What makes us late? 你為什麼會遲到?

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詞彙:punctuality 守時

As the saying goes, 『time waits for no man』. Time is always against us, and we just can’t stop it. Maybe that’s why some of us are always running late for appointments. But if timekeeping is not what you’re good at, don’t stress. There might be a good reason for your lack of punctuality.

People’s attitudes to being on time vary. Some clock-watch and make sure they’re bang on time for a meeting. It is, after all, rude to be late, and if you can make it on time, why can’t everyone else? But if, like me, you want to make every second count, you might try to squeeze as much as you can into the time you have available. However, when your schedule doesn’t run to plan, your punctuality inevitably slips.

People who lack promptness have been described as 『time benders』. Author Grace Pacie told the BBC that 「they’re the people who don’t want to be late, but they have a strange resistance to being early, and they don’t allow enough time.」 They assume their journey to an appointment will always go smoothly, and the train will always be on time!

Perceptions of unpunctual people are almost always negative – even if sometimes wrong. Writing for the BBC, Laura Clarke says: 「Being consistently late might not be your fault. It could be your type. The punctually-challenged often share personality characteristics, such as optimism, low levels of self-control, anxiety, or a penchant for thrill-seeking, experts say. It is also possible people are late so not to be conspicuous and to avoid the anxious wait for others to turn up.

Maybe us latecomers should make more of an effort and follow the advice I heard to not 『try’ to be on time but 『decide’ to be on time. But I know if a meeting or a deadline really matters, then I’ll be there. Otherwise relax, even if others are cursing you!

詞彙表

time waits for no man 時不我待
running late 遲到
timekeeping 守時
be on time 準時
clock-watch 不停地看表
bang on time 非常準時,正好準時
make every second count 爭分奪秒
schedule 日程安排表
promptness 準時,及時
time bender 「彎曲時間的人」,總想在有限時間內做過多的事,從而導致經常遲到的人
unpunctual 不準時的
punctually-challenged 不守時的人
penchant 傾向
conspicuous 顯眼的
latecomer 遲到的人
deadline 截止日期,最後期限

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What do people who are often late try to do with their time?

2. True or false? According to the article, unpunctual people always have a negative attitude.

3. Why might someone not want to be on time at a meeting?

4. According to some advice, what should latecomers do instead of just trying to be on time?

5. What does author Grace Pacie think time benders have a resistance to?

2. 選擇意思恰當的單字或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. After her boss warned her about her _______, she’s been early for every meeting.

timekeeping                latecomer                    clock-watching             deadline

2. I felt very _______ in the office because I was the only one wearing a suit!

resistant                      conspicuous                perception                    punctual

3. I was _______ for my flight departure only to find it was cancelled!

banging time               bang in time                bang on time                banging on time

4. According to the _______, there should be a bus leaving in ten minutes.

punctuality                  schedule                      promptness                 deadline

5. Roy is _______, so let’s go ahead and watch the film. He can catch up later.

running later               late running                 running late                  ran late

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. What do people who are often late try to do with their time?
They want to squeeze as much as they can into the time available.

2. True or false? According to the article, unpunctual people always have a negative attitude.
False. Perceptions of unpunctual people are almost always negative even if sometimes wrong. 

3. Why might someone not want to be on time at a meeting?
Some people are late to a meeting so not to be conspicuous and avoid the anxious wait for others to turn up.

4. According to some advice, what should latecomers do instead of just trying to be on time?
Instead of trying to be on time, they should decide to be on time.

5. What does author Grace Pacie think time benders have a resistance to?
Grace Pacie says 「they have a strange resistance to being early and they don’t allow enough time.」

2. 選擇意思恰當的單字或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. After her boss warned her about her timekeeping, she’s been early for every meeting.

2. I felt very conspicuous in the office because I was the only one wearing a suit!

3. I was bang on time for my flight departure only to find it was cancelled!

4. According to the schedule, there should be a bus leaving in ten minutes.

5. Roy is running late, so let’s go ahead and watch the film. He can catch up later.