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. Mencken claims that Noah Webster contains less of the scientific inquirer and more of what?
(a) The erudite fool.
(b) The philological traditionalist.
(c) The father.
(d) The teacher.

2. To what continent does Mencken attribute the acknowledgment of the differences between American and British English?
(a) Asia.
(b) Europe.
(c) South America.
(d) North America.

3. What term did John Witherspoon coin, framing it within the context of vulgarity?
(a) Americanism.
(b) Briticism.
(c) Anglophile.
(d) Scientist.

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

5. What word did the editor of the Westminster Gazette substitute for the incomprehensible dash in the mangled Americanism of Rupert Brooke?
(a) Bottom.
(b) Jugs.
(c) Brains.
(d) Boots.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the early presidents does Mencken identify as archetypal of the new American?

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

3. Which of the following was not used as a substitute for the once indecent term, for highly refined ears, "bull"?

4. Which of the following did the African slaves NOT introduce to American English?

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

2. What characterizes the differences between American and English usage of lower-class idioms?

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

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

5. In general, what is the relationship between foreign names for locations and American pronunciations?

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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