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 March 9.

Selection from Corn-Pone Opinions by Mark Twain

The outside influences are always pouring in upon us, and we are always obeying their orders and accepting their verdicts. The Smiths like the new play; the Joneses go to see it, and they copy the Smith verdict. Morals, religions, politics get their following from surrounding influences and atmospheres almost entirely, not from study, not from thinking. . . . Mohammedans are Mohammedans because they are born and reared among that sect, not because they have thought it out and can furnish sound reasons for being Mohammedans; we know why Catholics are Catholics, why Presbyterians are Presbyterians, why Baptists are Baptists, why Mormons are Mormons, why thieves are thieves, why monarchists are monarchists, why Republicans are Republicans and Democrats, Democrats. We know it is a matter of association and sympathy, not reasoning and examination, that hardly a man in the world has an opinion upon morals, politics, or religion which he got otherwise than through his associations and sympathies. . . . I think that in the majority of cases [a person's opinion] is unconscious and not calculated, that it is born of the human being's natural yearning to stand well with his fellows and have their inspiring approval and praise.

1. The Middle (Medieval) Latin origin of influence meant
A. heavenly powers.
B. flowing into.
C. running water.
D. force.
2. The Latin origin of inspiring (inspiration) meant
A. forcing.
B. changing.
C. breathing into.
D. illuminating.
3. Twain believed that people are mainly
A. independent.
B. resistant to outside influences.
C. antagonistic.
D. social.
4. A verdict is
A. a decision/judgment.
B. a punishment.
C. a law.
D. a choice.
The complete essay can be found at Corn-Pone Opinions. Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

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