Read the passages and choose the best answer to each question. Answer all questions about a passage on the basis of what is stated or implied in that passage.

Time – 20 minutes

HISTORY OF LANGUAGE

1. In evolutionary history, the development of language set humans apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Spoken language originated when early humans began to string grunts and squeals together to form a sound–meaning system. Language provided humans with the tools to create ideas and then to communicate these ideas to other people.

2. As human knowledge and civilization expanded, a system that stored information became necessary. The first writing systems used pictures to represent objects. These early systems were successful in recording concrete details concerning trade and taxes, but they could not convey abstract ideas and emotions. Between 800 and 500 B.C., the ancient Greeks began to use a phonetic alphabet that used symbols to represent sounds, with each sound making up part of a word. Thus, written language became a means of mass communication.

3. The expansion of humanity from an oral society to one that also used the written word for communication was a defining point in human civilization. Early oral cultures required a tribal mentality with histories defined by family or clan perspectives, but writing allowed a broader, global perspective to emerge.

PAIN

1. Virtually all animals experience pain. Pain is a distress call from the body signaling some damaging stimulus or internal disorder. It is one of the most important sensations because it is translated into a negative reaction, such as withdrawal from danger. Rare individuals who are born without the ability to feel pain may die from such conditions as a ruptured appendix because they are unaware of the danger.

2. Pain receptors are unspecialized nerve fiber endings that respond to a variety of stimuli signaling real or possible damage to tissues. Some groups of pain receptors respond to specific classes of chemicals released from damaged or inflamed tissue. When pain fibers respond to peptides released by injured cells, this is called slow pain. Fast pain responses—for example, a pinprick or hot or cold stimuli—are a more direct response of the nerve endings to mechanical or thermal stimuli.

3. There is no pain center in the cerebral cortex. However, discrete areas have been located in the brain stem where pain messages from various parts of the body terminate. These areas contain two kinds of small peptides, endorphins and enkephalins, which have activity similar to morphine or opium. When these peptides are released, they bind with specific opiate receptors in the midbrain, decreasing the perception of pain.

Glossary:

cerebral cortex: part of the brain that controls high–level functions such as thought and sensation

PRESTIGE

1. Prestige refers to a person’s social standing—the level of respect that other people are willing to show. A person with high prestige is honored or esteemed by other people, while a person with low prestige is disrespected or marginalized. Prestige is a valued resource for people at all levels of a society, and this can be seen among inner–city youth, where to disrespect or “diss” someone has negative consequences. Exactly what qualities are respected will vary from one society to another.

2. In the United States, the top–status occupations are the professions—physicians, lawyers, professors, and clergy—requiring many years of education and training. At the other end of the hierarchy, the lowest prestige is associated with occupations requiring little formal education—for example, bus drivers, sanitation workers, and janitors. Prestige is linked to income, but there are exceptions, such as college professors, who have high prestige but relatively low salaries compared to physicians and lawyers. Conversely, some low–prestige workers receive high union wages and benefits. Criminals are often well rewarded with income and respect in their communities, while politicians—many of whom are wealthy—are frequently less respected than occupations such as secretary and bank teller.

This program and course are copyright of Delta Publishing and have been licensed to Jaime Miller Advising.

No part of this course may be shared, re-used, downloaded without permission.

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