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

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

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

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

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

6. Who is the author of "Dissertations on the English Language"?
(a) H.L. Mencken.
(b) Benjamin Franklin.
(c) Thomas Jefferson.
(d) Noah Webster.

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

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

9. How many classifications of Americanisms does Gilbert M. Tucker provide in 1921?
(a) Two.
(b) Thirteen.
(c) Twenty.
(d) Twelve.

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

11. Mencken describes the American language as having a "democratic enmity" to all what, in the beginning of Chapter 6.1?
(a) Regulation.
(b) Grammatical rules.
(c) Authority.
(d) Individualism.

12. According to the report of Beverley, what did a group of soldiers turn into after eating some Jimson Weed?
(a) Zombies.
(b) Fools.
(c) Corpses.
(d) Somnambulists.

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

14. According to Chapter 2.6, what regional pronunciation is erroneously thought by some to have superior authority regarding English pronunciation?
(a) Boston.
(b) Chicago.
(c) New York.
(d) South-eastern.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. Whom does Mencken use to exemplify the flouting of linguistic purity in Chapter 6.1?

3. Which of the following did the African slaves NOT introduce to American English?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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