The Mother Tongue Test | Final Test - Hard

Bill Bryson
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 115 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. From what context do many swear words come?

2. Why is it nearly impossible for a dictionary to keep pace with the English language?

3. The tendency to change names and pronunciations occurs _____________________.

4. It is difficult to determine the _______________________ in the English language.

5. How many words does the dictionary mentioned in #117 contain?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the source of many swear words throughout history?

2. Describe the evolution of swear words.

3. How is the pronunciation of place names indicative of how English speakers have changed over time?

4. In addition to English, what other languages have been proposed as international languages?

5. Explain any efforts to regulate the English language.

6. What is the author's opinion on who actually controls the English language?

7. What is the author's position on many spelling and grammar rules?

8. What is the correlation between tracing swear words and tracing the history of language overall?

9. What is the challenge of determining the actual number of words in the English language?

10. What happens to the use of swear words as society becomes more cognizant of propriety?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What was the impact of American immigrants to the English language? Take into account surnames, place names, and words assimilated into the American lexicography.

Essay Topic 2

Regions of America become well known for their speech and language quirks. For example, the people in Baltimore, Maryland, are famous for slurring their speech. Name at least three other examples of geographically distinct language stylings.

Essay Topic 3

In many cases, languages go beyond national borders. Explain some of the situations where languages overlap geographically and can cause social and political divisions.

(see the answer keys)

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