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The TAO of Mark Twain
"Those familiar with Samuel Clemens should have no problem linking the topics and the opinions (TAO) of Mark Twain."
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
On the Topic of truth "Mark Twain's Notebook" had this to say, "Familiarity breeds contempt. How accurate that is. The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it." In his autobiography, what sardonic opinion did Twain express regarding the telling of untruths?
Lying is like alcoholism. You are always recovering.
Falsehood is invariably the child of fear in one form or another.
Carlyle said "a lie cannot live." It shows that he did not know how to tell them.
That's not a lie; it's a terminological inexactitude. Also, a tactical misrepresentation.
Mark Twain often functioned as a critic and could be both scathing and graphic. About a little known author he had this to say: "There is humor in Dod Grile, but for every laugh that is in his book there are five blushes, ten shudders and a vomit. The laugh is too expensive." About which well-known author did Twain express a desire "to dig (the author) up and beat (the author) over the skull with (the author's) own shin-bone"?
Edgar Allen Poe
Mark Twain generally expressed opinions in a frank, direct, humorous fashion. With that in mind, which of the following opinions regarding education is NOT Twain's?
In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards.
The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.
Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.
It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others--and less trouble.
Writing on the topic of manners in an essay entitled "On the Decay of the Art of Lying Speech", the usually plainspoken Twain demonstrates his ability to assume a loftier tone without losing his "bite". What he has to say on the subject of manners should still allow you to distinguish Twain's quotation from those of Lord Chesterfield, Jonathan Swift and Emily Post. Which of the follow quotes is attributable to Mark Twain?
Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.
Good breeding is the result of good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial for the sake of others.
The highest perfection of politeness is only a beautiful edifice, built, from the base to the dome, of graceful and gilded forms of charitable and unselfish lying.
Whoever makes the fewest persons uneasy is the best bred in the company.
Have you noticed that when an author compares "man" to "animal(s)" that man usually comes out the loser? See if you can pick out which of the following man-animal comparisons Mark Twain penned. (Hint: Which one places man in the most unfavorable light?)
All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.
Man is an animal that makes bargains; no other animal does this - one dog does not change a bone with another.
The desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals
[Man] is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight.
As a critic and satirist, Mark Twain could appreciate human folly. Which of the following did Twain describe as "not merely food for laughter, but an entire banquet?"
The political and commercial morals of the United States
Freedom of the press
Adult practical jokers
In "Pudd'nhead Wilson", Twain observed, "Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits." Which of the following did Mark Twain indicate was a reason to reform, or at least to pause and reflect?
When your deeply held beliefs are found to contradict orthodoxy
When you are a cigar smoker
When you find yourself on the side of the majority
When your public urges you to
Mark Twain lived during the era in which scientists became more trusted than clergymen. The unflattering quotations below are from Dave Barry, Madame Curie, Terry Pratchett and Mark Twain. Which one is Mark Twain's?
Scientists have odious manners, except when you prop up their theory; then you can borrow money of them.
Scientists, especially, tend to underestimate the propensity of people to lie.
There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down errors instead of establishing the truth.
Scientists now believe that the primary biological function of breasts is to make males stupid.
Mark Twain paid women occasional compliments. "What, Sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce," he conceded. Twain also wrote, "There is nothing comparable to the _________ of a woman. What womanly virtue was Twain recognizing in the preceding quote?
All of these
Mark Twain more willingly paid compliments to cats than to women. He even felt it was possible to train cats. In his notebook Twain wrote, "A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught _______. Which of the following did Twain believe cats could be taught?
To stay off the furniture
To catch mice
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Compiled Jun 28 12