新视野大学英语2读写教程课文原文unit 6 Judge by Appearances
Please listen to a short passage carefully and prepare to answer some questions.
Listen to the tape again. Then answer the following questions with your own experiences.
1) What are some of the ways names can make a difference?
2) In what way can teachers be guilty of name prejudice?
3) What does the writer suggest you do if your name does not suit you?
As His Name Is, So Is He!
For her first twenty-four years, she'd been known as Debbie — a name that didn't suit her good looks and elegant manner. "My name has always made me think I should be a cook," she complained. "I just don't feel like a Debbie."
One day, while filling out an application form for a publishing job, the young woman impulsively substituted her middle name, Lynne, for her first name Debbie. "That was the smartest thing I ever did," she says now. "As soon as I stopped calling myself Debbie, I felt more comfortable with myself... and other people started to take me more seriously." Two years after her successful job interview, the former waitress is now a successful magazine editor. Friends and associates call her Lynne.
Naturally, the name change didn't cause Debbie/Lynne's professional achievement — but it surely helped if only by adding a bit of self-confidence to her talents. Social scientists say that what you're called can affect your life. Throughout history, names have not merely identified people but also described them. " … As his name is, so is he..." says the Bible, and Webster's Dictionary includes the following definition of name: "a word or words expressing some quality considered characteristic or descriptive of a person or a thing, often expressing approval or disapproval." Note well "approval or disapproval". For better or worse, qualities such as friendliness or reserve, plainness or charm may be suggested by your name and conveyed to other people before they even meet you.
Names become attached to specific images, as anyone who's been called "a plain Jane" or "just an average Joe" can show. The latter name particularly bothers me since my name is Joe, which some think makes me more qualified to be a baseball player than, say, an art critic. Yet, despite this disadvantage, I did manage to become an art critic for a time. Even so, one prominent magazine consistently refused to print "Joe" in my by-line, using my first initials, J.S., instead. I suspect that if I were a more refined Arthur or Adrian, the name would have appeared complete.
Of course, names with a positive sense can work for you, even encourage new acquaintances. A recent survey showed that American men thought Susan to be the most attractive female name, while women believed Richard and David were the most attractive for men. One woman I know turned down a blind date with a man named Harry because "he sounded dull". Several evenings later, she came up to me at a party, pressing for an introduction to a very impressive man; they'd been exchanging glances all evening. "Oh," I said. "You mean Harry." She was ill at ease.
Though most of us would like to think ourselves free from such prejudiced notions, we're all guilty of name stereotyping to some extent. Confess: Wouldn't you be surprised to meet a carpenter named Nigel? A physicist called Bertha? A Pope Mel? Often, we project name-based stereotypes on people, as one woman friend discovered while taking charge of a nursery - school's group of four-year olds. "There I was, trying to get a little active boy named Julian to sit quietly and read a book — and pushing a thoughtful creature named Rory to play ball. I had their personalities confused because of their names!"
Apparently, such prejudices can affect classroom achievement as well. In a study conducted by Herbert Harari of San Diego State University, and John McDavid of Georgia State University, teachers gave consistently lower grades on essays apparently written by boys named Elmer and Hubert than they awarded to the same papers when the writer's names were given as Michael and David. However, teacher prejudice isn't the only source of classroom difference. Dr. Thomas V. Busse and Louisa Seraydarian of Temple University found those girls with names such as Linda, Diane, Barbara, Carol, and Cindy performed better on objectively graded IQ and achievement tests than did girls with less appealing names. (A companion study showed girls' popularity with their peers was also related to the popularity of their names — although the connection was less clear for boys.)
Though your parents probably meant your name to last a lifetime, remember that when they picked it they'd hardly met you, and the hopes and dreams they valued when they chose it may not match yours. If your name no longer seems to fit you, don't despair; you aren't stuck with the label. Movie stars regularly change their names, and with some determination, you can, too.