The American Language Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In what location does Mencken say both the American and English orthographies flourish side by side?

2. Which adjectival prefix does Mencken state is confined to the more sophisticated classes?

3. What spelling change is made from English to American in words such as "connection"?

4. In what year did the National Education Association withdraw from the campaign for simplified spelling?

5. According to Mencken, the English opposition to American spelling transcends the academic and takes on the character of what?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Of all the various ways in which the American and British dialects are divergent, perhaps the most obvious is the distinct spellings of words. Analyze the significance of this distinction and put forth an argument in support of one or the other spelling paradigm. How do the two dialects go about determining the spelling of a word? What are the principles that ought to be at work in the conventional acceptance of a word's spelling? Which of these principles is the most important? To which principles does each dialect adhere? What is the greater significance of this adherence?

Essay Topic 2

One of the hardest aspects of any language that is almost impossible to classify is the nuances of pronunciation. Write an essay analyzing the problems caused by the varieties and degrees of pronunciation. Have the difficulties it causes those who study the American language. What is the definition of pronunciation? How does Mencken treat of pronunciation? What are the ways in which it may change an auditor's understanding of a language? How is the American pronunciation divergent from the British? What particularities of the American pronunciation are significant in comprehension of the American language?

Essay Topic 3

Part of the driving force behind the divergence of American from British, is what Americans rather distinctly desire to express in language, according to Mencken. Write an essay discussing these desires of which Mencken implicitly speaks. What is the American concerned with in his language? What obstacles in linguistic form can stand between him and his desires? What then happens to these obstacles? What happens to language overall? Are there any dangers in these tendencies? If so, what are they? What is the fundamental relationship between the desires of a populace and their linguistic form?

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