1. What is Henry Ford's greatest achievement?
2. Why did Henry Ford's cars become cheaper every year?
3. How quickly were new cars made on Henry Ford's production line from 1908 till 1927? Plot the figures on a graph.
4. Do you know why all Model T's were black?
5. What did Henry Ford mean by saying that one could have any color they want, as long as it was black?

1. Why would no other day be right for Cromer?
2. How big was Cromer's cabin?
3. What does the phrase 'Men
were working in the factory' mean in comparison to the phrase 'Men worked in the factory' and 'The men were working in the factory'?
4. Why does the author use the phrase 'I
have been looking for you' but not ' have looked for you' nor ' looked for you'?
5. Are blueprints used nowadays? Why not?
6. Why do you think Mr Ford took Cromer for an insurance company agent?



1. What does the phrase I'm not selling anything mean in comparison to the phrase  I do not sell anything?
2. What kind of device was the round instrument? Was it a speedometer? What was it if not one?
3. Say any word first in a low, then in a gentle, and in a soft voice afterwards.
4. Why did Cromer want Mr Ford not to build his cars on a production line?

1. What does the phrase Cromer had never eaten an orange mean in comparison to the phrase Cromer never ate the orange?
2. Does the phrase Cromer hurried
towards it mean that he intended to come into the shop right away?
3. Why do you think Cromer stayed outside the shop and watched the two people inside?



1. What does the phrase You have to believe that mean in comparison to the phrase You must believe that?
2. What people do you think Mr Statham imply by the phrase That's where
the people are, not down here in Florida.
3. Why did the woman have tears in her eyes?
4. What did Cromer want to do by watching the woman as she walked away?
5. Finish this episode.

1. What does the word sick mean in this passage: worry, tired, nauseated, or ill?
2. What difference is between the words
silver and silvery?
3. What does the phrase You have been into the past ... mean in comparison to the phrase You were into the past...?
4. What do you think happened to Cromer?
5. Describe the Time Policepeople.



1. Why do you think changing things in the past, if possible, would be "a crime that cannot be forgiven"? How is it interconnected with both individual and social responsibility and safety?
2. Why was the Statham Model C pink? Was that a joke?
3. What does the phrase Cromer looked at the floor  mean? Does it convey direct or indirect idea of looking at the floor? Which is the switch of the direct/indirect implication?
1. What did the Time Policepeople think Cromer's plan had been? Do you agree or disagree with them?
2. Why did Cromer want to know how he would be punished?
3. What does the phrase It did work mean? How does the verb did function in this phrase?
4. Why does the author use the Past Simple in the phrase Joshua Statham
became rich? but not the Past Perfect Joshua Statham had become rich? ? How would the Past Perfect change the context? Why doesn't the author use the inverted word order for the question?
5. What made Cromer very happy despite his personal failure? What is the message of his plan?
6. How is the neologism hovercopter coined? Give some other examples of futurological neologisms you know. Check this reference entry about the etymology of the word robot and decide if it's a neologism or not. Why? What about the word bot?




1. Do you think this story has a happy end? How would you change the story to have a happy end? Does this story need one?
2. Why did Cromer want to change the past?  Was he aware of the bad and dangerous consequences for himself?
3. What could Cromer have managed to achieve his goal and stay alive?
4. Why do you think people are interested in time machines and time warping?
5. Do you think that some day scientists will make time machines? What would they be used for?

6. What's the message of the story in terms of unmotivated freebie?

Robot - Etymology

A scene from Karel Čapek's 1920 play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), showing three robots

The word robot was introduced to the public by the Czech interwar writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), published in 1920.[38] The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people called robots, though they are closer to the modern ideas of androids, creatures who can be mistaken for humans. They can plainly think for themselves, though they seem happy to serve. At issue is whether the robots are being exploited and the consequences of their treatment.

Karel Čapek himself did not coin the word. He wrote a short letter in reference to an etymology in the Oxford English Dictionary in which he named his brother, the painter and writer Josef Čapek, as its actual originator.[38]

In an article in the Czech journal Lidové noviny in 1933, he explained that he had originally wanted to call the creatures laboři ("workers", from Latin labor) or dělňasi (from Czech dělníci - "workers"). However, he did not like the word, and sought advice from his brother Josef, who suggested "roboti". The word robota means literally "corvée", "serf labor", and figuratively "drudgery" or "hard work" in Czech and also (more general) "work", "labor" in many Slavic languages (e.g.: Slovak, Polish, Macedonian, Ukrainian, archaic Czech). Traditionally the robota was the work period a serf (corvée) had to give for his lord, typically 6 months of the year. The origin of the word is the Old Church Slavonic rabota "servitude" ("work" in contemporary Bulgarian and Russian), which in turn comes from the Indo-European root *orbh-.[39] Serfdom was outlawed in 1848 in Bohemia, so at the time Čapek wrote R.U.R., usage of the term robota had broadened to include various types of work, but the obsolete sense of "serfdom" would still have been known.[40] It is not clear from which language Čapek took the radix "robot(a)". This question is not irrelevant, because its answer could help to reveal an original Čapek´s conception of robots. If from the modern Czech language, the notion of robot should be understood as an „automatic serf“ (it means a subordinated creature without own will). If from e.g. Slovak (Karel Čapek and his brother were frequent visitors of Slovakia which in this time was a part of Czechoslovakia, because their father MUDr. Antonín Čapek from 1916 worked as a physician in Trenčianske Teplice.[41]), the word robot would simply mean a „worker“ which is a more universal and neutral notion. The aspect of pronunciation probably also played a role in Čapek's final decision: In non-Slavic languages it is easier to pronounce the word robot than dělňas or laboř.

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