The American Language Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Medium

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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. What is the physical basis to which the nasal twang of Americans is ascribed?
(a) The dry climate.
(b) Genetic diversity.
(c) The moist climate.
(d) Colder air.

2. According to Mencken, democratic government is essentially government by whom?
(a) Businessmen.
(b) The working class.
(c) Amateurs.
(d) Politicians.

3. How is the "portmanteau-word" formed?
(a) By blending two words.
(b) By mixing parts of words with the same meaning in different languages.
(c) By finding the true root in the word.
(d) By onomatopoeic creativity.

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

5. To what phrase did Benjamin Franklin, Noah Webster, and Robert Southey object as a base Americanism, as discussed in Chapter 2.3?
(a) To indulge.
(b) To advocate.
(c) To process.
(d) Free endorsement.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which term do English dictionaries all describe as an Americanism from the comparative list in Chapter 4.1, despite the English version being frequently used in America?

2. What word does Mencken find Dr. John Dewey using in place of the word "opium?"

3. What does John S. Farmer describe the Western vernacular as being?

4. What "great humorist" does Mencken cite in Chapter 1.3 as "celebrating 'the vigorous new vernacular of the occidental plains and mountains'"?

5. Mencken claims that Noah Webster contains less of the scientific inquirer and more of what?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is indicated by dominance of American terms derived from German that are related to eating and drinking?

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

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

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

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

6. What chief cause does Mencken ascribes the backwardness of American war slang to?

7. To what does Mencken ascribe the withdrawal of the National Education Association from the simplified spelling campaign?

8. What were some of the reasons that many immigrants changed their names upon arriving in America?

9. What two factors are discussed in Chapter 9.5 as contributing to Mencken's distress in the "movement toward the identity in form" and why?

10. What is Mencken's evident attitude towards the "wearing down" of vowel and consonant sounds in the vulgar American pronunciation?

(see the answer keys)

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