Proper mustache. Excerpt from The Secret Stache by A. Barber,


Excerpt from The Secret Stache by A. Barber 1920s mustache styles.

For thousands of years, several characteristics have been consistent across human societies around the world. Animal husbandry, agriculture, and artistic expression are some of the similarities all societies share. Another similarity is the mustache. So now I mustache a question: why have mustaches had such a notable presence in human history?

Humans have been shaving for as long as there has been facial hair to shave. However, it is in the past several centuries that mustaches have undergone a more creative transformation. Now, there are many different types of mustaches. The Handlebar, Pencil, and Walrus are only a few of the many types known today. With just a sharpened razor and some mustache wax, the creativity of people and their mustache can be endless.

Though the popularity of the mustache in different cultures varies over time, it has certainly influenced other creations. In the 1800s and early 1900s, mustaches were so popular that a new style of a drinking cup, the mustache cup, was created. The mustache cup had a built-in covering, over the top so mustaches would not be touched by the beverage. A more recent example of the mark of mustaches can be seen by the first World Mustache Tournament in 2013. The mustache truly is part of the human experience.

Due to its place in the human experience, the mustache is a symbol with varied significance: power, prestige, beauty. When one thinks of mustaches, one may think of a villain from silent films, twisting the ends of his mustache. One may also think of a respected leader with a mustache of prominence. Perhaps one may think of people with famous mustaches: Tom Selleck, Burt Reynolds, and Charlie Chaplin, to name a few. No matter what one picture when thinking of mustaches, it is clear that the mustache has a substantial effect on human perception.

1. Which of the following information does the author use in the passage to support the claim that the mustache has "influenced other creations"?

a) The invention of the mustache cup.

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b) The existence of Shaving in ancient times.

c) The meanings associated with mustaches.

d) The presence of famous people with mustaches.

2. Which of the following primary sources would someone consult to learn more about mustache styles that were popular during the 1920s?

a) Photographs of people at a state fair in 1924.

b) Personal letters from Charlie Chaplin to Hollywood friends.

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c) A magazine article about the world mustache tournament.

d) A population census conducted in 1920.

Origin of the word "Mustache":

The word began in Italy, and its English form took on influence from both Spanish and French languages, according to Merriam-Webster. From the Italian, mostaccio, the word became mostacho in English (1598). However, various versions of the word were also used at that time. Christopher Marlowe spelled it muschatoes in The Jew of Malta, 1589; Thomas Hariot spelled it mustaches in A brief and true report of the new found land of Virginia, 1590. A battle between whether the word should be singular or plural ensued for a long time. Even as late as 1961, Webster's Unabridged Dictionary spelled the word as moustache. Today, mustache is the preferred American English spelling.

Answer and Explanation:

The answer to question one is answer A:

The information the author uses in the passage to support the claim that the mustache has "influenced other creations," is answer A. The invention of the mustache cup. The author states that in the 1800s and early 1900s, mustaches had become so popular that this invention made sense.

The answer to question two is answer A:

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The primary source someone would consult to learn more about mustache styles that were popular during the 1920s is answer A. Photographs of people at a state fair in 1924, answer B, has been eliminated because Charlie Chaplin's mustache was unique to him and it cannot be assumed that his friends in Hollywood would all be mustachioed. Answer C has also been eliminated because the World Mustache Tournament did not first occur until 2013. Lastly, Answer D is eliminated because a population census in 1920 did not include questions about personal aspects, like whether or not one has a mustache.
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