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. What difference in pronunciation does Mencken state most sharply distinguishes the two dialects?
(a) The normative "o."
(b) The normative "a."
(c) The normative "ch."
(d) The normative "-ary" suffix.

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

3. What language does Mencken quote Sidney Low as saying is not taught to English youth?
(a) Latin.
(b) Greek.
(c) American.
(d) Russian.

4. What does the English "secondary school" correspond to in American?
(a) Elementary school.
(b) High school.
(c) College.
(d) Middle school.

5. What is the universal substitute for the word "ye" as described in Chapter 6.2?
(a) Thee.
(b) The.
(c) Thou.
(d) You.

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

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

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

9. How many pages in "The King's English" are dedicated to explaining the distinction between "will" and "shall"?
(a) 30.
(b) 15.
(c) 20.
(d) 0.

10. Who is the author of "Travels in North America," published in 1827?
(a) Louis Untermeyer.
(b) Basil Hall.
(c) Henry Alford.
(d) Charles Astor Bristed.

11. How many classifications of Americanisms does Bartlett postulate in his 1859 dictionary?
(a) Nine.
(b) Four.
(c) Forty-two.
(d) Three.

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

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

14. What use of storage was added to the American meaning of the word "barn?"
(a) Horses.
(b) Crops.
(c) Chickens.
(d) Cattle.

15. According to Benjamin Franklin, what was roughly the population of the colonies in 1751?
(a) 50,000,000
(b) 1,000,000
(c) 500,000
(d) 10,000,000

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. What vowel sound was dominant in 18th century New England pronunciation, despite common protests to the contrary?

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

5. What is the English meaning of the Hawaiian word "lanai"?

(see the answer keys)

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