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. Which European language has exerted the most influence on the American language?
(a) French.
(b) Spanish.
(c) Italian.
(d) German.

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

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

4. Which of the following is a term used by philologists to indicate the "instinctive search, etymologically unsound, for short roots in long words"?
(a) Deconstructing.
(b) Formative de-synthesizing.
(c) Back-formation.
(d) Etymanalyzing.

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

6. What does Sayce say that language is composed of in 1879?
(a) Letters.
(b) Words.
(c) Sounds.
(d) Meanings.

7. 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) White/Caucasian.
(c) Jew/Hebrew.
(d) Black/African American.

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

9. What notable author was the first Englishman to carry Americanisms successfully back to his home?
(a) Cleveland Coxe.
(b) Joseph Conrad.
(c) G.K. Chesterton.
(d) Charles Dickens.

10. 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) Noah Webster.
(d) Frank H. Vizetelly.

11. According to Mencken at the beginning of Chapter 1.3, what do the novelists and newspapermen on either side of the Atlantic ocean delight in?
(a) Publishing.
(b) Travel.
(c) Intercommunication.
(d) Localisms.

12. What does Mencken say newspaper reporters no longer "slobber" over?
(a) British idioms.
(b) Ceremonies.
(c) Interviews.
(d) Tragedies.

13. What word did the editor of the Westminster Gazette substitute for the incomprehensible dash in the mangled Americanism of Rupert Brooke?
(a) Bottom.
(b) Boots.
(c) Jugs.
(d) Brains.

14. Which of the following was not used as a substitute for the once indecent term, for highly refined ears, "bull"?
(a) Standing-cow.
(b) Cow-creature.
(c) Gentleman-cow.
(d) Male-cow.

15. Which is the second factor that Mencken identifies as an impediment to the growth of the American language in Chapter 3.1?
(a) Political disharmony.
(b) Regional diversity.
(c) Territorial expansiveness.
(d) Lack of a national literature.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What use of storage was added to the American meaning of the word "barn?"

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

4. The prudish reluctance to name what sort of diseases hindered proper preventative information?

5. Which is the first factor that Mencken identifies as an immediate impediment to the growth of the American language in Chapter 3.1?

(see the answer keys)

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