The last time I watched television was the General Election. The time before that, the Eurovision Song Contest. I have worked out that, for me, watching television is almost as expensive as going to the cinema. Here is what I did: I counted the number of hours I spend in front of the box each year. Then I calculated how much an hour’s television cost (the price of my television license divided by the hours). On average, an hour at the cinema costs less.
On the other hand, if I count the number of hours I spend listening to the radio, I am glad that I don’t have to buy a license for it, or pay by the hour. My radio is on nearly all the time at home. Someone once said ‘You get better pictures on the radio.’ and they were right. When I hear a drama or comedy programme, I create the faces, costumes, special effects and scenery myself. No television producer can create a different programme for each viewer.
There is another advantage to radio and you can try this yourself. Sometimes you can write to a television company and get a transcript of a programme. This is a booklet with everything the people say in the programme (It is not the same as a script). Read one with a stopwatch to time you. How long does it take to read the transcript of a 45-minute documentary? Now read a radio transcript.
Nine times out of ten the radio one is longer, even though the programmes are the same length.
I can put the radio on and do other things while I listen, but if I watch television I always have to keep looking in one direction. When I am repairing my bicycle, feeding the plants or cooking I prefer to have my eyes on my work. Radio works just as well with my eyes shut so I can listen to it when I’m tired.
This is also why the Walkman was more successful than the Watchman. The Watchman was a small, hand-held, black-and-white television from twenty years ago. I don’t know how many of them the company sold but I never saw anyone carrying one in the street. Maybe they all walked into lampposts and ended up in hospital.
True or false?
1. I spend a lot of time in front of the television.
2. I prefer radio to television.
3. I look at pictures when I listen to the radio.
4. You should always read a transcript when you watch television.
5. Television documentaries usually don’t have as many words as radio documentaries.
6. A Walkman is different from a Watchman.
7. More people bought Walkmans than Watchmans.
1 – F, 2 – T, 3 – F, 4 – F, 5 – T, 6 – T, 7 – T.
These people come from the world of radio and television. What do they do?
1. a host
2. an extra
3. a correspondent
4. a continuity announcer
5. a contestant
a) presents a game show (a quiz), chat show or talk show
b) tries to win on a game show
c) gives information about the next programme
d) gives a news story from another part of the world
e) appears in the background or in a crowd and doesn’t say anything
1 – a, 2 – e, 3 – d, 4 – c, 5 – b.
General Election – wybory powszechne
work out that – obliczyć, że
television license – abonament telewizyjny
divided by – podzielone przez
on average – przeciętnie
On the other hand – z drugiej strony
I am glad that – cieszę się, że
scenery – dekoracje
television producer – realizator
advantage – przewaga
special effects – efekt specjalny
booklet – broszurka
to time someone/something – zmierzyć czas
stopwatch – stoper
length – długość have/keep my eyes on – patrz na
successful – udany
hand-held – podręczny
to end up in hospital – trafić do szpitala
in front of the box
= watching television
nine times out of ten
= most of the time
from twenty years ago
= twenty years old
polecane: Pierwszy Polak połknął elektroniczną pigułkę