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

2. From what language does the English word "moose" come?
(a) Italian.
(b) English.
(c) Algonquin.
(d) Cherokee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11. What is the universal substitute for the word "ye" as described in Chapter 6.2?
(a) Thou.
(b) The.
(c) You.
(d) Thee.

12. 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) Danish.
(b) Scottish.
(c) Italian.
(d) Irish.

13. What does Mencken state is neglected by those who are professional trained to investigate it?
(a) Philological anomalies.
(b) The vulgate.
(c) Formal grammar.
(d) Idiosyncrasies.

14. According to Mencken, the name of what game puzzles etymologists?
(a) Football.
(b) Poker.
(c) Whist.
(d) Badminton.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Which London newspaper lamented the "menace" that American movies offer to the purity of the English language?

2. Whose clarity of prevision does Mencken praise in the opening of Chapter 1.1?

3. What word was "coatee" used as a diminutive for?

4. Who "tries" a legal case in England?

5. What is the physical basis to which the nasal twang of Americans is ascribed?

(see the answer keys)

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