When it comes to the slowing economy, Ellen Spero isn’t biting her nails just yet. But the 47yearold manicurist isn’t cutting, filing or polishing as many nails as she’d like to, either. Most of her clients spend ＄12 to ＄50 weekly, but last month two longtime customers suddenly stopped showing up. Spero blames the softening economy. “I’m a good economic indicator”, she says. “I provide a service that people can do without when they’re concerned about saving some dollars.” So Spero is downscaling, shopping at middle brow Dillard’s department store near her suburban Cleveland home, instead of Neiman Marcus. “I don’t know if other clients are going to abandon me, too,” she says.
All of this caused a crisis of confidence. Americans stopped taking prosperity for granted. They began to believe that their way of doing business was failing, and that their incomes would therefore shortly begin to fall as well. The mid 1980s brought one inquiry after another into the causes of America’s industrial decline. Their sometimes sensational findings were filled with warnings about the growing competition from overseas.
动词是各种变化最明显的体现，它可以表明文中所述情况的变化、作者态度的变化以及情感的变化等。本段文字中，先不看其它文字，只看这些关键的动词“caused”、“stopped”、“began to believe”、“begin to fall”、“decline”就可以表明这是一种由好到坏或由坏到好的变化，再结合其他部分可以更加肯定这一点，因为文中所述正是关于美国经济引发的一场信任危机，以及这场危机给人们带来的情感及经济方面的变化。
Even before Alan Greenspan’s admission that America’s red hot economy is cooling, lots of working folks had already seen signs of the slowdown themselves. From car dealerships to Gap outlets, sales have been lagging for months as shoppers temper their spending. For retailers, who last year took in 24 percent of their revenue between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the cautious approach is coming at a crucial time. Already, experts say, holiday sales are off 7 percent from last year’s pace. But don’t sound any alarms just yet. Consumers seem only mildly concerned, not panicked, and many say they remain optimistic about the economy’s long term prospects even as they do some modest belt tightening.
在阅读理解Part A部分经常会遇到表明作者态度的题，同样，在Part B部分如果能明确把握作者的态度对解题也很关键，而形容词是最能体现作者态度的关键词。以此段为例，前半部分都是关于美国经济不景气的描述，如果只看到这些，一定会认为下文也应该是一些消极方面的描述。但其实本段的关键在后面，消费者的“only mildly concerned”和“not panicked”以及最明显的一个形容词“optimistic”都与前面的情况形成鲜明的对比，表明了作者的态度。如果在此段后设题进行选择，考生就不得不考虑这些因素了。