Экзаменационный (типовой) материал ЕГЭ / Английский / 10 задание / 55

1.  A good source of information

2.  From elitist knowledge to democratic usage

3.  The revival of letter writing

4.  A beautiful tradition lost

5.  Making it quick and efficient

6.  The victory of technology

7.  Beauty is forever

8.  As long as you can write on it!


A. There is something pleasant about receiving a handwritten letter from a friend. It is also very enjoyable to write a letter  — choosing the paper and envelope, writing with a favourite pen, and the satisfying closure of licking the envelope and putting on a stamp. Unfortunately, since the widespread use of email, not many people write and send letters any more. The history of letter writing, however, is very interesting.

B. Before the invention of the postal service, letters were delivered on foot by couriers. The ancient Greeks used athletic runners for that. Later, horses were used because they were faster and could be changed at various stations. The Romans developed this system into a postal service. The Latin word 'positus' meant carriers, and that is where the English word 'post' comes from.

C. The material of letter writing has changed over time. Originally, people wrote on clay tablets. Later the Egyptians started using papyrus, a plant that grows in the river. The English word 'paper' comes from this plant. In the West, paper was produced from animal skins. In medieval times, the Saxons used the bark of the beech tree, called bok. This is where the English word 'book' comes from.

D. Literacy has had a big effect on letter writing: if you can't read you can't write letters! Before the 15t century letter writing was restricted to governments, the church, and the aristocracy. After the invention of the printing press that made books cheaper, literacy was greatly increased. Ordinary people started writing letters and it became the most popular and the only way of long distance communication until the invention of the telegraph in 1837.

E. Much of what we know of the lives of people long dead comes from personal letters. Certainly books have provided historical information about the Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, but much of what we know of daily life from these periods comes from letters. Modern biographers get most of their information about the famous people they are writing about from their correspondence.

F. In the 18th and 19th centuries, letter writing was considered an art and essential part of life. People wrote not only to keep in touch but also as a method of literary expression, as a work of art, and conformed to conventions of etiquette and form. Literary figures wrote letters knowing that they would be read in the future by historians, and one day might be published. There were even novels consisting of a series of letters, known as the epistolary novel.

G. Even after the telephone became a common fixture in homes, people continued to write letters. What killed the letter was the widespread use of email, and the development of texting and chatting on social media. This type of communication holds many advantages. You don't need to worry about the hassle of paper, envelopes, stamps, and going to the mailbox. It is also possible to get an instant reply.

Ответ: A B C D E F G

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