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. According to Mencken, how do the Americans consider the precise English use of the indefinite pronoun ("one")?
(a) Respectfully.
(b) Apathetically.
(c) Ambiguously.
(d) Disdainfully.

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

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

4. According to Mencken, the name of what game puzzles etymologists?
(a) Football.
(b) Poker.
(c) Badminton.
(d) Whist.

5. 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) American neo-classical tastes.
(c) Transatlantic travel.
(d) Solidarity of higher education.

6. What sound did Webster object to inserting in words such as "gradual" and "nature," before the "u"?
(a) Y.
(b) Dh.
(c) T.
(d) Ch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15. To what phrase did Benjamin Franklin, Noah Webster, and Robert Southey object as a base Americanism, as discussed in Chapter 2.3?
(a) To process.
(b) To indulge.
(c) Free endorsement.
(d) To advocate.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which is the second factor that Mencken identifies as an impediment to the growth of the American language in Chapter 3.1?

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

3. What moniker of currency has persisted in America despite having no currency properly of that name?

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

5. What letter, when preceding a consonant, greatly irritated Henry James like a "morose grinding of the back teeth?"

(see the answer keys)

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