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 March 18.**

As early as 1945, Rachel Carson had become alarmed by government abuse of such new chemical pesticides as DDT, which were being broadcast with little regard for the welfare of other creatures.

Meanwhile, the insecticide barrage had been augmented by dieldrin, parathion, heptachlor, malathion and other fearful compounds, all of which the government planned to distribute.

In 1957, there was a startling wildlife mortality in the wake of a mosquito-control campaign near Duxbury, Mass. Next, a war against the fire ant did such widespread harm to other creatures that its beneficiaries cried for mercy, and after that a great furor arose across the country over the spraying of cranberry plants with aminotriazole.

A strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change. There was a strange stillness. The few birds seen anywhere trembled violently and could not fly. It was a spring without voices.

In 1962, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson gored corporate oxen all over the country. Even before its publication, Carson was violently assailed by threats of lawsuits and derision. A huge counterattack was organized and led by Monsanto, Velsicol, American Cyanamid indeed, the whole chemical industry. TIME's reviewer deplored Carson's "oversimplifications and downright errors."

By year's end, Silent Spring became a runaway best seller. It alerted the entire world to the dangers of pesticides.

1. The first alarming pesticide was
A. malathion.
C. heptachlor.
D. dieldrin
2. Cranberry plants were sprayed with
B. heptachlor.
C. aminotriazole.
D. malathion.
3. The word silent in Silent Spring refers to
A. the silence of the government.
B. the silence of the media.
C. the silence of Nature.
D. the silence of the author.
4. At fault were
A. the government.
B. the media.
C. the chemical industry.
D. all three.
5. "Gored corporate oxen" means
A. wounded boards of directors.
B. wounded misbehaving bigshots.
C. wounded companies.
D. caused oxen to bleed.
The information comes from an article by Peter Matthiessen at Time Magazine Most Important People of the Century.
Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-B..........2-C..........3-C..........4-D..........5-B
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at