The American Language Quiz | One Week Quiz A

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This quiz consists of 5 multiple choice and 5 short answer questions through Chapter 9.8 | Chapter 9.9.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Which of the following groups of immigrants does Mencken claim have a profound effect on not only the American vocabulary, but also its pronunciation and idiom?
(a) Irish.
(b) Italian.
(c) Danish.
(d) Scottish.

2. What letter, when preceding a consonant, greatly irritated Henry James like a "morose grinding of the back teeth?"
(a) E.
(b) T.
(c) R.
(d) G.

3. What purpose does the double negative primarily serve?
(a) Rhetorical circuitry.
(b) Reinforcement.
(c) Confusion.
(d) Syntactical compactness.

4. What is the physical basis to which the nasal twang of Americans is ascribed?
(a) The moist climate.
(b) Genetic diversity.
(c) The dry climate.
(d) Colder air.

5. How does Mencken characterize the vulgar American habitual use of the double negative?
(a) With "periodic intensity."
(b) With "unconscious loathing."
(c) With "happy fecundity."
(d) With "sturdy fidelity."

Short Answer Questions

1. In what language does Mencken state the double negative was once "quite respectable?"

2. Which word do Americans use for "angry" that was once an English provincialism considered base?

3. According to Mencken, the name of what game puzzles etymologists?

4. What difference in pronunciation does Mencken state most sharply distinguishes the two dialects?

5. How do the English pronounce the first syllable in "lieutenant"?

(see the answer key)

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