The American Language Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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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. Which is the second factor that Mencken identifies as an impediment to the growth of the American language in Chapter 3.1?
(a) Regional diversity.
(b) Political disharmony.
(c) Territorial expansiveness.
(d) Lack of a national literature.

2. According to Mencken, which title is subject to the greatest divergence in usage?
(a) General.
(b) Doctor.
(c) The Honorable.
(d) Professor.

3. What does Mencken list as dominant the English alternative for the word "mail"?
(a) Postals.
(b) Shipping.
(c) Letters.
(d) Post.

4. To what country does the English correspondent in Chapter 4.5 ascribe many American expletives?
(a) Sweden.
(b) Germany.
(c) France.
(d) Ireland.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What country's works dominated the reading habits of the American colonists in the latter 18th century?

2. Which Founding Father is said to have sought to establish a new American alphabet?

3. According to Chapter 2.6, what regional pronunciation is erroneously thought by some to have superior authority regarding English pronunciation?

4. What difference in pronunciation does Mencken state most sharply distinguishes the two dialects?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What, in Chapter 1.3, is the main conflict of ideas that Mencken puts forth?

3. What effect did the exploration of new territory have on the language of the American settlers, as described in Chapter 2.3?

4. How does a word move from legitimate vocabulary to slang vocabulary, according to Mencken?

5. Aside from numbering and lettering, what is the principal way in which American and English styles of naming streets are divergent?

6. What does Mencken evidently find confusing and absurd about the "-our" endings in English?

7. What influence does Mencken credit the Protestant Episcopal Church with about American adoption of Briticisms?

8. What is the relationship between the mean and nasty labor done in the United States and the desire of immigrants to change their names?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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