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

2. What difference in pronunciation does Mencken state most sharply distinguishes the two dialects?
(a) The normative "o."
(b) The normative "a."
(c) The normative "-ary" suffix.
(d) The normative "ch."

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

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

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

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

7. What word did the editor of the Westminster Gazette substitute for the incomprehensible dash in the mangled Americanism of Rupert Brooke?
(a) Brains.
(b) Jugs.
(c) Boots.
(d) Bottom.

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

9. What is the physical basis to which the nasal twang of Americans is ascribed?
(a) The moist climate.
(b) Genetic diversity.
(c) The dry climate.
(d) Colder air.

10. What class of Americans is most influenced by Briticisms, according to Mencken in Chapter 5.2?
(a) The middle-class.
(b) The poor.
(c) The fashionable.
(d) The vulgar.

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

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) Solidarity of higher education.
(d) American neo-classical tastes.

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

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

15. Which Founding Father is said to have sought to establish a new American alphabet?
(a) Thomas Jefferson.
(b) Benjamin Franklin.
(c) George Washington.
(d) John Hancock.

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. What word did Webster argue should have its vowel sound changed to "ee" instead of "eh"?

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

5. How many classifications of Americanisms does Bartlett postulate in his 1859 dictionary?

(see the answer keys)

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