American Language by H.L. Mencken PDF

By H.L. Mencken

ISBN-10: 0394400755

ISBN-13: 9780394400754

The American Language, first released in 1919, is H. L. Mencken's publication concerning the English language as spoken within the United States.

Mencken used to be encouraged via "the argot of the coloured waiters" in Washington, in addition to one among his favourite authors, Mark Twain, and his reports at the streets of Baltimore. In 1902, Mencken remarked at the "queer phrases which pass into the making of 'United States.'" The booklet was once preceded by means of a number of columns in The night Sun. Mencken ultimately requested "Why does not a few painstaking pundit test a grammar of the yank language... English, that's, as spoken through the nice plenty of the apparent humans of this reasonable land?" it is going to look that he replied his personal question.

In the culture of Noah Webster, who wrote the 1st American dictionary, Mencken desired to shield "Americanisms" opposed to a gentle movement of English critics, who frequently remoted Americanisms as borderline barbarous perversions of the mum tongue. Mencken assaulted the prescriptive grammar of those critics and American "schoolmarms", arguing, like Samuel Johnson within the preface to his dictionary, that language evolves independently of textbooks.

The publication discusses the beginnings of "American" adaptations from "English", the unfold of those diversifications, American names and slang over the process its 374 pages. in accordance with Mencken, American English used to be extra colourful, brilliant, and inventive than its British counterpart.

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