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 May 14.

"[Sample] letter in acknowledgement of a wedding present" in How Shall I Word It? by Max Beerbohm (died 1956)

Dear Lady Amblesham,

Who gives quickly, says the old proverb, gives twice. For this reason I have purposely delayed writing to you, lest I should appear to thank you more than once for the small, cheap, hideous present you sent me on the occasion of my recent wedding. Were you a poor woman, that little bowl of ill-imitated Dresden china would convict you of tastelessness merely; were you a blind woman, of nothing but as odious parsimony. As you have normal eyesight and more than normal wealth, your gift to me proclaims you at once a Philistine and a miser (or rather did so proclaim you until, less than ten seconds after I had unpacked it from its wrapping of tissue paper, I took it to the open window and had the satisfaction of seeing it shattered to atoms on the pavement). But stay! I perceive a possible flaw in my argument. Perhaps you were guided in your choice by a definite wish to insult me. I am sure, on reflection, that this was so. I shall not forget.

Yours, etc.,
Cynthia Beaumarsh

1. Writing a thank-you note quickly is
A. like giving a gift.
B. rude.
C. like writing twice.
D. tasteless.
2. The gift no longer proclaims Lady Amblesham to be a miser because
A. the thank-you note has been written.
B. the gift was insulting.
C. the gift had a flaw.
D. the gift has been shattered to atoms.
3. A Philistine in this context is a person
A. lacking in refinement.
B. at the top of society.
C. of Middle Eastern extraction.
D. who is a miser.
4. A blind woman could not be accused of
A. parsimony.
B. tastelessness.
C. ignoring a wedding.
D. being a Philistine.
The complete essay can be found at How Shall I Word It?.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

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