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

2. According to Mencken, what did the first generations born in the New World value as a virtue over enterprise and resourcefulness?
(a) Niceness.
(b) Courage.
(c) Ingenuity.
(d) Temperance.

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

4. What term did John Witherspoon coin, framing it within the context of vulgarity?
(a) Scientist.
(b) Briticism.
(c) Anglophile.
(d) Americanism.

5. What country's works dominated the reading habits of the American colonists in the latter 18th century?
(a) England.
(b) Denmark.
(c) France.
(d) Germany.

6. Which London newspaper lamented the "menace" that American movies offer to the purity of the English language?
(a) The <i>Daily Herald</i>.
(b) The <i>Times</i>.
(c) The <i>Illustrated London News</i>.
(d) The <i>Daily News</i>.

7. Which word do Americans use for "angry" that was once an English provincialism considered base?
(a) Irritated.
(b) Furious.
(c) Pissed.
(d) Mad.

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

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

10. What letter, when preceding a consonant, greatly irritated Henry James like a "morose grinding of the back teeth?"
(a) T.
(b) E.
(c) R.
(d) G.

11. Mencken claims that Noah Webster contains less of the scientific inquirer and more of what?
(a) The teacher.
(b) The father.
(c) The erudite fool.
(d) The philological traditionalist.

12. 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.

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

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. To what continent does Mencken attribute the acknowledgment of the differences between American and British English?

2. What is the English word for a collection of colleges?

3. What event does Mencken credit with strengthening the obfuscation of distinction between American and British English?

4. Which Founding Father is said to have sought to establish a new American alphabet?

5. What class of Americans is most influenced by Briticisms, according to Mencken in Chapter 5.2?

(see the answer keys)

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