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 does Mencken say newspaper reporters no longer "slobber" over?
(a) Tragedies.
(b) Interviews.
(c) Ceremonies.
(d) British idioms.

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

3. Who is the author of "Travels in North America," published in 1827?
(a) Basil Hall.
(b) Henry Alford.
(c) Charles Astor Bristed.
(d) Louis Untermeyer.

4. What language does Mencken quote Sidney Low as saying is not taught to English youth?
(a) Greek.
(b) American.
(c) Russian.
(d) Latin.

5. Who is the author of "Dissertations on the English Language"?
(a) Noah Webster.
(b) Benjamin Franklin.
(c) H.L. Mencken.
(d) Thomas Jefferson.

Short Answer Questions

1. What country's works dominated the reading habits of the American colonists in the latter 18th century?

2. How many classifications of Americanisms does Bartlett postulate in his 1859 dictionary?

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

4. What moniker of currency has persisted in America despite having no currency properly of that name?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is indicated by dominance of American terms derived from German that are related to eating and drinking?

3. What characterizes the American attitude towards creating new names?

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

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

6. To what does Mencken ascribe the withdrawal of the National Education Association from the simplified spelling campaign?

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

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

9. 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?

10. What is the difference between "rock" in English and in American, as explained in Chapter 2.4?

(see the answer keys)

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