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) Free endorsement.
(b) To process.
(c) To advocate.
(d) To indulge.

2. In terms of politics, an American candidate "runs" for office. What does an English candidate do?
(a) Jumps.
(b) Stands.
(c) Sits.
(d) Sprints.

3. According to Mencken, which title is subject to the greatest divergence in usage?
(a) Professor.
(b) Doctor.
(c) General.
(d) The Honorable.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. From what language does the English word "moose" come?

2. Whose clarity of prevision does Mencken praise in the opening of Chapter 1.1?

3. Who protested the adoption of the broad "a" in an 1857 work entitled "The Autocrat at the Breakfast Table"?

4. What is the American substitute for the English word "tin"?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Mencken imply about the vulgar American usage of forms such as "yourn," "hisn," and "theirn," in Chapter 9.4?

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

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

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

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

7. How does the severity and conventional loyalty of grammarians influence those they attempt to educate?

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

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

10. How is the advance of American spelling characterized in Chapter 8.3?

(see the answer keys)

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