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. How many soldiers' names were presented to the House by Mr. Mondell in 1919?

2. According to the study of E.J. Hills, how many descriptive adjectives are possessed by the average child of two?

3. Over how many post offices does Mencken state bear the adjective "New"?

4. Mencken states that the "Meyers" are the "Smiths" of what country?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Mencken claims that the true American spirit is to be found not in the textbooks or proclamations of grammarians, but in the vulgar speech of the common people. Discuss this claim in a thoughtful analytical essay. What is the American spirit? Does Mencken clearly present what the American spirit is? Is his a defensible claim? How does the vulgar speech of the common person reflect this spirit? Is there some danger of degradation in linguistic form from prevalence of the vulgar speech? How does the vulgar speech reflect upon the American as a human person?

Essay Topic 2

Much of Mencken's The American Language is devoted to the study of expansion of the American vocabulary. Write an essay examining the various sources and means by which new words enter the American dialect, as well as the impact they have. From where do new words come? What prompts the admission of new words into the vocabulary? What languages have had the most influence on the American vocabulary? What does the American dialect do with its new words? What are the effects that new words can and do have on the American dialect? Be sure to use specific examples.

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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