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

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

3. 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) Territorial expansiveness.
(c) Lack of a national literature.
(d) Regional diversity.

4. What word does Mencken find Dr. John Dewey using in place of the word "opium?"
(a) Dope.
(b) Poppy.
(c) Skag.
(d) Crack.

5. According to Mencken, democratic government is essentially government by whom?
(a) Politicians.
(b) The working class.
(c) Amateurs.
(d) Businessmen.

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

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

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

9. What purpose does Miss Wittmann say is served by the shortening of word forms?
(a) Convenience.
(b) None.
(c) Color.
(d) Creativity.

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

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

12. According to Chapter 2.6, what regional pronunciation is erroneously thought by some to have superior authority regarding English pronunciation?
(a) Boston.
(b) New York.
(c) Chicago.
(d) South-eastern.

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

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What term did John Witherspoon coin, framing it within the context of vulgarity?

2. Who proposed a generally accepted nomenclature for currency in 1785?

3. What is the English meaning of the Hawaiian word "lanai"?

4. What is the American substitute for the English word "tin"?

5. What word did the editor of the Westminster Gazette substitute for the incomprehensible dash in the mangled Americanism of Rupert Brooke?

(see the answer keys)

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