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 difference in pronunciation does Mencken state most sharply distinguishes the two dialects?
(a) The normative "a."
(b) The normative "ch."
(c) The normative "-ary" suffix.
(d) The normative "o."

2. The prudish reluctance to name what sort of diseases hindered proper preventative information?
(a) Psychological.
(b) Venereal.
(c) Gastro-intestinal.
(d) Cancerous.

3. How do the English pronounce the first syllable in "lieutenant"?
(a) Lee-oo.
(b) Yeift.
(c) Loo.
(d) Left.

4. What moniker of currency has persisted in America despite having no currency properly of that name?
(a) Nickel.
(b) Pence.
(c) Bill.
(d) Penny.

5. According to Benjamin Franklin, what was roughly the population of the colonies in 1751?
(a) 10,000,000
(b) 500,000
(c) 50,000,000
(d) 1,000,000

Short Answer Questions

1. How many dialects dominate American English, according to Chapter 1.5?

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

3. What country's works dominated the reading habits of the American colonists in the latter 18th century?

4. What American writer does Mencken claim likely inspired envy in British writers?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Under what situation does language undergo great changes and renew its vitality, according to Mencken in Chapter 9.1?

3. What general problem of language does Mencken describe in Chapter 1.1?

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

5. What characterizes the differences between American and English usage of lower-class idioms?

6. How does Mencken describe the attempts of British authors to give voice to American characters?

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

8. 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?

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

10. What is significant about the divergent styles of naming of streets in America and England?

(see the answer keys)

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