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 Chapter 2.6, what regional pronunciation is erroneously thought by some to have superior authority regarding English pronunciation?
(a) Boston.
(b) South-eastern.
(c) Chicago.
(d) New York.

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) Intercommunication.
(d) Publishing.

3. Which of the following is a term used by philologists to indicate the "instinctive search, etymologically unsound, for short roots in long words"?
(a) Back-formation.
(b) Etymanalyzing.
(c) Deconstructing.
(d) Formative de-synthesizing.

4. What does John S. Farmer describe the Western vernacular as being?
(a) Dry and prolonged.
(b) Irreverent and irrelevant.
(c) Flippant and pointless.
(d) Racy and pungent.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. In terms of politics, an American candidate "runs" for office. What does an English candidate do?

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

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

4. What event does Mencken credit with strengthening the obfuscation of distinction between American and British English?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the predominant attitude of philologists towards the study of American slang, at the time of Mencken's writing?

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

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

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

5. What effect did the exploration of new territory have on the language of the American settlers, as described in Chapter 2.3?

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

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

8. In Chapter 1.2, whom does Mencken identify as chiefly responsible for the inhibiting of an American dialect?

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

10. What is revealed by the attitudes of the English conservatives in Australia towards American spelling?

(see the answer keys)

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