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

2. What is the second characteristic that Mencken attributes to American English in Chapter 1.5?
(a) Disregard of rule and precedent.
(b) Translatability to British English.
(c) Disunity of regional dialects.
(d) Resistance to neologisms.

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Who protested the adoption of the broad "a" in an 1857 work entitled "The Autocrat at the Breakfast Table"?
(a) Oliver Wendell Holmes.
(b) Richard Meade Bache.
(c) Frank H. Vizetelly.
(d) Noah Webster.

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

11. According to Mencken, which title is subject to the greatest divergence in usage?
(a) The Honorable.
(b) Doctor.
(c) General.
(d) Professor.

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

13. What word was "coatee" used as a diminutive for?
(a) Beard.
(b) Hat.
(c) Shawl.
(d) Coat.

14. How many classifications of Americanisms does Bartlett postulate in his 1859 dictionary?
(a) Forty-two.
(b) Four.
(c) Nine.
(d) Three.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Mencken claims that Noah Webster contains less of the scientific inquirer and more of what?

2. What word best describes the English attitude towards the adoption of foreign loan-words, in contrast to the American attitude?

3. What does the English "secondary school" correspond to in American?

4. Who is the author of "Travels in North America," published in 1827?

5. What word in common honorifics did Edwin S. Gould protest against omitting in 1867?

(see the answer keys)

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