The American Language Test | Final Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Lounsbury is reported as saying that, "The history of language, when looked at from the purely grammatical point of view, is little else than the history of" what?
(a) Regulations.
(b) Innovations.
(c) Aberrations.
(d) Corruptions.

2. What does Mencken say that a proper understanding of words and their meanings will enable their speaker to do, in Chapter 11.1?
(a) Mingle slang and proper speech effortlessly.
(b) Create new slang all the time.
(c) Alter the course of language.
(d) Speak without ever using slang.

3. What principle of spelling was behind much of Webster's theory concerning the simplification of spelling?
(a) Flexibility.
(b) Vowel accentuation.
(c) Phonetics.
(d) Convention.

4. Which impulse behind American imitation of English orthography is more influential?
(a) Anti-colonialism.
(b) Convenience.
(c) Compromise for cheaper printing.
(d) Affectation.

5. Which of the following is one of the three great causes of change in language according to Sayce, as reported in Chapter 9.3?
(a) Laziness.
(b) Lexicography.
(c) Phonetic innovations.
(d) Cultural encounters.

6. Which nationality does Mencken claim is most eager to Americanize the names of their children?
(a) The Italians.
(b) The Irish.
(c) The Germans.
(d) The Jews.

7. Who is apparently the first literary critic to point out the "enormous gap between the literate and unliterate American"?
(a) Rene Wellek.
(b) I.A. Richards.
(c) Allen Tate.
(d) Francis Hackett.

8. In what year did the National Education Association withdraw from the campaign for simplified spelling?
(a) 1914.
(b) 1907.
(c) 1921.
(d) 1899.

9. According to the study of E.J. Hills, how many descriptive adjectives are possessed by the average child of two?
(a) 59.
(b) 173.
(c) 23.
(d) 72.

10. From what language is "gob" reputed to be derived in Chapter 11.2?
(a) Spanish.
(b) Chinese.
(c) Persian.
(d) Japanese.

11. Which of the following is not one of the minor differences Mencken lists in Chapter 8.7?
(a) Specialty.
(b) Fruit.
(c) Alarm.
(d) Aluminum.

12. What does the movement towards the general vowel neutralization promise to do in the future, according to Mencken?
(a) Clarify the pronunciation of vowels.
(b) Reduce the number of vowel sounds, but not the vowels themselves.
(c) Dispose of many vowels.
(d) Create new vowels.

13. Which organization produced a prospectus in 1913 that warned against extreme English conservatism in the spelling of foreign loan-words?
(a) Simplified Spelling Board.
(b) Society for Pure English.
(c) British Literary Association.
(d) National Education Association.

14. Which case of the noun in English yet has an inflection at the time of Mencken's writing?
(a) The ablative.
(b) The accusative.
(c) The genitive.
(d) The dative.

15. What was the Anglo-Saxon form of the modern-day word "my," according to Mencken in Chapter 9.4?
(a) Mien.
(b) Mine.
(c) Mi.
(d) Min.

Short Answer Questions

1. How many works does Mencken claim to have discovered covering the topic of American slang?

2. Mencken reports hearing of a German named "Knoche," who to avoid being called "Nokky," changed his name to what?

3. What religious affiliation, commonly held in both countries, has had a larger influence on names in America than in England?

4. Who published a work in 1768 entitled "Scheme for a New Alphabet and a Reformed Mode of Spelling, with Remarks and Examples Concerning the Same, and an Enquiry into its Uses"?

5. As what part of speech does vulgar American consider the word "self" within the spirit of the language?

(see the answer keys)

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