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. Whom does Mencken use to exemplify the flouting of linguistic purity in Chapter 6.1?
(a) Politicians.
(b) Famers.
(c) Professors.
(d) Working men.

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

3. How do the English pronounce the first syllable in "lieutenant"?
(a) Lee-oo.
(b) Left.
(c) Yeift.
(d) Loo.

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

5. 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) Mark Twain.
(c) William Dean Howells.
(d) John Fiske.

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

7. What moniker of currency has persisted in America despite having no currency properly of that name?
(a) Bill.
(b) Pence.
(c) Penny.
(d) Nickel.

8. According to Benjamin Franklin, what was roughly the population of the colonies in 1751?
(a) 10,000,000
(b) 500,000
(c) 50,000,000
(d) 1,000,000

9. What is the American substitute for the English word "tin"?
(a) Can.
(b) Bucket.
(c) Dish.
(d) Cup.

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

11. In terms of politics, an American candidate "runs" for office. What does an English candidate do?
(a) Sprints.
(b) Stands.
(c) Jumps.
(d) Sits.

12. What sound did Webster object to inserting in words such as "gradual" and "nature," before the "u"?
(a) Y.
(b) Dh.
(c) Ch.
(d) T.

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

14. How many dialects dominate American English, according to Chapter 1.5?
(a) Two.
(b) None.
(c) Ten.
(d) Four.

15. What does John S. Farmer describe the Western vernacular as being?
(a) Flippant and pointless.
(b) Dry and prolonged.
(c) Irreverent and irrelevant.
(d) Racy and pungent.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What is the principal reason Mencken states that the English language has not greatly diverged since the foundation of the United States of America?

3. 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?

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

5. What does Mencken list as dominant the English alternative for the word "mail"?

(see the answer keys)

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