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 event does Mencken credit with strengthening the obfuscation of distinction between American and British English?
(a) The advent of the transatlantic telephone line.
(b) The bombing of London.
(c) The French Revolution.
(d) The First World War.

2. What does Mencken state is neglected by those who are professional trained to investigate it?
(a) Formal grammar.
(b) The vulgate.
(c) Philological anomalies.
(d) Idiosyncrasies.

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

4. What vowel sound was dominant in 18th century New England pronunciation, despite common protests to the contrary?
(a) Broad a.
(b) Broad o.
(c) Flat a.
(d) Flat e.

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

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

7. Which European language has exerted the most influence on the American language?
(a) Spanish.
(b) German.
(c) French.
(d) Italian.

8. What ethnicity of people, through the influence of the mercantile class, is referred to by a different name in the United States than in England?
(a) Latino/Hispanic.
(b) Jew/Hebrew.
(c) White/Caucasian.
(d) Black/African American.

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

10. What does Mencken list as dominant the English alternative for the word "mail"?
(a) Post.
(b) Shipping.
(c) Postals.
(d) Letters.

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

12. What is the principal reason Mencken states that the English language has not greatly diverged since the foundation of the United States of America?
(a) Transatlantic communication.
(b) Transatlantic travel.
(c) American neo-classical tastes.
(d) Solidarity of higher education.

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

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

15. The prudish reluctance to name what sort of diseases hindered proper preventative information?
(a) Psychological.
(b) Venereal.
(c) Gastro-intestinal.
(d) Cancerous.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who proposed a generally accepted nomenclature for currency in 1785?

2. To what country does the English correspondent in Chapter 4.5 ascribe many American expletives?

3. To what phrase did Benjamin Franklin, Noah Webster, and Robert Southey object as a base Americanism, as discussed in Chapter 2.3?

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

5. What purpose does Miss Wittmann say is served by the shortening of word forms?

(see the answer keys)

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