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. How many classifications of Americanisms does Bartlett postulate in his 1859 dictionary?
(a) Nine.
(b) Three.
(c) Forty-two.
(d) Four.

2. Which word do Americans use for "angry" that was once an English provincialism considered base?
(a) Pissed.
(b) Irritated.
(c) Furious.
(d) Mad.

3. What does the English "secondary school" correspond to in American?
(a) Middle school.
(b) Elementary school.
(c) College.
(d) High school.

4. Which of the early presidents does Mencken identify as archetypal of the new American?
(a) Thomas Jefferson.
(b) James Monroe.
(c) Andrew Jackson.
(d) George Washington.

5. Whose clarity of prevision does Mencken praise in the opening of Chapter 1.1?
(a) Jefferson.
(b) Franklin.
(c) Waldo.
(d) Madison.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the English meaning of the Hawaiian word "lanai"?

2. Which of the following groups of foreign immigrants does Mencken not attribute influence over American English in Chapter 6.4?

3. 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?

4. Which of the following is a term used by philologists to indicate the "instinctive search, etymologically unsound, for short roots in long words"?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What influence does Mencken credit the Protestant Episcopal Church with about American adoption of Briticisms?

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

3. In what ways is the noun principally abused in vulgar American?

4. Why does Mencken find the double negative an appreciable linguistic deviation?

5. In what way did the early political disunity of the United States hamper the growth of a national language, according to Mencken in Chapter 3.1?

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

7. What two factors are discussed in Chapter 9.5 as contributing to Mencken's distress in the "movement toward the identity in form" and why?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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