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. What use of storage was added to the American meaning of the word "barn?"
(a) Cattle.
(b) Crops.
(c) Horses.
(d) Chickens.

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

3. 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?
(a) Irish.
(b) Italian.
(c) Danish.
(d) Scottish.

4. Which of the following is a term used by philologists to indicate the "instinctive search, etymologically unsound, for short roots in long words"?
(a) Formative de-synthesizing.
(b) Etymanalyzing.
(c) Deconstructing.
(d) Back-formation.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Mencken list as dominant the English alternative for the word "mail"?

2. What Anglo-Saxon word does Mencken report the colonists refused to replace with an Old Norse word of similar meaning?

3. What is the physical basis to which the nasal twang of Americans is ascribed?

4. What word in American is used for the English word "shoe?"

5. Which of the early presidents does Mencken identify as archetypal of the new American?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what does Mencken evidently delight concerning the speech of American, in Chapter 1.5?

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

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

4. How does Mencken describe the distinction between colloquialisms and idiomatic expressions that are generally accepted and those that are not? What example does he use to explain this distinction?

5. Who does Grandgent say are under the influence of the British in terms of their pronunciation?

6. In what ways is the noun principally abused in vulgar American?

7. 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?

8. For what reason did the early Americans wish to distinguish their language from that of the English?

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

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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