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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

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

2. Whose clarity of prevision does Mencken praise in the opening of Chapter 1.1?
(a) Franklin.
(b) Jefferson.
(c) Madison.
(d) Waldo.

3. What word did the editor of the Westminster Gazette substitute for the incomprehensible dash in the mangled Americanism of Rupert Brooke?
(a) Brains.
(b) Jugs.
(c) Boots.
(d) Bottom.

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

5. Which of the following groups of foreign immigrants does Mencken not attribute influence over American English in Chapter 6.4?
(a) Slavic peoples.
(b) South-Pacific Asian Islanders.
(c) Russian Jews.
(d) Italians.

Short Answer Questions

1. The prudish reluctance to name what sort of diseases hindered proper preventative information?

2. 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?

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

4. What sound did Webster object to inserting in words such as "gradual" and "nature," before the "u"?

5. What event does Mencken credit with strengthening the obfuscation of distinction between American and British English?

Short Essay Questions

1. In general, what is the relationship between foreign names for locations and American pronunciations?

2. What is Mencken's chief critique of the classifications that he reports in Chapter 1.6?

3. What was the predominant attitude of philologists towards the study of American slang, at the time of Mencken's writing?

4. What characterizes the favorite slang phrases of the American soldier in World War I, according to Mencken?

5. How does Mencken characterize Shakespeare and what is the Bard's relevance on American English?

6. How is the advance of American spelling characterized in Chapter 8.3?

7. With what sort of distinctions is Chapter 7.2 principally concerned?

8. Why does Mencken find the double negative an appreciable linguistic deviation?

9. Characterize the intentions and effects of the renaming done by the Geographical Board, according to Mencken.

10. What two principal sources does Mencken identify as adding new words to the American English in Chapter 2.2?

(see the answer keys)

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