Reading Comprehension Quiz

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 June 25.

If we are talking creativity and ideas, Bill Gates is an American unoriginal. He is Microsoft's chief and co-founder, he is the world's richest man, and his career delivers this message: it can be wiser to follow than to lead. Let the innovators hit the beaches and take the losses; if you hold back and follow, you can clean up in peace and quiet.

Gates is the Bing Crosby of American technology, borrowing a tune here and a tune there and turning them all into great boffo hits by dint of heroic feats of repackaging and sheer Herculean blandness. Granted he is (to put it delicately) an unusually hard-driving and successful businessman, but the Bill Gates of our imagination is absurdly overblown.

Yet we have also been unfair to him. We tend to overlook Gates' basic decency. He has repeatedly been offered a starring role in the circus freak show of American Celebrity, but he has turned it down. He does not make a habit of going on TV. His wife and young child are largely invisible to the public because of a deliberate decision on the part of Mr. and Mrs.

1. Boffo means
A. clownish.
B. outrageous.
C. aggressive.
D. extremely successful.
2. Gates is like Bing, because Bing, too, was
A. a borrower and very successful.
B. a successful businessman.
C. imaginative.
D. rich.
3. The Gk. word origin of Herculean means
A. Hercules, the son of a god.
B. among the stars.
C. enormously strong.
D. eternal.
4. The article wants Gates to be remembered for
A. imagination.
B. creativity.
C. basic decency.
D. celebrity.

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

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

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