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

2. What event does Mencken credit with strengthening the obfuscation of distinction between American and British English?
(a) The First World War.
(b) The French Revolution.
(c) The bombing of London.
(d) The advent of the transatlantic telephone line.

3. What American writer does Mencken claim likely inspired envy in British writers?
(a) Griswold.
(b) Poe.
(c) Fowler.
(d) Irving.

4. According to Chapter 2.6, what regional pronunciation is erroneously thought by some to have superior authority regarding English pronunciation?
(a) Boston.
(b) South-eastern.
(c) Chicago.
(d) New York.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Mencken say newspaper reporters no longer "slobber" over?

2. What does the English "secondary school" correspond to in American?

3. 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?

4. According to Mencken, the name of what game puzzles etymologists?

5. 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?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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 Mencken describe the attempts of British authors to give voice to American characters?

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

6. Upon what does Mencken claim the art of American prose is based, in Chapter 9.2?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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