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 English word does the author of "Men and Manners" lament about the American re-signification?
(a) Missionary.
(b) College.
(c) Clever.
(d) Buttock.

2. What does Sayce say that language is composed of in 1879?
(a) Meanings.
(b) Sounds.
(c) Letters.
(d) Words.

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

4. Whom does Mencken use to exemplify the flouting of linguistic purity in Chapter 6.1?
(a) Politicians.
(b) Working men.
(c) Professors.
(d) Famers.

5. From what language does the English word "moose" come?
(a) Italian.
(b) English.
(c) Cherokee.
(d) Algonquin.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the physical basis to which the nasal twang of Americans is ascribed?

2. What ethnicity of people, through the influence of the mercantile class, is referred to by a different name in the United States than in England?

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

4. According to the tale spread by William Gifford, what language was supposed to be substituted for English during the Revolutionary War?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What style of writing does Mencken advocate concerning euphemisms in Chapter 4.4?

2. What characterizes the favorite slang phrases of the American soldier in World War I, according to Mencken?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. What is Mencken's evident attitude towards the vulgar American pronunciation of foreign loan-words?

(see the answer keys)

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