We do not know when man first began to use salt, but we do know that it has been used in many different ways throughout history. Historical evidence shows, for example, that people who lived over 3,000 years ago ate salted fish. Thousands of years ago in Egypt, salt was used to preserve (保存) the dead.
Stealing salt was considered a major crime (罪行) during some periods of history. In the eighteenth century, for example, if a person was caught stealing salt, he could be put in prison and his ears could be cut off.
In the Roman Empire, one of the most important roads was the one that carried salt from the salt mines to Rome. Guards were stationed along the route to protect against salt thieves, and they received their pay in salt, thus bringing the English word, salary. Any guard who fell asleep while on duty was thought to be “not worth his salt”, and as a result he would get a little less salt on his next payday. The expression, “not worth his salt”, is still used today in English.
In the modern world salt has many uses beyond the dining table. It is used in making glass and airplane parts, in the growing of crops, and in the killing of weeds (杂草). It is also used to make water soft, to melt (融化) ice on roads and highways, to make soap, and to fix colors in cloth.
Salt can be got in various ways besides being taken from mines underground. Salt water from the ocean, salt water lakes or small seas can be used to make salt. Yet, no matter where it comes from, salt will continue to play an important role in the lives of people everywhere.
4. According to the text, salt can be used in the following EXCEPT _____.
A. keeping dead bodies
B. punishing thieves
C. protecting crops
D. making industrial products
5. In the Roman Empire many people were employed as guards to _____.
A. protect the city of Rome
B. watch people carrying salt
C. prevent thieves from stealing salt
D. carry salt from the mines to Rome
6. The expression “not worth his salt” used today refers to the one who _____.
A. fails to do his work well
B. should not be paid in salt
C. doesn’t want to work at all
D. should use less salt
7. The main purpose of the text is to tell readers _____.
A. how salt was found and got
B. salt is important in people’s life
C. salt was difficult to get in the past
D. what salt brings to the English language