the Soviet Union netted 600 million dollars of foreign exchange.

North Sea oil


Today Britain has discovered 50 oil fields in the North Sea, with a reserve of 2.2 billion tons. Production began in the second half of 1975 and went up gradually. In 1976 production of crude oil reached 52.8 million tons. It was estimated that by 1980 production would rise to about 110 million tons. By then Britain would become selfsufficient in oil.

Expressions & Patterns


1. Britannia rues the waves: Britain is sorry that she has lost her dominance on the high seas; Britain regrets that she no longer enjoys a naval supremacy.

Rue: repent of : regret having entered into; wish nonexistent


The waves: (poet. or rhet.) the sea

Expressions & Patterns 2. Britains merchant navy these days:


grab: capture

the headlines: titles of important news items,

Expressions & Patterns


3. Shipping is also a significant British success story:
success story: persons rise from poverty, etc. to fame 4. the British fleet competition: risk: expose to the chance of damage or loss

stiff: strong; great in degree; difficult to deal with a stiff job; stiff reading being elbowed out: a metaphor; being forced out

Expressions & Patterns


5. and carving Western shipping companies: carving their way into: a metaphor; making their way into by cutting undercut: sell goods more cheaply or work for smaller wages than (sb. doing the same); sell or work at lower prices or wages than

Expressions & Patterns


6. who are bent on of the trade:

bent on: strongly inclined or determined


E.g. The social imperialists are bent on keeping the situation tense in the Middle East.

There is no doubt that they are bent on the complete destruction of Hitler and Nazism.

Expressions & Patterns


7. the lions share: the whole thing or, now popularly, the biggest and best portion; the larger or largest part, nearly all. The phrase comes from Aesops fable. Several beasts joined the lion in a hunt; but, when the spoil was divided, the lion claimed one quarter in right of his prerogative, one for his superior courage, one for his dam and cubs, and as for the fourth, let who will dispute it with me. Awed by his frown, the other beasts silently withdrew.

Expressions & Patterns


8.in which Britain has a big stake:

stake: a share or interest, as in property, a person, or a business venture


E.g.

The simplest explanation for the Western nations reluctance to support sanctions is their considerable economic stake in South Africa.

at stake: at issue, in question, risked

More than the future of a province is at stake.


His office is not directly at stake in the March election.

Expressions & Patterns


9. in terms of: with regard to E.g. 1. In terms of significant agreements, Vance collected no more this time than from his first Mideast trip. 2. We are better off in terms of capability.

Expressions & Patterns


10. a new British ship was being launched every week: launch: set (a ship esp. one newly built) afloat E.g.

launch a satellite

launch an attack
launch a new enterprise

The verb launch, used figuratively, may be translated into different Chinese verbs.

Expressions & Patterns


11. stayed ahead of the competition by sophisticated ships stayed ahead of the competition: have remained in a leading position; have been the winners in the competition

ahead of: in advance of; better than


sophisticated: complex, with the latest improvements and refinements

Expressions & Patterns


12. cut-throat: (of competition) intense, merciless

13. shipping conferences moving goods by sea:


dodgy: (informal, esp. British English) risky and possibly dangerous

Expressions & Patterns


14. to weather the bad times: to be able to pull through when where is a depression; to survive when economic conditions are not favorable weather: come through successfully; pass safely through (storm, difficulty) times: the prevailing conditions of a particular period

Expressions & Patterns


15. they make it easier for the available trade:

scramble: rough struggle; a disorderly struggle or rush, as for sth. prized


16. the industrialized world had begun its slide into the worst depression since the 1930s (the depression in) the 1930s: referring to the worldwide great depression from 1929 to 1933. It began with the New York stock market crash on Oct. 24, 1929.

Expressions & Patterns


17. mothballs:

literal meaning: marble-sized balls of naphthalene, stored with clothes (esp. woolens) to repel moths;
figurative meaning: a) the state of being stored, or kept in existence but not used
E.g. He keeps his car in mothballs during the winter months.

b) the state of having been put aside, as of no further use


E.g. We shall have to put this idea in mothballs.

Expressions & Patterns


18. But with the world iron ore carriers.
in the doldrums: (informal) in a low and sad state of mind; in a state of inactivity E.g.

At present (1958) Nato is in the doldrums.


The President was relying heavily on his energy package to shake his Administration out of the doldrums.

Expressions & Patterns


19. the British shipping industry now began to feel the pinch: pinch: suffering caused by lack of necessary things, esp. money (esp. in the phrase: feel the pinch); a painful, difficult, or straitened circumstance

E.g. 1. American farmers, feeling the pinch, raised loud cries of protest. 2. The Presidents economic sanction against the Soviet Union should pinch in the months ahead.

Expressions & Patterns


20. the going freight rate: currently accepted charge for sending the specified goods there going: as charged at present; commonly accepted rate: a charge or payment fixed according to a standard scale

21. provided there is still buoyancy in other industries: buoyancy: the property (as of prices or business activity) of maintaining a satisfactory high level

Expressions & Patterns


22. they are also the routes the biggest inroads: inroad: an injurious intrusion on or into; influence of one party that undermines that of another
be out to: making a determined effort to; to be trying to

Expressions & Patterns


23. Developing countries regard a merchant navy as national airline:

a status symbol: a sign which shows ones high social position

to go for: to try to get

Expressions & Patterns


24. the key tactic behind its strategy of holding on to the richest slice of the trade: hold on to: try to keep; not give or sell to sb. else; hang on to 25. far from being the whole answer to the Third World threat:

far from: not at all


E.g. Your work is far from being satisfactory.

Expressions & Patterns


far from: not at all E.g.

The newspaper account is far from being true (in many points false).
Far from (= instead of ) admiring his paintings, I dislike them intensely.

Expressions & Patterns


26. This demand has found UNCTAD: 1) UNCTAD: The United Nations Conference of Trade and Development

2) find expression in : be expressed by means of E.g. 1. At home, British outrage found expression in news headlines.
2. Growing mutual suspicion found its expression in increased armaments and the preparation of plans for war.

Expressions & Patterns


27. Russia has expanded would justify:

justify: show a satisfactory reason or excuse fro sth. done E.g. 1. A far more serious view was taken of the situation than was justified.
2. The results fully justified my faith. 3. He had justified every expectation.

Expressions & Patterns


28. another one million tons should come into service before 1980. should: Should is used here to indicate probability, likelihood. come into service: begin to serve the public; begin to be used; available E.g. 1. The new type of bus comes into service later this month.
2. The newly-built railway will come into service in a months time.

Expressions & Patterns


29. The name of the game, for Russian ships, is hard currency: the name of the game: (colloquial) the crux of the matter; the thing that really counts: purpose or essence of action etc. E.g. 1. Well, all right, I said, the name of the game is trust: youve got to trust things.

2. In the rough and tumble world of professional basketball, survival is often the name of the game.

Expressions & Patterns


30. there is more to it than that for the Russians: That is more to it than purpose of the Russians. The Russians have other purposes as well.
E.g. The former allies are now sworn enemies. But there was more to it than that: Vietnam has become Soviet Russias pawn in Southeast Asia.

E.g. He turned and went out, cursing his own stupidity. And yet as he walked towards the barn, he knew in his heart that there was more to it than that. E.g. There is more to the vote than approval of the canal treaties.

Expressions & Patterns


31. this is also part of a general Soviet hydrographic policy to map the oceans of the world:
hydrographic policy: a plan to study and map the oceans with reference to their navigational and commercial uses 32. How can Western shipowners react if they did the same:

40%

Expressions & Patterns


33. There is a limit, of course, to what any British government can do on its own: limit: line or point that may not or cannot be passed; greatest or smallest amount, degree, etc. of what is possible
E.g.

1. We must set a limit to the expense of the trip. 2. His greed knows no limits. 3. Are there no limits to your tolerance? 4. So far, it achieved only limited success. 5. They would surely fight if pushed to the limit.

Expressions & Patterns


34. on ones own: (colloquial) by ones own effort or on ones own initiative; by itself
E.g. 1. She lives on her own.

2. Hes working on his own.

Expressions & Patterns


35. churn out: (informal) produce a large quantity of sth; produce in quantity without quality; produce in a regular flow without much thought or expression, usually with some abundance
E.g.

This factory churns out lots and lots of cars a day.

Expressions & Patterns


36. Smaller shipping lines do not have the resources to diversify:

diversify: expand (a business, line of products, etc.) by increasing the variety of things produced or of operations undertaken

Exercises
The following words are initials or acronyms formed from the first letters of a series of words. Write out the full forms for the following and put them into Chinese: Model:
1)UNCTAD---United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 2)EEC---European Economic Community

Exercises
English
NATO-North Atlantic Treaty Organization OAS-Organization of American States OAU-Organization of African Unity ASEAN-Association of Southeast Asian Nations OPEC-Organization of Petroleum exporting Countries

Chinese () () ()

Exercises
English
SALT-Strategic Arms Limitation Talks UNESCO-United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Chinese

M.I.T-Massachusetts Institute of Technology


BBC-British Broadcasting Corporation V.I.P-very important person

Exercises
English
GMT-Greenwich mean time

Chinese

GNP-gross national product KGB-(Committee of State ()


Security)

ICBM-Inter-continental ballistic missile


Laser-light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation

Radar-radio detecting and ranging

Exercises
Replace the italicized words or expressions with idiomatic, colloquial expressions from the text:
1. Nowadays, happenings in that country are given prominence in the papers. ( grab the headlines )

2. In many regions of the world, the old colonial powers were being pushed out by the late comers--- Germany and the United States. ( were being elbowed out ) 3. The Saudis pressed for a larger share of the profits made by the big American oil consortium in Saudi Arabia.
( the lions share )

Exercises
4. The company expects to get profit from the new oilfields. ( cash in on )

5. John D. Rockefeller made a great deal of money almost overnight in the great oil boom in California.

made a big killing

6. Nixon was considered a tough guy, having passed through six political crises safely. ( having weathered )

Exercises
7. Many Western economists do not agree that another energy crisis will come in the near future.
( is around the corner ) 8. The writer constantly felt the hardships caused by poverty in his late year. ( the pinch of poverty )

9. Since British companies invested large sums of money in the scheduled liner-freight services, they did not suffer so much as Norway and Greece in the depression. ( big )

Exercises
10. Some smaller bankers had to admit defeat in the cutthroat competition among banks. ( throw in the towel )

11. It is a loss that can never be compensated. ( made up )

12. Very often depression in one area of economy quickly affects other economic sectors. ( a slump )

Exercises
Translate the following into English (Chinese on Page 248)
1. Oil is the vital lifeline of the national economy in many Middle Eastern countries. 2. The Third World countries are bent on developing their industries independently. 3. Some Western countries were afraid that the oilproducing countries would drive them out of business by undercutting them.

Exercises
4. The British government promised to put up the money needed to solve the problem of unemployment. 5. Saudi Arabias proved reserves of oil are by far the greatest in the world. 6. The Chinese people stood the test of the Cultural Revolution. 7. These veteran soldiers have all weathered the test of may battles during the Second World War.

Exercises
8. We are still a long way from the goal of the four modernizations. 9. Many scientists and technicians are out to learn foreign languages so as to be able to read first-hand reference materials.
10. The U.S. Congress ratified the treaty, thus bringing it into force at once.

Exercises
11. A new telegraph building will be completed and put into service soon.

12. Iraqs expansionism was under attack from the press all over the world. 13. The military expenditures of that country increase at a rate of 4% to 5% every year.

The End