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 word in American is used for the English word "shoe?"
(a) Sandal.
(b) Slipper.
(c) Boot.
(d) Footing.

2. Which of the following is a term used by philologists to indicate the "instinctive search, etymologically unsound, for short roots in long words"?
(a) Back-formation.
(b) Etymanalyzing.
(c) Formative de-synthesizing.
(d) Deconstructing.

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

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

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

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

7. What is the English word for a collection of colleges?
(a) A Collegiate.
(b) A Maltin.
(c) A University.
(d) A Cardinal.

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) Black/African American.
(b) White/Caucasian.
(c) Jew/Hebrew.
(d) Latino/Hispanic.

9. What notable author was the first Englishman to carry Americanisms successfully back to his home?
(a) Joseph Conrad.
(b) Charles Dickens.
(c) Cleveland Coxe.
(d) G.K. Chesterton.

10. 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.

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

12. Whose clarity of prevision does Mencken praise in the opening of Chapter 1.1?
(a) Waldo.
(b) Jefferson.
(c) Madison.
(d) Franklin.

13. 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?
(a) Scottish.
(b) Danish.
(c) Italian.
(d) Irish.

14. According to the tale spread by William Gifford, what language was supposed to be substituted for English during the Revolutionary War?
(a) Spanish.
(b) Latin.
(c) French.
(d) Hebrew.

15. 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) Territorial expansiveness.
(c) Regional diversity.
(d) Lack of a national literature.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Mencken, which title is subject to the greatest divergence in usage?

2. According to Chapter 2.6, what regional pronunciation is erroneously thought by some to have superior authority regarding English pronunciation?

3. Which European language has exerted the most influence on the American language?

4. Which of the following was not used as a substitute for the once indecent term, for highly refined ears, "bull"?

5. Which word do Americans use for "angry" that was once an English provincialism considered base?

(see the answer keys)

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