Solving the Servant Problem
The worlds of science-fiction abound with wonders. Yet modern technology progresses so rapidly that what may be today’s wild dream may be next year’s kitchen appliance. A British scientist has prognosticated that within ten years every suburban matron will have her own robot servant. One task this domesticated automaton will not have to contend with will be scouring the oven because even today the newest ranges can be “programmed” to reduce their own baked-on grime to easily disposed of ashes.
Now that you’ve seen the words used in context, and hopefully have an idea of their meanings, try to use them in the following
sentences. Remember that a word-ending may have to be changed.
1. The mayor refused to __________ as to his margin of victory in the election.
2. The time is approaching when human workers may be replaced by __________.
3. A clever salesman will always ask a __________ if her mother is at home.
4. The western plains used to __________ with bison before those animals were slaughtered by settlers.
5. Man may be freed from backbreaking labor by the products of scientific __________.
Test yourself now by matching the new words with the definitions. If you are not sure of yourself, cover the top half of this page
before you begin.
6. abound ____ a. an older married woman
____ b. branch of knowledge dealing with engineering, applied science, etc.
8. prognosticate ____ c. a robot; a mechanical “person”
9. automaton ____ d. to exist in great numbers
10. matron ____ e. to predict or foretell a future event
a pig in a poke: an item you purchase without having seen; a disappointment
The mail order bicycle that my nephew bought turned out to be a pig in a poke, and he is now trying to get his money back.