archaic [axkeik] adj.
If something is archaic, it is very old or outdated.
-* To be competitive, we must update our archaic equipment.
benevolent [banevslant] adj.
If someone is benevolent, they are kind and generous.
—►My father was a benevolent man and gave lots of money to charity.
brass [braes] n.
Brass is a metal that is used to make musical instruments and ornaments.
-+ Brass is used to make musical instruments like trumpets.
capitalism [kaepitalizam] n.
Capitalism is an economic system where private companies make goods for profit.
—►Most industries in the world today are based on capitalism.
component [kampounant] n.
A component is a part of a larger machine.
-*■ Computers have many different components, so they are complicated to build.
dependence [dipendans] n.
Dependence is a situation in which somebody relies on something else.
—►Young children have a dependence on their parents.
diminish [dammij] *
To diminish means to reduce or get smaller.
—►As the economy got worse, my savings diminished.
drawback [droibaek] n.
A drawback is a disadvantage.
—►The drawback of having a car is that it is very expensive to maintain.
fad [faed] n.
A fad is something that is popular for a short time.
-* The hula hoop was a fad for a few years, but it soon lost its popularity.
impose [impouz] V.
To impose means to interrupt or force your ideas on other people.
—►He imposes on his wife every morning by expecting her to make breakfast.
managerial [maen8 d3 isrial] adj.
Managerial describes something related to a manager or management.
—*Nancy has a managerial position at the bank.
medieval [mi:dii:vs>l] adj.
If something is medieval, it comes from the period between 650 and 1500 CE.
—*We visited a castle that was built during medieval times.
obsolete [dbsali:t] adj.
If something is obsolete, it is not used anymore because something better exists.
-* Since computers became inexpensive, typewriters have become obsolete.
peninsula [paninsala] n.
A peninsula is a large piece of land that is surrounded by the sea on three sides.
-» The state of Florida is an example of a peninsula.
prestige [presti:^] n.
If a person has prestige, people admire or respect them.
-+ The young actress gained much prestige after she won an award.
proportion [prapo:/Jan] n.
A proportion is an amount that shows the link between the parts and the whole.
—►Only a small proportion of the people in this town actually work here.
radical [r^dikal] adj.
If something is radical, it is very new or different.
-* The president is planning to make some radical changes to the law.
refute [nfju:t] v.
To refute something means to prove that it is false or incorrect.
-+ The bank manager has refuted the claims that he lied to his customers.
Spectacular [spektaekjalar] adj.
If something is spectacular, it looks or sounds very impressive.
-» There was a spectacular fireworks display in the park at New Year.
weave [wi:v] v.
To weave means to make cloth using horizontal and vertical threads.
-* We saw a woman weave a blanket on our vacation to South America.
The Weaving Machine
Mr. Joseph Franklin invented a machine that could weave cloth. It wove faster and straighter
than anyone could weave by hand. He decided to take it to two cities on a peninsula, Netherton
and Wilton. In these cities, a large proportion of the people worked in weaving. Joseph felt
sure he could sell his machine there.
Joseph first took his machine to the mayor of Netherton. “Think of the money you will
earn from this machine!” Joseph said to him.
But the mayor was a benevolent man. He knew about the people’s dependence on weaving
for their livelihood. If he bought the machine, the people would lose their jobs. So he refused
to buy it.
Joseph said, “We are no longer in the medieval age! Soon everything will be made by
machines. Cloth made by hand will soon be obsolete. If you don’t change your archaic ways,
your town’s income will diminish!”
But the mayor said, “I don’t like capitalism. Don’t impose your radical ideas on my town.
So Joseph took his machine to the mayor at Wilton. This mayorthought Joseph’s machine
was spectacular and spent a long time looking at its different components made of brass.
The mayor couldn’t refute the fact that the machine had drawbacks that would affect the
people’s jobs. But he realized the machine could bring money and prestige. So he ordered
Joseph to build twenty of them.
Within a year, Wilton was a wealthy city, famous for its wonderful cloth. People no longer
wove but worked in managerial jobs at cloth factories instead. Nobody bought the cloth from
Netherton anymore. The people of Netherton became poor and hungry.
Finally, the mayor of Netherton called Joseph and said, “Now I
realize that your machine is not just a passing fad. To succeed
in business, we must be willing to change.” He then ordered
twenty weaving machines.
After that, both Netherton and Wilton became rich cities,
famous throughout the land for their wonderful cloth.