A City Named Google

April 7, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. beneficiary (n.) [ben-uh-fish-ee-er-ee, -fish-uh-ree] – a person or group who receives benefits, profits, or advantages
Example: She was a beneficiary of a Government-funded scholarship.

2. regret (v.) [ri-gret]  – to feel sorry or disappointed about something
Example: She regretted not finishing her project on time.

3. technophobe (n.) [tek-nuh-fohb] – a person who does not like or avoids using new technological devices like computer
Example: My grandfather is a technophobe. He still prefers sending letters through mail.  
4. spokesperson (n.) [spohks-pur-suhn]  – a person who speaks in behalf of another person or a group
Example: The President usually has a spokesperson

Read the text below.

Last year, officials of Topeka, Kansas voted to change its city’s name to Google, Kansas for a month, hoping that Google chooses their city for its high-speed internet project.

But unfortunately, they failed to achieve their purpose.

It was announced on Wednesday that Google has chosen Kansas City, Kansas, a nearby city from Topeka, as the beneficiary of the said project.

After the announcement, it was assumed that Topeka’s mayor Bill Bunten became upset about Google’s decision and that he regretted changing his city’s name to Google. But it turns out, he really is not.

Bunten, who described himself as a technophobe, sees no big difference in being able to access information in 10 or one second and he even jokes that he doesn’t mind living a life moving slowly.

He never assumed that changing its city’s name would win Google’s project. He said that it would have been great to have been chosen but he cannot be happier that the project will be done in the state of Kansas and in the long run it might benefit Topeka as well.

Besides Topeka, Kansas, officials from other states have likewise tried unusual ways to get Google’s attention, but have also failed. An official from Minnesota was said to have jumped in an extremely cold lake, while the mayor of Florida swam with sharks.

It is obvious how much people want a better and faster Internet access, Google’s spokesperson Dan Martin commented on an e-mail. According to him, it was not an easy decision for the company and they considered every application. They will be looking for ways to offer ultra-high-speed internet to other cities across the US, he added.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Is it important to have a fast internet connection?
·         What are the advantages of having a high-speed internet? Are there any disadvantages?

Discussion B

·         What are the technological devices that you have?
·         How does new technology affect people’s life nowadays?

April 7, 2011