Read the text below and answer Questions 1-6.
SENTINELS OF SLANDER
Gossip is the art of putting two and two together to make five. If all persons knew what others said of them behind their back, there would be no friends left in the world.
The spiteful gossip has plenty of spare time but little consideration. However, he possesses a remarkable ability to spread any information that he has come by.
A close look at the gossip reveals that he is malicious, imprudent and murders reputations with his tattling tongue. He is oblivious of the fact that even to throw a malicious hint is to stab a reputation. Reputation is important. It matters to an individual. Character is what we really are. Reputation is what people think of us. Richard Steels says, ”Fire and sword are but slow engines of destruction in comparison with the babbler.”
Another characteristic of the gossip is that he is a perfect combination of an empty head and an ever-wagging tongue. The Chinese have a saying that the tongue is only three inches long, yet it can ”kill” a man six feet high.
Rumour-mongering is an affection common to most men and women. A German thinker singled out women as worse gossips. Personally, I disagree with him because i have known male gossips whose tongues virtually drip with delicious, colourful stories, especially about their female neighbours.
Of all quirks of human nature, rumour-mongering is the one that has caused maximum heartbreaks and disappointments. It has sullied untold reputations and has played havoc with the reputation of innumerable girls.
The gossip delights in leaking the ”inside story”. Whenever he stumbles upon a piece of gossip value, he visits a friend and whispers, ”Have you heard?” And out tumbles an imaginary but spicy story.
A story-teller kills two birds with one stone: he assume importance by showing off his acquaintance with the intimate details of other people’s lives, and at the same time makes others look stupid on account of their ignorance. He has a sick but highly fertile imagination. He tries to embroider every bit of news and dramatise every event. Plain truth is unpalatable to him.
The gossip is a messenger of defamation. On its back rides slander. It blows away the soundness of reason and judgment. As it rolls on its way, it gathers more momentum and malice. It seldom goes waste as some vicious tongue repeats it. It is a pipe blown by surmises and conjectures which becomes a general clamour! Nip it on the lip.
Choose the most appropriate option and write it in the given space.
- According to Richard steel, a babbler
- should use fire and swords in causing damage
- is as powerful as fire and sword in causing damage
- is more powerful than fire and sword in causing
- cannot be compared to fire and sword
- How can a three inch tongue ‘kill’ a man six feet high?
- it leaks out inside stories about people
- it is an engine of destruction for people
- it drips with delicious, colourful stories about people
- it ruins the reputation of people
- How can we identify a gossip monger?
- he/she likes to spread untrue stories about people
- he/she kills two birds with one stone
- he/she knows all the inside stories about people
- he/she likes to retell stories about people
- What is typical of a gossip’s inside stories?
- they are true but slightly exaggerated
- the are spiteful and untrue
- they are about special moments in people’s lives
- they are true but highly exaggerated
- If slander is not “nipped on the lip” it can
- spread from the lip to the tongue
- destroy someone’s social standing
- become an entertaining but harmless story
- make a person quite popular in society
- The word ‘sullied’ (Paragraph 6) means
- appeared silly
- spread widely
- exposed completely
- spoiled fully