A. Listen and circle the correct answer, a, b, or c.

 What does the woman find irritating?

      a   The man never does the washing-up.

      b   The man leaves dirty dishes on the table.

      c   The man eats so slowly.

 Why does the man regret not going to university?

      a   He would have been able to get a more interesting job.

      b   He would be earning much more money.

      c   He would have enjoyed the experience.

 People who buy the fitness programme _____.

      a   can work out with a personal trainer

      b   get a free set of weights

      c   can consult a trainer if necessary

 What profit did the company make this year?

      a   132 billion pounds.

      b   43 million yen.

      c   550 million pounds.

 What is the woman’s new boss like?

      a   She’s rather arrogant.

      b   She’s quite friendly.

      c   She makes people feel inferior.


1 b   2 c   3 c   4 c   5 c



A   I wish you wouldn’t do that.

B   Do what?

A   Take my plate to the kitchen the minute I’ve finished eating.

B   But I don’t like seeing dirty plates in front of me.

A   Yes, but I feel as if you’re watching me, waiting for me to finish so you can take my plate away. It stresses me out. I can’t enjoy what I’m eating.

B   Well, maybe I wouldn’t if you helped clear the table after the meal!

A   OK, no problem. I’ll do it.


A   Did you go to university?

B   No, but I wish I had. It’s one of the things I really regret. Not so much because of the qualifications, I mean I don’t necessarily think I would have got a better job, although I suppose I might have a slightly higher salary, but it’s more for the people you meet and the extra-curricular things people do, you know the whole ‘university life’ thing. I think I missed out on something by starting work straight after school.


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The Japanese computer company has seen its profits jump in the nine months from April to December, thanks to the popularity of its new games machine. Profits for the period reached 132 billion yen (that’s approximately £550m), which is up 43% on last year. The firm, whose new product was launched in November, said that they had met their target to ship four million units by the end of the year.


A   So what is your new boss like, Karen?

B   Well, at first I thought she was nice, but now I find her a bit patronizing.

A   Sorry, what does ‘patronizing’ mean?

B   Well, a person who’s patronizing is someone who seems to be sort of friendly, but by the way they treat you or speak to you, you know that actually they think they are much better than you are.

A   So like ‘arrogant’ then.

B   Well, not so much ‘arrogant’, more sort of looking down on you.

A   I see.

B. You will hear part of a radio programme about a book called The Surgeon of Crowthorne. Listen and answer the questions.

1   What is the book’s subtitle?

2   Who was W.C. Minor?

3   What did he help to create?

4   What happened when Murray, the editor, went to meet him?

5   What crime had Minor committed?


1   A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Love of Words.

2   An American army surgeon and a millionaire.

3   The Oxford English Dictionary.

4   He found that Minor was living in a hospital for mentally ill criminals.

5   He had shot a man.


I    On the Book programme today John Sampson is going to talk about a book with the rather unpromising title of The Surgeon of Crowthorne. So John, what made you want to read it and what is it really about?

J   Well, you mentioned the title, which it’s true doesn’t sound very exciting, but the book has a subtitle which is A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Love of Words, and that certainly does draw you in. This book is a remarkable account of the life of a man called W.C. Minor. Not a famous name, but as it happens, a quite extraordinary man. William Chester Minor was an American army surgeon and a millionaire. He was also one of the keenest volunteers involved in the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary, or the OED as it is usually called, is one of the largest and most encompassing dictionaries in the world. It took almost 70 years to complete the first epic edition. During those years, thousands of volunteers searched through newspapers, and journals and new and old books to find new words, or new meanings of words. They then sent their findings to the people in Oxford who were working on the dictionary.

W.C. Minor was one of the people who sent in most contributions, and during the 20 years that he collaborated, he developed a friendship with the editor of the OED, the formidable James Murray. But they had never met, as Minor never agreed to travel to Oxford for a meeting, and all that Murray knew was that he lived in the country in Berkshire.

So then in 1896 Murray decided to travel to Berkshire to find this elusive man. To his absolute amazement he found that Minor was a patient in Broadmoor Asylum, a hospital for mentally ill criminals. He turned out to be an educated American gentleman, who had been a surgeon in the Civil War, but who also happened to be a psychopathic killer. He had shot a man in the London streets because he believed, mistakenly and for no reason that anyone could discover, that his victim was Irish and a terrorist who wanted to kill him.

The author is Simon Winchester, and although perhaps his prose style is not always as elegant as it could be, he has found a strange and extraordinary life story and turned it into an intriguing piece of historical detective work. Once you start reading it you can’t put it down.

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