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. Which of the following does names, used for a settlement, Mencken not list as bespattering the land?

2. Which organization produced a prospectus in 1913 that warned against extreme English conservatism in the spelling of foreign loan-words?

3. Who is the author of "A Doll's House," who puts bad grammar into Nora Helmar's mouth?

4. For what word does Mencken say "incidence" is commonly mistaken to be a synonym?

5. How many works does Mencken claim to have discovered covering the topic of American slang?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Although American had changed drastically by the time Mencken wrote The American Language, in 1921, it has clearly changed drastically since then, as well. Examine, in an analytical essay, some of the more significant changes since then. What new words have come into popular usage? What then popular Americanisms have faded out almost altogether? Has the language changed as significantly since 1921 as it did between any other comparable span of time? If so, defend your answer with specific examples. Finally, what is the characteristic of the American language as revealed by comparing its present state with that it was characterized by Mencken as having when he wrote The American Language?

Essay Topic 2

A significant contributor to the present state of the American language is the influx of foreign words, particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries. Compose an essay analyzing the impact and influences of these various foreign words. What particular contributions have they made to the language? How do they reflect the overall composition of the American populace? How have these words themselves changed? How have they changed the language overall? How do all of these changes indicate the tendencies of the American English dialect?

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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