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

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

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

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

5. What does Sayce say that language is composed of in 1879?
(a) Sounds.
(b) Words.
(c) Meanings.
(d) Letters.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Mencken, how do the English pronounce "been?"

2. 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?

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

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

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

(see the answer key)

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