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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What name is the Italian "Giuseppe" transformed into?
2. What sort of distinction frequently occurs between an adverb and its primary adjective?
3. Mencken reports hearing of a German named "Knoche," who to avoid being called "Nokky," changed his name to what?
4. As what part of speech does vulgar American consider the word "self" within the spirit of the language?
5. What does Mencken say, in colloquial American, has obliterated the verb?
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
Write an essay analyzing the nature of the relationship between the "melting pot" of American immigrant assimilation and the nomenclature that permeates the country. What are the evident influences of foreign languages on American names? How are these names Americanized? What is the general tendency of American-speakers in the employment and application of names to places and people? To what degree are the various names Americanized? What is the cause of Americanization of names? What is its result and what does it indicate about the American spirit?
Essay Topic 3
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?
This section contains 1,935 words
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