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. From what language does the English word "moose" come?
(a) Algonquin.
(b) Italian.
(c) English.
(d) Cherokee.

2. According to Mencken, what did the first generations born in the New World value as a virtue over enterprise and resourcefulness?
(a) Niceness.
(b) Courage.
(c) Temperance.
(d) Ingenuity.

3. What purpose does Miss Wittmann say is served by the shortening of word forms?
(a) Convenience.
(b) None.
(c) Creativity.
(d) Color.

4. How many classifications of Americanisms does Bartlett postulate in his 1859 dictionary?
(a) Three.
(b) Four.
(c) Forty-two.
(d) Nine.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. In what language did the American derivative "coyote" originate?

2. Whose clarity of prevision does Mencken praise in the opening of Chapter 1.1?

3. What English word does the author of "Men and Manners" lament about the American re-signification?

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

5. Who protested the adoption of the broad "a" in an 1857 work entitled "The Autocrat at the Breakfast Table"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What style of writing does Mencken advocate concerning euphemisms in Chapter 4.4?

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

3. What general problem of language does Mencken describe in Chapter 1.1?

4. What is the most common incorrect usage of the adjective in vulgar American?

5. How does the severity and conventional loyalty of grammarians influence those they attempt to educate?

6. What does Mencken mean by saying that Americans have "a habit of achieving short-cuts in speech by a process of agglutination"?

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

8. In general, how did Noah Webster influence American pronunciation?

9. What are the different significations of "guy" in America and England, as described by Mencken?

10. What does Mencken intimate by the assertion that the "inner spirit of English" has inclined steadily towards saying "I have go" for a thousand years?

(see the answer keys)

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