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. To what phrase did Benjamin Franklin, Noah Webster, and Robert Southey object as a base Americanism, as discussed in Chapter 2.3?
(a) To advocate.
(b) To process.
(c) Free endorsement.
(d) To indulge.

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

3. What "Anglomaniac affectation" did Noah Webster sneer at in 1789?
(a) The literature of Fowler.
(b) The broad "a."
(c) Clinging to the silent "u" as in "honour."
(d) The recalcitrance to neologisms.

4. Which London newspaper lamented the "menace" that American movies offer to the purity of the English language?
(a) The <i>Daily News</i>.
(b) The <i>Daily Herald</i>.
(c) The <i>Illustrated London News</i>.
(d) The <i>Times</i>.

5. Where was the broad "a" principally established prior to the Civil War?
(a) New England.
(b) The Southeast.
(c) California.
(d) The Midwest.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What difference in pronunciation does Mencken state most sharply distinguishes the two dialects?

3. From what language does the English word "moose" come?

4. According to Benjamin Franklin, what was roughly the population of the colonies in 1751?

5. How many classifications of Americanisms does Gilbert M. Tucker provide in 1921?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does a word move from legitimate vocabulary to slang vocabulary, according to Mencken?

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

3. What does Mencken intimate by the assertion that the "inner spirit of English" has inclined steadily towards saying "I have go" for a thousand years?

4. What is the relationship that Mencken identifies between French pronunciation and the pronunciation of Southerners?

5. What is Mencken's chief critique of the classifications that he reports in Chapter 1.6?

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

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

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

9. What are the different significations of "guy" in America and England, as described by Mencken?

10. What does Mencken imply about the vulgar American usage of forms such as "yourn," "hisn," and "theirn," in Chapter 9.4?

(see the answer keys)

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