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Do you know the English expression "to keep track of" something? If you "keep track of" something, you always have a good, up-to-date knowledge of it. Here are some examples to help you understand the way we use the expression.
Molly is an air-traffic controller. She works at a busy airport, and her job is to guide planes into the airport safely. She needs to keep track of all the planes which arrive at the airport.
Kevin likes to keep track of his money. He always writes down what he spends, so he knows how much money is left in his bank account.
Joanne has a job where she needs to visit lots of other companies, and to meet people at her office. She has a special programme on her computer to help her keep track of her appointments.
And John uses Facebook to keep track of what his friends are doing. Perhaps you use Facebook to keep track of your friends too.
The opposite of "keep track of" is "lose track of". Sometimes, if I am reading a good book, I lose track of time. That is, I forget what time it is. Suddenly I realise that it is much later than I thought.
Kevin has three older brothers and an older sister. They are all married and have children. Kevin is "Uncle Kevin" to the children. But poor Kevin always loses track of the children's birthdays. He cannot remember whether little Harry has a birthday in March or in June, and whether little Deborah is 3 or 4 years old.
At Kevin's work, there have been a lot of changes. The boss has re-organised all the Departments and has moved a lot of people to new jobs. Kevin cannot keep track of all the changes. He cannot remember who is now doing which job.
I have a reason for telling you about "keep track of". There was an article in the newspaper yesterday about the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in the United States. This is the show where firms display their latest clever gadgets which they hope to persuade the public to buy. A British company is displaying a gadget which looks like an ordinary wristwatch. Inside the watch is a chip which uses the Global Positioning System to keep track of where the watch is. The idea is that parents will buy these watches for their children; they can then receive text messages on their mobile phones which tell them where their child is. Is he at school? Has he gone to see his friend? And so on. But won't children simply take the watch off if they do not want their parents to know where they are? Well, if the child removes the watch, this will immediately send a message to the parents.
The new device sounds like a way of making children prisoners. However, the company which makes it says that it hopes that it will give children more freedom, not less. Parents may be happy to let their children go out to visit friends, or to play in the park, if they always know where the children are.
I can however think of one problem. I wear a watch so that I always know what time it is. Most older people are like me, and have a watch. Children and teenagers, however, do not wear watches. If they want to know the time, they look at their mobile phones. They will not want to wear the new watch. They will know that its real purpose is to enable parents to keep track of the children, not to enable the children to keep track of the time.
What do you think? If you are a young person, would you agree to wear this new watch? If you are a parent, would you think that the watch is a good way to keep track of where your children are and what they are doing?
Источник подкаста: listen-to-english.