Reading Comprehension Quiz

A new interlinear poem will be available each Monday: Weekly Interlinear Poem 

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for July 8.

In 1940, the year Charles Edward Merrill founded the firm we now know as Merrill Lynch & Co., he was 54 years old and had already lived an extraordinarily productive and visible life. A poor boy from the backwaters of Florida, Merrill was forced to leave college by lack of funds, but he schemed his way to Wall Street and made himself wealthy by the time he was 31.

He was the first investment banker to realize that chain stores would one day dominate retailing, and he got rich by underwriting (and often controlling) such future powerhouses as S.S. Kresge (now K Mart) and Safeway Stores. He set up one of America's first wire houses brokerage firms with branch offices in different cities connected to the main office by Teletype.

1. Backwaters are
A. swamps.
B. rural areas.
C. places not influenced by new ideas.
D. places along bays.
2. Underwriting means
A. agreeing to.
B. protecting by insurance.
C. buying out.
D. joining with.
3. Teletype was
A. the telegraph.
B. computer typewriting.
C. a computer printer.
D. a typewriter that got its data over the telephone.
4. Merrill was primarily
A. an investment banker.
B. a broker.
C. an underwriter.
D. a partner.

The information comes from an article by Joseph Nocera at Time Magazine Most Important People of the Century.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-C..........2-B..........3-D..........4-A
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at