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

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

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

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

5. 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) Brains.
(d) Jugs.

6. What does John S. Farmer describe the Western vernacular as being?
(a) Irreverent and irrelevant.
(b) Racy and pungent.
(c) Dry and prolonged.
(d) Flippant and pointless.

7. 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?
(a) Rooster.
(b) Railroad.
(c) Freight.
(d) Hog-pen.

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

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

10. What American writer does Mencken claim likely inspired envy in British writers?
(a) Poe.
(b) Fowler.
(c) Irving.
(d) Griswold.

11. To what continent does Mencken attribute the acknowledgment of the differences between American and British English?
(a) North America.
(b) Asia.
(c) Europe.
(d) South America.

12. What is the physical basis to which the nasal twang of Americans is ascribed?
(a) The moist climate.
(b) The dry climate.
(c) Genetic diversity.
(d) Colder air.

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

14. How many classifications of Americanisms does Gilbert M. Tucker provide in 1921?
(a) Twenty.
(b) Twelve.
(c) Thirteen.
(d) Two.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Mencken, democratic government is essentially government by whom?

2. What is the second characteristic that Mencken attributes to American English in Chapter 1.5?

3. To what country does the English correspondent in Chapter 4.5 ascribe many American expletives?

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

5. What word did Webster argue should have its vowel sound changed to "ee" instead of "eh"?

(see the answer keys)

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