The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Simon Winchester
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 137 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Who arrested Merrett's killer?
(a) Henry Burton.
(b) Officer Burton.
(c) Constable Tarrant.
(d) William Ward.

2. The Minor family came to the United States only a decade after what group of people?
(a) Native Americans.
(b) King Louis XII's missionaries.
(c) Spanish Conquistadors.
(d) The Pilgrims.

3. What was the name of Eastman Minor's second wife?
(a) Scarlett.
(b) Judith.
(c) Jenny.
(d) Elizabeth.

4. The Oxford Dictionary was comprised of _____________volumes.
(a) Nine.
(b) Eight.
(c) Six.
(d) Twelve.

5. How old was the man who killed Merrett?
(a) Thirty-eight.
(b) Forty-two.
(c) Thirty-seven.
(d) Thirty-one.

Short Answer Questions

1. How many years from Trench's speech about a new dictionary did the project actually get off the ground?

2. In Chapter 2, the author gives a detailed description of what word?

3. Murray was born next to the border of _________.

4. What would the definitive quotes show in the Oxford English Dictionary?

5. Which of the following is noted to have been a fact four hundred years earlier than Mr. Trench's speeches?

Short Essay Questions

1. What can be surmised about the author's intention by naming his first chapter, " The Dead of Night in Lambeth Marsh"?

2. Did the "Battle of the Wilderness" push Minor past his mental capacities to function normally in social settings or public? If so, how does the author make this clear?

3. In what way was Furnivall's call to ask participants to choose a time period for the book a very intelligent idea to spur the makings of the Oxford English Dictionary onward?

4. Some critics say that Samuel Johnson put too much of his personality into his work on his dictionary. How would it be possible to avoid this type of criticism?

5. Why does the author suggest that Minor moved from his initial area of residence in London, St James Square, to Lambeth Marsh?

6. Why does the author take time to note the sheer volume of words and weight of the Oxford English Dictionary? What parallels can be drawn between this and the dictionary's makers?

7. What might the audience find unique about the killer's professional past?

8. Why does the author suggest Oxford finally conceded to the switch from Furnivall to Murray for the position of editor?

9. What is the effect of the author's choice to define the word "murder" on the audience?

10. How might the fact that the killer was of a learned professional background NOT have been surprising to readers?

(see the answer keys)

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