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 language does Mencken quote Sidney Low as saying is not taught to English youth?
(a) American.
(b) Russian.
(c) Latin.
(d) Greek.

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

3. To what country does the English correspondent in Chapter 4.5 ascribe many American expletives?
(a) Ireland.
(b) Sweden.
(c) Germany.
(d) France.

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

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

6. According to the tale spread by William Gifford, what language was supposed to be substituted for English during the Revolutionary War?
(a) Spanish.
(b) French.
(c) Latin.
(d) Hebrew.

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

8. What vowel sound was dominant in 18th century New England pronunciation, despite common protests to the contrary?
(a) Flat a.
(b) Broad o.
(c) Broad a.
(d) Flat e.

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

10. What country's works dominated the reading habits of the American colonists in the latter 18th century?
(a) England.
(b) Germany.
(c) France.
(d) Denmark.

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) Localisms.
(b) Intercommunication.
(c) Travel.
(d) Publishing.

12. How many classifications of Americanisms does Bartlett postulate in his 1859 dictionary?
(a) Forty-two.
(b) Nine.
(c) Three.
(d) Four.

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

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. According to the report of Beverley, what did a group of soldiers turn into after eating some Jimson Weed?

2. Which of the following was not used as a substitute for the once indecent term, for highly refined ears, "bull"?

3. 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?

4. Which Founding Father is said to have sought to establish a new American alphabet?

5. Which of the following is a term used by philologists to indicate the "instinctive search, etymologically unsound, for short roots in long words"?

(see the answer keys)

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