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Then and Now

Correct the mistakes in this article about the changes of the last 100 years.

Then and now – 100 years ago

The text below contains some mistakes. Fifteen of the words in bold are incorrect, and five are correct. Decide which are incorrect, and correct them.

Do you know in what year Antarctic explorers first reached the South Pole? Or when the ship Titanic was launched? Or, in a dark warning of things to come, bombs were dropped from an aircraft for the first time?

The answer in each (1) cast is 1911: one hundred years ago. The Titanic was launched in Belfast, (2) North Ireland, on 31st May 1911 (and less than a year later, in April 1912, would sink in the north Atlantic after hitting an (3) icebig, with the loss of more than 1,500 lives); the bombs (small (4) hand-hold ones) were dropped on 1st November over what is now Libya, by the Italian pilot of an early propeller-driven aircraft during the ‘Libyan War’ between Italy and Turkey; and the explorers who struggled to the South Pole were a five-man, all-Norwegian team, led by Roald Amundsen, who finally reached their (5) destiny on 14th December.

It goes without saying that life in 1911 was very different from today. Much of the technology that would have a big (6) pact on people’s lives in the 20th century did not yet exist: television and (7) jet engines are just two examples. Motor cars and radio (or ‘wireless telegraphy’, as it was called then) had been invented, but the (8) form were a rare sight outside major cities and the (9) later was still unknown to most people. As for the telephone, hardly any homes had one, even in the most (10) developed countries.

In 1911 there were also far fewer people: the global population was around 1.8 billion, in comparison with more than 6.9 billion today. The world’s most (11) populise city was London, Britain, with around 7 million people; today it is Tokyo, Japan, with more than 30 million.

In almost all parts of the world, people are generally healthier now than they were one hundred years ago. In both the United States and Britain, for example, average life (12) expect today is around 80 years; but in 1911 it was only just over 50 (due mainly to the far higher (13) proportion of people who died from illnesses before that age).

The political map of the world in 1911 was very different from that of today. Particularly in Africa and Asia, many of what are now (14) independant countries were colonies in the European (15) imperes, the biggest of which was Britain’s.  (16) Democracy, as we would understand the word today, was a (17) rarity. Only two countries, New Zealand and Finland, had elections in which all adults – men and women – were able to vote.

Because so many (18) pects of modern life would probably seem (19) miraculess to those who were alive in 1911, it can come as a surprise to realise how few (20) gerations separate us from them. For many of us it is the case that our great-grandparents were adults in 1911. The conclusion we might draw is that much of the world our great-grandchildren will experience, in 2111, is unimaginable to us.


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