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

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

3. 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) White/Caucasian.
(b) Jew/Hebrew.
(c) Latino/Hispanic.
(d) Black/African American.

4. What is the second characteristic that Mencken attributes to American English in Chapter 1.5?
(a) Translatability to British English.
(b) Resistance to neologisms.
(c) Disunity of regional dialects.
(d) Disregard of rule and precedent.

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

6. According to Mencken, what did the first generations born in the New World value as a virtue over enterprise and resourcefulness?
(a) Temperance.
(b) Niceness.
(c) Courage.
(d) Ingenuity.

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

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

9. What is the English meaning of the phrase "to carry on"?
(a) To be on the job.
(b) To raise hell.
(c) To talk endlessly.
(d) To shoulder one's pack.

10. The prudish reluctance to name what sort of diseases hindered proper preventative information?
(a) Cancerous.
(b) Venereal.
(c) Psychological.
(d) Gastro-intestinal.

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

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

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

14. Which word do Americans use for "angry" that was once an English provincialism considered base?
(a) Furious.
(b) Pissed.
(c) Irritated.
(d) Mad.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. To what continent does Mencken attribute the acknowledgment of the differences between American and British English?

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

5. What English word does the author of "Men and Manners" lament about the American re-signification?

(see the answer keys)

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