英文

A Little English:Viral classes‧3

【明報專訊】PROFESSOR VIRAL sends the class of germs, viruses and bacteria out into the world and monitors their progress as they set to work with great enthusiasm.

''My students are always full of zeal and do their best; they're appreciated by all living things who learn to respect nature.''

''What about humans?'' asks Dr Gene. ''Many people behave as if they don't have ANY respect for nature or your students!''

''Huh, you're just upset because their scientists are now beginning to crack your secret codes!'' teases Professor Viral.

''That's ridiculous!'' replies Dr Gene with a laugh. ''Humans are still a long way off from discovering such mysteries. They haven't even found a cure for the common cold after all these years! It seems that they have the ability to develop their intelligence but not enough wisdom to use it well.''

''Ah, so that's why a human being is the only lifeform that goes into mad panic whenever some of our smarter students strike. An animal, an insect, or a plant simply accepts the challenge and draws on its own resources to overcome the invader. Most become stronger after surviving the encounter.''

''Precisely! Instead of staying calm, many silly humans waste their energy on blaming and fighting each other.''

The two continue to track the progress of the class. It appears that one new virus is a super achiever and has managed to get to all corners of the world in just a short time. This hasn't happened in over a century. The two teachers study the charts and seem a bit shaken.

''Very high hit rates, super stealthy attack mode, targets old and infirm,'' murmurs Dr Gene. ''Looks like this super achiever is dead set on being top of the class ...''

Professor Viral wears a worried frown. ''I'm afraid so. However, too much zeal may cause a backlash and result in even greater imbalance when humans fight back using their arsenal of drugs and hygiene products. By over sanitising an area, friend and foe alike are destroyed; there will be no friendly bacteria left to protect living things.''

''I share your concern but we know these humans have always considered themselves a superior lifeform. They have always acted as if they owned the planet and they need to be brought to their senses.''

■Useful vocabulary

(1) zeal 熱忱 | zealous 狂熱的 | overzealous: too much zeal | a zealot 狂熱分子

(2) super 超級 | superior 更高級的 | sense of superiority 優越感 | a superior 上司

(3) to achieve 達到 | achievement 成就 | a super achiever 超水準表現者 | star pupil 精英學生 | top of the class 全班第一

Text: A Lamb

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