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 is the English word for a collection of colleges?
(a) A Cardinal.
(b) A Maltin.
(c) A University.
(d) A Collegiate.

2. What term did John Witherspoon coin, framing it within the context of vulgarity?
(a) Anglophile.
(b) Americanism.
(c) Scientist.
(d) Briticism.

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

4. What is the American substitute for the English word "tin"?
(a) Can.
(b) Cup.
(c) Dish.
(d) Bucket.

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

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

7. How is the "portmanteau-word" formed?
(a) By mixing parts of words with the same meaning in different languages.
(b) By onomatopoeic creativity.
(c) By finding the true root in the word.
(d) By blending two words.

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

9. Which London newspaper lamented the "menace" that American movies offer to the purity of the English language?
(a) The <i>Illustrated London News</i>.
(b) The <i>Times</i>.
(c) The <i>Daily Herald</i>.
(d) The <i>Daily News</i>.

10. 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) Hog-pen.
(b) Freight.
(c) Rooster.
(d) Railroad.

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

12. Mencken describes the American language as having a "democratic enmity" to all what, in the beginning of Chapter 6.1?
(a) Regulation.
(b) Authority.
(c) Individualism.
(d) Grammatical rules.

13. Who is the author of "Dissertations on the English Language"?
(a) Noah Webster.
(b) Benjamin Franklin.
(c) H.L. Mencken.
(d) Thomas Jefferson.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What letter, when preceding a consonant, greatly irritated Henry James like a "morose grinding of the back teeth?"

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

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

4. Which Founding Father coined the term "to belittle"?

5. What "Anglomaniac affectation" did Noah Webster sneer at in 1789?

(see the answer keys)

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