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    #1

    The reporter's attitude is uncertain?

    In our test paper, there was a comprehension passage where a reporter reported a fat woman, Donna Simpson ate and ate in order to win the title of the world's heaviest woman. The following was the end of the report:

    And after she admitted her real size, e­mails from people poured in. They sent her gifts through the post, expressing their care for her. Donna was not feeling sorry for her goal, though she might risk her own life in the process. However, some have a different voice in Donna’s behavior. They hold that it is more important to do something useful than to become popular. After all, there are so many children faced with the shortage of food throughout the world.


    Test question: The author's attitude towards Donna Simpson would be _________.
    A. negative B. uncertain C. encouraging D. annoying

    The given answer was B.
    But is the reportan uncertain whether Donna Simpson should eat in such a way? How would native speakers answer this question? Could we say the reporter was objective?

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by joham; 13-May-2012 at 08:13. Reason: one sentence added.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The reporter's attitude is uncertain?

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    In our test paper, there was a comprehension passage where a reporter reported a fat woman, Donna Simpson ate and ate in order to win the title of the world's heaviest woman. The following was the end of the report:

    And after she admitted her real size, e*mails from people poured in. They sent her gifts through the post, expressing their care for her. Donna was not feeling sorry for her goal, though she might risk her own life in the process. However, some have a different voice in Donna’s behavior. They hold that it is more important to do something useful than to become popular. After all, there are so many children faced with the shortage of food throughout the world.


    Test question: The author's attitude towards Donna Simpson would be _________.
    A. negative B. uncertain C. encouraging D. annoying

    The given answer was B.
    But is the reportan uncertain whether Donna Simpson should eat in such a way? How would native speakers answer this question? Could we say the reporter was objective?

    Thank you in advance.
    The paragraph you have quoted which gives the contents and attitudes contained in emails from members of the public doesn't help us to understand what the author's attitude towards Donna was. I would expect the rest of the piece to have given a better impression of the author's attitude. The final paragraph gives us the attitudes of some members of the public towards her.

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    #3

    Re: The reporter's attitude is uncertain?

    Many thanks for your help, emsr.
    The whole passage is a news report. And I thought a reporter never openly gives his opinion about the event he reports, he just objectively tells the story and let the readers judge for themselves. We can only say the reporter's attitude is unknown or just objective. My question is whether we can say the reporter's attitude is uncertain.

    Thank you very much again.

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    #4

    Re: The reporter's attitude is uncertain?

    There is some confusion about this, in that case. If the whole piece gives no indication of the author's attitude then there is no correct answer. Personally, I would take "The author's attitude towards the subject is uncertain" to mean that the author is unsure of his/her own attitude and that that information is clear from the piece. I would not take it to mean that WE cannot be certain of the author's attitude because the piece does not give a clear indication of his/her attitude.

    If the reader is unsure of the author's attitude then I would expect the correct answer to be "The author's attitude towards Donna Simpson is unclear [from the piece]."

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