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

2. According to Mencken, the name of what game puzzles etymologists?
(a) Badminton.
(b) Football.
(c) Whist.
(d) Poker.

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

4. How many pages in "The King's English" are dedicated to explaining the distinction between "will" and "shall"?
(a) 0.
(b) 20.
(c) 15.
(d) 30.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Mencken, how do the English pronounce "been?"

2. According to Mencken at the beginning of Chapter 1.3, what do the novelists and newspapermen on either side of the Atlantic ocean delight in?

3. What word did the editor of the Westminster Gazette substitute for the incomprehensible dash in the mangled Americanism of Rupert Brooke?

4. Which European language has exerted the most influence on the American language?

5. The prudish reluctance to name what sort of diseases hindered proper preventative information?

Short Essay Questions

1. What characterizes the American attitude towards creating new names?

2. 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?

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

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

5. As explained in Chapter 6.4, why are Americans more conceding to foreign loan-words than the English are?

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

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

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

9. From what tradition do names such as Faith, Hope, and Charity come, and what is significant about the continued use of these names?

10. What is the relationship that Mencken identifies between French pronunciation and the pronunciation of Southerners?

(see the answer keys)

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