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

2. Which still-popular German given name survives today, with a slight change in spelling, as Mencken reports in Chapter 10.2?
(a) Hans.
(b) Wilhelm.
(c) Franz.
(d) Karl.

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

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

5. Mencken states that the "Meyers" are the "Smiths" of what country?
(a) Lichtenstein.
(b) Poland.
(c) Slovenia.
(d) Austria.

6. Which word do the English always place prior to the proper noun whereas Americans place it after, as Mencken reports at the end of Chapter 10.3?
(a) Street.
(b) River.
(c) Lake.
(d) County.

7. What spelling change is made from English to American in words such as "connection"?
(a) Conection to connection.
(b) Conexion to connection.
(c) Connectin to connection.
(d) Connexion to connection.

8. In what year did Noah Webster die?
(a) 1898.
(b) 1912.
(c) 1799.
(d) 1843.

9. According to Chapter 8.4, what is the first impulse behind American imitation of English orthography?
(a) Convenience.
(b) Compromise for cheaper printing.
(c) Affectation.
(d) Anti-colonialism.

10. To what do English writers usually ascribe the American custom of numbering and lettering streets?
(a) Easiness.
(b) Ingenuity.
(c) A lack of wit.
(d) Poverty of invention.

11. 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) Aberrations.
(b) Regulations.
(c) Corruptions.
(d) Innovations.

12. What language does the formalism of English grammarians come from?
(a) Latin.
(b) German.
(c) French.
(d) Spanish.

13. How many works does Mencken claim to have discovered covering the topic of American slang?
(a) Three.
(b) Twelve.
(c) One.
(d) Hundreds.

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

15. Who was the author of the couplet that Mencken quotes: "For thou art a girl as much brighter than her / As he was a poet sublimer than me"?
(a) John Keats.
(b) Matthew Prior.
(c) Matthew Arnold.
(d) Percy Bysse Shelley.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following is often used in England to designate a thoroughfare?

2. What is the English equivalent of the American Main Street?

3. For which voiceless consonant is the voiced "d" substituting with growing regularity, according to Mearns?

4. In which city are the French names of streets reported by Mencken to be beautiful but so barbarously pronounced as to be unrecognizable by a Frenchman?

5. What does Mencken say that a proper understanding of words and their meanings will enable their speaker to do, in Chapter 11.1?

(see the answer keys)

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