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 is the first factor that Mencken identifies as an immediate impediment to the growth of the American language in Chapter 3.1?
(a) Lack of a national literature.
(b) Territorial expansiveness.
(c) Political disharmony.
(d) Regional diversity.

2. Which is the second factor that Mencken identifies as an impediment to the growth of the American language in Chapter 3.1?
(a) Political disharmony.
(b) Lack of a national literature.
(c) Regional diversity.
(d) Territorial expansiveness.

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

4. Whom does Mencken use to exemplify the flouting of linguistic purity in Chapter 6.1?
(a) Professors.
(b) Politicians.
(c) Working men.
(d) Famers.

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

6. How many dialects dominate American English, according to Chapter 1.5?
(a) Ten.
(b) Four.
(c) None.
(d) Two.

7. What American writer does Mencken claim likely inspired envy in British writers?
(a) Griswold.
(b) Poe.
(c) Irving.
(d) Fowler.

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

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

10. From what language does the English word "moose" come?
(a) Italian.
(b) English.
(c) Algonquin.
(d) Cherokee.

11. Which London newspaper lamented the "menace" that American movies offer to the purity of the English language?
(a) The <i>Times</i>.
(b) The <i>Illustrated London News</i>.
(c) The <i>Daily News</i>.
(d) The <i>Daily Herald</i>.

12. What "great humorist" does Mencken cite in Chapter 1.3 as "celebrating 'the vigorous new vernacular of the occidental plains and mountains'"?
(a) Samuel Elridge.
(b) William Dean Howells.
(c) Mark Twain.
(d) John Fiske.

13. According to Mencken, what did the first generations born in the New World value as a virtue over enterprise and resourcefulness?
(a) Courage.
(b) Temperance.
(c) Niceness.
(d) Ingenuity.

14. What is the English meaning of the Hawaiian word "lanai"?
(a) Balcony.
(b) Porch.
(c) Garage.
(d) Bathroom.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

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

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

4. What term did John Witherspoon coin, framing it within the context of vulgarity?

5. What does John S. Farmer describe the Western vernacular as being?

(see the answer keys)

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