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

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

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

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

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

6. To what phrase did Benjamin Franklin, Noah Webster, and Robert Southey object as a base Americanism, as discussed in Chapter 2.3?
(a) To indulge.
(b) Free endorsement.
(c) To process.
(d) To advocate.

7. What "Anglomaniac affectation" did Noah Webster sneer at in 1789?
(a) The broad "a."
(b) The literature of Fowler.
(c) Clinging to the silent "u" as in "honour."
(d) The recalcitrance to neologisms.

8. To what continent does Mencken attribute the acknowledgment of the differences between American and British English?
(a) Europe.
(b) Asia.
(c) South America.
(d) North America.

9. Which of the following groups of immigrants does Mencken claim have a profound effect on not only the American vocabulary, but also its pronunciation and idiom?
(a) Scottish.
(b) Italian.
(c) Danish.
(d) Irish.

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

11. Which term do English dictionaries all describe as an Americanism from the comparative list in Chapter 4.1, despite the English version being frequently used in America?
(a) Freight.
(b) Hog-pen.
(c) Rooster.
(d) Railroad.

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

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

14. 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>Illustrated London News</i>.
(c) The <i>Times</i>.
(d) The <i>Daily News</i>.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. How do the English pronounce the first syllable in "lieutenant"?

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

4. Mencken describes the American language as having a "democratic enmity" to all what, in the beginning of Chapter 6.1?

5. In terms of politics, an American candidate "runs" for office. What does an English candidate do?

(see the answer keys)

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