The American Language Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Which of the following groups of foreign immigrants does Mencken not attribute influence over American English in Chapter 6.4?
(a) Italians.
(b) Russian Jews.
(c) Slavic peoples.
(d) South-Pacific Asian Islanders.

2. To what country does the English correspondent in Chapter 4.5 ascribe many American expletives?
(a) Ireland.
(b) Germany.
(c) Sweden.
(d) France.

3. Which letter of the alphabet do Americans differ in pronunciation from other English-speaking countries?
(a) J.
(b) X.
(c) W.
(d) Z.

4. What word does Mencken find Dr. John Dewey using in place of the word "opium?"
(a) Dope.
(b) Crack.
(c) Skag.
(d) Poppy.

5. In terms of politics, an American candidate "runs" for office. What does an English candidate do?
(a) Jumps.
(b) Stands.
(c) Sprints.
(d) Sits.

6. Which Founding Father coined the term "to belittle"?
(a) Benjamin Franklin.
(b) James Madison.
(c) Alexander Hamilton.
(d) Thomas Jefferson.

7. What purpose does Miss Wittmann say is served by the shortening of word forms?
(a) Color.
(b) Creativity.
(c) Convenience.
(d) None.

8. What English word does the author of "Men and Manners" lament about the American re-signification?
(a) College.
(b) Clever.
(c) Missionary.
(d) Buttock.

9. Who proposed a generally accepted nomenclature for currency in 1785?
(a) Gouverneur Morris.
(b) Noah Webster.
(c) Richard Grant White.
(d) Thomas Jefferson.

10. Where was the broad "a" principally established prior to the Civil War?
(a) California.
(b) The Midwest.
(c) New England.
(d) The Southeast.

11. What word best describes the English attitude towards the adoption of foreign loan-words, in contrast to the American attitude?
(a) Tolerating.
(b) Conservative.
(c) Accepting.
(d) Liberal.

12. What "Anglomaniac affectation" did Noah Webster sneer at in 1789?
(a) Clinging to the silent "u" as in "honour."
(b) The broad "a."
(c) The literature of Fowler.
(d) The recalcitrance to neologisms.

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

14. Who "tries" a legal case in England?
(a) The jury.
(b) The judge.
(c) The barrister.
(d) The solicitor.

15. What term did John Witherspoon coin, framing it within the context of vulgarity?
(a) Scientist.
(b) Americanism.
(c) Briticism.
(d) Anglophile.

Short Answer Questions

1. What word did the editor of the Westminster Gazette substitute for the incomprehensible dash in the mangled Americanism of Rupert Brooke?

2. Whom does Mencken use to exemplify the flouting of linguistic purity in Chapter 6.1?

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

4. What word was "coatee" used as a diminutive for?

5. What Anglo-Saxon word does Mencken report the colonists refused to replace with an Old Norse word of similar meaning?

(see the answer keys)

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