Our world is filled with sounds we never hear. The human auditory(听觉的) range is limited to begin with: if we could hear sounds lower than 20 vibrations per second, we would be driven mad by the rumblings and creakings of our muscles, intestines and heartbeats; every step we take would sound like an explosion. But even with our auditory range we select, focus, pay attention to a few sounds and blot out the rest. We are so assaulted(困扰) by sound that we continually "turn off". But in the process we shut out the glorious symphony(交响乐) of sound in which the living world is bathed.
The sound tormented city dweller who habitually "turns off his audio" loses a dimension of social reality. Some people, for example, possess the ability to enter a crowded room and from the sounds encountered know immediately the mood, pace and direction of the group assembled. Everything becomes more real when heard as well as seen. It is, in fact, quite hard really to know a person by sight alone, without hearing his voice. And it is not just the sound of the voice that informs.
Even the rhythm of footsteps reveals age and variations of mood—delight, depression, anger, joy.
Hearing can also soothe and comfort. The snapping of logs in the fireplace, the gossipy whisper of a broom, the inquisitive wheeze of a drawer opening—all are savored sounds that make us feel at home. In a well loved home, every chair produced a different, recognizable creak, every window a different click, groan or squeak. The kitchen by itself is a source of many pleasing sounds. Every place, every event has a sound dimension.
The sense of hearing can perhaps be restored to modern man if he better understands its worth and how it works. Most people would be surprised to discover how far the sense can be pushed by cultivation. At a friend's house recently, my wife opened her purse and some coins spilled out, one after another, onto the floor. "Three quarters, two dimes, a nickels and three pennies," said our host as he came in from the next room. And as an after thought: "One of the quarters is silver." He was right, down to the last penny "How did you do it?" we asked. "Try it yourself." he said.
We did, and with a little practice we found it easy.
Curiously, evidence indicates that people need sound. When we are lost in thought, we involuntarily drum with our fingers or tap with a pencil—a reminder that we are still surrounded by a world outside ourselves. Just cutting down reflected sound can produce some odd results. The nearest thing on earth to the silence of outer space, for example, is the "anechoic chamber" at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in Burray Hills, N.J., which is lined with material that absorbs 99.98% of all reflected sound. Men who have remained in the room for more than an hour report that they feel nervous and out of touch with reality.
1.According to Paragraph One. Why do we blot out the sounds we don't want to hear?
2.The writer believes that the rhythm of our footsteps changes as
3.How many different kinds of sounds are mentioned in Paragraph 3?
4.What's the main idea of Paragraphs 4 and 5?
5.The whole passage tells us that by ignoring most of the sound around us we miss much that could give us