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. According to Mencken, what did the first generations born in the New World value as a virtue over enterprise and resourcefulness?
(a) Temperance.
(b) Niceness.
(c) Courage.
(d) Ingenuity.

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

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) Danish.
(b) Irish.
(c) Scottish.
(d) Italian.

4. What "great humorist" does Mencken cite in Chapter 1.3 as "celebrating 'the vigorous new vernacular of the occidental plains and mountains'"?
(a) John Fiske.
(b) Samuel Elridge.
(c) William Dean Howells.
(d) Mark Twain.

5. What class of Americans is most influenced by Briticisms, according to Mencken in Chapter 5.2?
(a) The poor.
(b) The middle-class.
(c) The vulgar.
(d) The fashionable.

Short Answer Questions

1. What word best describes the English attitude towards the adoption of foreign loan-words, in contrast to the American attitude?

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

3. What is the principal reason Mencken states that the English language has not greatly diverged since the foundation of the United States of America?

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

5. Who "tries" a legal case in England?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Walt Whitman's role in the development of the national literature of the United States?

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

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

4. What principally causes the difficulty of the English people understanding the American speech as explained in Chapter 1.3?

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

6. What were some of the reasons that many immigrants changed their names upon arriving in America?

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

8. What typically causes the difficulties of the American when hearing the Englishman or vice versa, as explained in Chapter 7.1?

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

10. In general, how did Noah Webster influence American pronunciation?

(see the answer keys)

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