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The Mighty, Mighty Mascots 

Wearing a bright yellow jumpsuit, white face paint, and a long-sleeved red and white shirt, he isn't a new fashion icon. His bright red hair, nose, and mouth make him a natural in his position as the Chief Happiness Officer for the McDonald's Corporation. As the mascot for the company, Ronald McDonald is easily recognized by 96 percent of school children in the US. For the most part, this "spokesclown" is loved, and helps improve company recognition, which in turn, translates into increased profits.

Mascots have existed for thousands of years. Historically, they have been animals that men admired. Native American Indians carved mascots into their totem poles, hoping to attain a cheetah's speed or a bear's strength. Even now, mascots are symbolic of the qualities we would like to possess.

For the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China has chosen mascots known as the Five Friendlies. Each of the four animals (fish, panda, antelope, and swallow) represents a unique athletic ability and offers a special blessing from China to the world. At the center of the group stands Huanhuan the Olympic flame, representing passion for sport and the unity of all nations through the Olympic Games.

In sports, teams treasure their mascots and often view them as lucky charms. In business, mascots are used to attract attention and impact a customer's perception about a company. Fast-food icon Ronald McDonald can attest to this fact.

Recently, Taipei began searching for a mascot. Which animal would best represent this progressive capital city? With its extensive system of underground tunnels and more than two million inhabitants bustling through its streets, offices, and apartments, Taipei's mascot would have to be the busy, intelligent, and hardworking ant.

     
  1.

What do the mascots for the 2008 Olympic Games represent?

       
    (A)

Various athletic attributes and the spirit of the host nation.

    (B) The feeling of competing against yourself to be the best.
    (C) The friendly attitude of the Chinese government.
    (D) The five events that will be held at the 2008 Olympics.
       
  2. Why are mascots important in the world of business?
       
    (A) They can help make products of better quality.
    (B)

They can increase sales as more people identify the company.

    (C) They can make customers laugh and help them relax while watching commercials.
    (D) They can provide customers with someone to speak with when they shop.
       
  3. Which of the following would be an appropriate mascot for a soccer team?
       
    (A)

A fast-rolling ball with feet, a friendly smile, and a love for soccer.

    (B) A plump hamburger-eating clown with the ability to juggle.
    (C) A smart dolphin that is swimming fast.
    (D) A cute little bird that is happily chirping.
       
      translate into   to change something into a new form, especially to turn a plan into reality
           
      attest to   to show something or to say or prove that something is true
           
      bustling   to do things in a hurried and busy way
           
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  Answers : 1) A    2) B    3) A
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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