The more sensible youth of today 明智的當代年輕人

Are this generation the most sensible yet? Find out in this Take Away English.
A younger, more sensible generation?

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這樣的情景已經屢見不鮮:老一輩的人表示自己難以理解下一代人的行為和觀念。但有研究表明,新一代年輕人的行為其實要比上一輩更加明智。這具體指的是年輕人的哪些行為呢?造成這一趨勢的原因可能有哪些?跟隨《隨身英語》了解不同時代的人在觀念和行為上的變遷。

Vocabulary: generations and characteristics 詞彙: 各代人的特點

 ‘Kids these days, eh?’ Three simple words that try to summarise many a misunderstanding across a generational divide. On one side, the older generation – stuffy, antiquated, and oppressive. On the other, the younger generation – rebellious, ignorant and disobedient, and lacking in self-control. Or at least that’s what popular stereotypes would have us believe. That said, every generation is different in one way or another to the next. But if recent figures are anything to go by, juveniles may actually be improving upon their elders‘ behaviour.

British 16–24 year olds are drinking less alcohol and smoking less, according to a recent report from the UK Office for National Statistics.  From 2005 to 2017 the number of British adolescents and young adults who had drunk alcohol the week prior to being interviewed declined from 60% to 50%. This is mirrored by their consumption of cigarettes, which dropped from 28.5% to 19.9% for the same period. 

One possible reason for this youth’s sagacity could lie in the cultural shift away from these behaviours – something they can thank their forebears for. Campaigns and adverts on the dangers of smoking and drinking have been persevering. For example, the Department of Transport’s Think! campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of drink-driving, or the Department of Health’s Change4Life campaign promoting the benefits of healthy food and exercise. And while, for their predecessors these behaviours may have become ingrained, it seems young people are taking these messages to heart.

Another explanation could be based in youth’s natural delinquency. “Young people are rebelling against the older generations’ chosen methods of rebellion,” says Dr James Nicholls, Director of Research and Policy Development at Alcohol Research UK, speaking to the Guardian. In other words, if the older generation’s method of rebellion from their parents was to drink, smoke and act anti-socially, then their offspring‘s is to refrain.

Whether or not this will continue, only time will tell. As these under-25s go through life, they may buck their current trend, and turn to the behaviour of their ancestors. However, they may stick to their guns and continue to be sensible. If this is indeed the case then a more interesting question arises. How will their youth react? 

詞彙表

generational divide 代溝
stuffy 保守的,一本正經的
antiquated 過時的
oppressive 壓抑的
rebellious 離經叛道的
ignorant 無知的
disobedient 不聽話的
juvenile 青少年
elder 長輩
adolescent (青春期的)青少年
young adult (二十歲前後的)年輕人
sagacity 睿智
cultural shift 文化變遷
forebear 先輩
persevering 長久不懈的
predecessor 上一代人
ingrained 根深蒂固的
delinquency (青少年)違法行為
offspring 後代
buck a trend 逆勢而上
stick to your guns 堅持己見

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How are older generations described by popular stereotypes?

2. How many 16-24 year olds admitted drinking alcohol in 2017?

3. Why is it more difficult for older generations to change their behaviour towards drinking and smoking?

4. What does Dr Nicholls say is the reason for young people’s behaviour today?

5. Which word in the text means ‘to avoid or stop doing something’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. I prefer to write them by hand and send them in the post. It’s ______ but charming.

antiquated       delinquent       ignorant       stuffy

2. This is a meeting! Pay attention and stop distracting people. Don’t be so ______!

young adult       predecessor       offspring       juvenile

3. While the great majority of people have integrated social media into their daily lives, a small minority continue to ______.

duck the trend       buck to trend       tuck the bend       buck the trend

4. Many cultures attempt to teach their youth a reverential respect for their ______.

generational divide       elders       forbearance       preprocessors

5. There has been a ______ in perceptions of a woman’s role – moving away from the traditional.

stuffiness       ignorance        cultural shift       delinquency

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How are older generations described by popular stereotypes?
Older generations are described as stuffy, antiquated, and oppressive.

2. How many 16-24 year olds admitted drinking alcohol in 2017?
50% of 16-24 year olds admitted drinking alcohol in 2017.

3. Why is it more difficult for older generations to change their behaviour towards drinking and smoking?
These behaviours may have become ingrained.

4. What does Dr Nicholls say is the reason for young people’s behaviour today?
‘Young people are rebelling against the older generations’ chosen methods of rebellion.’

5. Which word in the text means ‘to avoid or stop doing something’?
Refrain. If the older generation’s method of rebellion from their parents was to drink, smoke and act anti-socially, then their offspring’s is to refrain.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. I prefer to write them by hand and send them in the post. It’s antiquated but charming.

2. This is a meeting! Pay attention and stop distracting people. Don’t be so juvenile!

3. While the great majority of people have integrated social media into their daily lives, a small minority continue to buck the trend.

4. Many cultures attempt to teach their youth a reverential respect for their elders.

5. There has been a cultural shift in perceptions of a woman’s role – moving away from the traditional.

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