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Lesson 5

The facts

确切数字

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[00:01.23]
  • Lesson 5
  • [00:03.22]
  • The facts
  • [00:10.71]
  • What was the consequence of the editor's insistence on facts and statistics?
  • [00:17.43]
  • Editors of newspapers and magazines often go to extremes
  • [00:22.72]
  • to provide their readers with unimportant facts and statistics.
  • [00:27.59]
  • Last year a journalist had been instructed by a well-known magazine
  • [00:32.85]
  • to write an article on the president's palace in a new African republic.
  • [00:38.53]
  • When the article arrived,
  • [00:40.34]
  • the editor read the first sentence and then refused to publish it.
  • [00:45.66]
  • The article began:
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  • Hundreds of steps lead to the high wall which surrounds the president's palace.'
  • [00:53.68]
  • The editor at once sent the journalist a fax
  • [00:57.50]
  • instructing him to find out the exact number of steps and the height of the wall
  • [01:03.80]
  • The journalist immediately set out to obtain these important facts,
  • [01:09.05]
  • but he took a long time to send them.
  • [01:11.72]
  • Meanwhile,the editor was getting impatient, for the magazine would soon go to press.
  • [01:18.07]
  • He sent the journalist two more faxes,but received no reply.
  • [01:24.32]
  • He sent yet another fax informing the journalist
  • [01:27.71]
  • that if he did not reply soon he would be fired.
  • [01:32.24]
  • When the journalist again failed to reply,
  • [01:35.92]
  • the editor reluctantly published the article as it had originally been written.
  • [01:42.11]
  • A week later,the editor at last received a fax from the journalist.
  • [01:47.77]
  • Not only had the poor man been arrested, but he had been sent to prison as well.
  • [01:53.44]
  • However,he had at last been allowed to send a fax in which he informed the editor
  • [01:59.24]
  • that he had been arrested while counting the 1,084 steps
  • [02:04.73]
  • leading to the 15 foot wall which surrounded the president's palace.
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