「Reading Passage 1」
Viewpoint: Air-Conditioning Will Be the End of Us
The essay starts with the author’s personal experience(分析/解读)that he received a reminder that advised people to use AC wisely in the warm weather (内容概要). The message may be the inspiration of the essay(分析/解读), provoking thoughts about Americans’ excessive use of AC (内容概要). Readers should be able to well relate to the issue, since the message must be widespread among New Yorkers (分析/解读). One of the highlights is the emphasis put on “wisely”, and although the irony is implicit (分析/解读), it is apparent that Americans, at least in New York City, use AC irresponsibly (内容概要). The other highlight is the author’s sarcasm(分析/解读) at the end of the paragraph. Pointing out the present increased and lavish use of AC(内容概要), the author is rather blunt(分析/解读) as he deems using AC as a “dumb” solution to the climate change(内容概要). This provocative word has an intent that readers may be stimulated to read(分析/解读).
In Paragraph 4, the author deliberately exaggerates about the excessive use of AC in New York. In the description, the hyperbole—the diction of “igloos” and “artic air”—is yet accurate. The author then deems this way of using AC “suicidal”, and the intimidating word may be an effective warning and deterrent. To further warn New Yorkers of the consequences of continuing using AC irresponsibly, the author makes an analogy in which the likely restraint on the use of AC is compared to the ban on big sodas. Since New Yorkers defied the big soda ban, they would also resist the government’s nanny-state interference with the residents’ use of AC.
「Reading Passage 2」
Raise the Minimum Wage
At the beginning of the essay, the statement that “a last-minute compromise” is to create a hook, which quickly draws readers’ attention, and suggests the difficulty passing the bill has experienced, which is that opponents of the bill, California Chamber of Commerce, deemed the bill “a job killer”. The author is obviously aware of this negative implication and, meanwhile, believes that “the gains clearly offset the costs”, however. At this point, the argument that the minimum wage should be raised is manifested. In the following paragraph, with the history revisited, readers should be aware that California is a pioneer state in giving its workers fair pay and has been making continued efforts. The key point of the bill – at what time how much a worker would be paid – is then introduced, and without knowing the historical numbers, no readers would be persuaded that the bill is reasonable.
The scale of impact of the bill that 3.4 million Californians would be benefited is stated in the third paragraph, as the author quotes the estimate made by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. The author then specifies the populations that particularly need the raise. The raise is apparently significant because the raise would enable those populations—those who need to feed children and mature-age adults—to lead a proper life with some dignity. Further, it is pointed out that the tremendous influence of the raise would be in a different dimension, as 60 percent of occupations are expected to witness the growing percentage of the low-skill jobs.