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. What word was "coatee" used as a diminutive for?
(a) Coat.
(b) Beard.
(c) Shawl.
(d) Hat.

2. In what sort of languages are double negatives "perfectly allowable"?
(a) Teutonic.
(b) Asiatic.
(c) Romance.
(d) Semitic.

3. 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.

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

5. Which word do Americans use for "angry" that was once an English provincialism considered base?
(a) Pissed.
(b) Irritated.
(c) Mad.
(d) Furious.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Sayce say that language is composed of in 1879?

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

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

4. What is the physical basis to which the nasal twang of Americans is ascribed?

5. How does Mencken characterize the vulgar American habitual use of the double negative?

(see the answer key)

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