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. What did Mr. Trench argue about the major dictionaries available at the time?
(a) They were sufficient for disseminating the English language at the time.
(b) Only one had proper command of the English language.
(c) They were incorrect.
(d) They had major defects.

2. How many slips of paper came in from volunteers who wanted to add to the newly proposed dictionary?
(a) Six million.
(b) Fifty thousand.
(c) One million.
(d) Twelve thousand.

3. What kind of work did the Minors do in Ceylon?
(a) Missionary.
(b) Coffee plantation.
(c) Coconut farming.
(d) Tea plantation.

4. How did the author describe the attitude of the killer caught for Merrett's death upon the killer's capture?
(a) Cool and collected.
(b) Excited and happy.
(c) Embarrassed and sad.
(d) Bored and uninterested.

5. To whom were Richard Chenevix Trench's speeches directed?
(a) Americans.
(b) The London Phililogical Society.
(c) Londoners.
(d) The general public.

Short Answer Questions

1. England's power grew, and it felt embarrassed for not studying its language. Why did citizens want a proper dictionary?

2. Where was Minor born?

3. In what year did Dr. Minor arrive in London?

4. How did Mr. Trench define the importance of the English language insofar as Christianity?

5. At what time where the three shots fired in the opening of the book?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what way was Trench's appeal to the masses who would be needed to help compile the Oxford English Dictionary democratic?

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

3. What effect could it have had on logophiles to learn that Samuel Johnson had imposed limits on the history of the definitions of words in his dictionary?

4. How did Minor's branding of a deserting Irish soldier become connected to his excessive guilt about his own perceived "wrongs"?

5. What seemed uncanny about the killer's cool, calm demeanor?

6. What effect could the tragic death of his daughter have had on Murray's diligence in working on the Oxford English Dictionary?

7. What aspects of his upbringing could have contributed to Minor's issues with the tempestuous and tempting country of Ceylon?

8. What reason(s) does the author give for Minor's parents sending him to the US to live with his uncle?

9. In regards to Trench's speech, what did he view each word as having? What must be charted for each word?

10. What aspects of the Latin-English dictionaries provided impetus for the makers of the Oxford English Dictionary to make their own English dictionary?

(see the answer keys)

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