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. Who proposed a generally accepted nomenclature for currency in 1785?
(a) Noah Webster.
(b) Gouverneur Morris.
(c) Thomas Jefferson.
(d) Richard Grant White.

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?
(a) Travel.
(b) Localisms.
(c) Publishing.
(d) Intercommunication.

3. Which of the following was not used as a substitute for the once indecent term, for highly refined ears, "bull"?
(a) Standing-cow.
(b) Male-cow.
(c) Cow-creature.
(d) Gentleman-cow.

4. Whose clarity of prevision does Mencken praise in the opening of Chapter 1.1?
(a) Jefferson.
(b) Waldo.
(c) Madison.
(d) Franklin.

5. Mencken describes the American language as having a "democratic enmity" to all what, in the beginning of Chapter 6.1?
(a) Regulation.
(b) Individualism.
(c) Authority.
(d) Grammatical rules.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Mencken, how do the Americans consider the precise English use of the indefinite pronoun ("one")?

2. According to the report of Beverley, what did a group of soldiers turn into after eating some Jimson Weed?

3. To what country does the English correspondent in Chapter 4.5 ascribe many American expletives?

4. What letter, when preceding a consonant, greatly irritated Henry James like a "morose grinding of the back teeth?"

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. What typifies the difference in the use of honorifics between Americans and the English?

3. 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?

4. What is Mencken's chief critique of the classifications that he reports in Chapter 1.6?

5. What, in Chapter 1.3, is the main conflict of ideas that Mencken puts forth?

6. Why does Mencken find the double negative an appreciable linguistic deviation?

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

8. Describe H.L. Mencken's attitude towards the American tendencies in the formation of new words.

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

10. What was the overall effect of Noah Webster on the spelling of American English?

(see the answer keys)

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