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

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

3. According to Mencken, which of the following does "one American professor of English" predict will become a spelling form of the future?

4. To what do English writers usually ascribe the American custom of numbering and lettering streets?

5. For which voiceless consonant is the voiced "d" substituting with growing regularity, according to Mearns?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A major part of the analysis of linguistic development provided by Mencken in The American Language is the relationship between language and the territory in which it changes. Construct a well-formed analytical essay that investigates this connection. What are the reasons behind it? What are the consequences of this connection in England and in America? How can territorial linguistic development be seen in the various regions of America? What is the common ground between change and territory upon which this connection is founded?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Compose an essay analyzing the Americanization of foreign names, as presented in The American Language. How are they Americanized? What characterizes the Americanization of surnames? What characterizes the Americanization of given names? What influences their Americanization? Why are they Americanized? What is lost by their Americanization? What is the result of this tendency to conformity?

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