The American Language Quiz | Eight Week Quiz E

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This quiz consists of 5 multiple choice and 5 short answer questions through Chapter 9.2 | Chapter 9.3.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What country's works dominated the reading habits of the American colonists in the latter 18th century?
(a) Germany.
(b) England.
(c) France.
(d) Denmark.

2. Lounsbury is reported as saying that, "The history of language, when looked at from the purely grammatical point of view, is little else than the history of" what?
(a) Regulations.
(b) Corruptions.
(c) Innovations.
(d) Aberrations.

3. Who does Mencken state are the true makers of grammar in Chapter 9.1?
(a) The grammarians.
(b) The authors of fiction.
(c) The masses.
(d) The learned.

4. Which of the following was not used as a substitute for the once indecent term, for highly refined ears, "bull"?
(a) Male-cow.
(b) Gentleman-cow.
(c) Standing-cow.
(d) Cow-creature.

5. Which of the following is one of the three great causes of change in language according to Sayce, as reported in Chapter 9.3?
(a) Laziness.
(b) Lexicography.
(c) Cultural encounters.
(d) Phonetic innovations.

Short Answer Questions

1. What principle of spelling was behind much of Webster's theory concerning the simplification of spelling?

2. Which of the early presidents does Mencken identify as archetypal of the new American?

3. Which term do English dictionaries all describe as an Americanism from the comparative list in Chapter 4.1, despite the English version being frequently used in America?

4. What does Mencken state is neglected by those who are professional trained to investigate it?

5. What does Mencken list as dominant the English alternative for the word "mail"?

(see the answer key)

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