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 defender of Americanisms cited by Mencken in Chapter 1.3 states that "Language is made by the people"?
(a) Edgar Jepson.
(b) George Ade.
(c) Richard Aldington.
(d) William Archer.

2. What does John S. Farmer describe the Western vernacular as being?
(a) Dry and prolonged.
(b) Racy and pungent.
(c) Irreverent and irrelevant.
(d) Flippant and pointless.

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

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

5. What word in common honorifics did Edwin S. Gould protest against omitting in 1867?
(a) The.
(b) Right.
(c) Very.
(d) Most.

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

7. Which of the following did the African slaves NOT introduce to American English?
(a) Gumbo.
(b) Banjo.
(c) Goober.
(d) Voodoo.

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

9. How do the English pronounce the first syllable in "lieutenant"?
(a) Loo.
(b) Yeift.
(c) Lee-oo.
(d) Left.

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

11. Mencken claims that Noah Webster contains less of the scientific inquirer and more of what?
(a) The father.
(b) The erudite fool.
(c) The philological traditionalist.
(d) The teacher.

12. Which of the early presidents does Mencken identify as archetypal of the new American?
(a) James Monroe.
(b) George Washington.
(c) Andrew Jackson.
(d) Thomas Jefferson.

13. How is the "portmanteau-word" formed?
(a) By blending two words.
(b) By onomatopoeic creativity.
(c) By finding the true root in the word.
(d) By mixing parts of words with the same meaning in different languages.

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

15. What is the English meaning of the phrase "to carry on"?
(a) To shoulder one's pack.
(b) To talk endlessly.
(c) To be on the job.
(d) To raise hell.

Short Answer Questions

1. What "Anglomaniac affectation" did Noah Webster sneer at in 1789?

2. In what language did the American derivative "coyote" originate?

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

4. Who protested the adoption of the broad "a" in an 1857 work entitled "The Autocrat at the Breakfast Table"?

5. Which of the following groups of immigrants does Mencken claim have a profound effect on not only the American vocabulary, but also its pronunciation and idiom?

(see the answer keys)

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