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) Chicago.
(b) South-eastern.
(c) New York.
(d) Boston.

2. What word in common honorifics did Edwin S. Gould protest against omitting in 1867?
(a) Very.
(b) Most.
(c) Right.
(d) The.

3. What is the universal substitute for the word "ye" as described in Chapter 6.2?
(a) The.
(b) Thee.
(c) Thou.
(d) You.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What language does Mencken quote Sidney Low as saying is not taught to English youth?

2. How many pages in "The King's English" are dedicated to explaining the distinction between "will" and "shall"?

3. What sound did Webster object to inserting in words such as "gradual" and "nature," before the "u"?

4. How do the English pronounce the first syllable in "lieutenant"?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Mencken mean by saying that Americans have "a habit of achieving short-cuts in speech by a process of agglutination"?

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

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

4. With what sort of distinctions is Chapter 7.2 principally concerned?

5. Upon what does Mencken claim the art of American prose is based, in Chapter 9.2?

6. How does Mencken characterize Shakespeare and what is the Bard's relevance on American English?

7. What is the character of the argument presented by the Society for Pure English in the quoted caveat?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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