H.L. Mencken's American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of PDF

By H.L. Mencken

ISBN-10: 0394400755

ISBN-13: 9780394400754

H. L. Mencken released his fourth (and ultimate) version of his landmark paintings in April 1936. whereas it's a treatise at the improvement of American-English, it's also interesting and shows Mencken's famous wit and humor.

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Extra resources for American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States, 4th Edition

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Italian c. Spanish d. Portuguese e. Rumanian 3. Slavic a. Czech b. Slovak c. Russian d. Ukrainian e. Serbo-Croat f. Lithuanian g. Polish 4. Finno-Ugrian a. Finnish b. Hungarian 5. Celtic a. Gaelic 6. Semitic a. Arabic 7. Greek a. Modern Greek 8. Asiatic a. Chinese b. Japanese 9. Miscellaneous a. Armenian b. Hawaiian c. Gipsy About the Author I THE TWO STREAMS OF ENGLISH I. THE EARLIEST ALARMS The first American colonists had perforce to invent Americanisms, if only to describe the unfamiliar landscape and weather, flora and fauna confronting them.

The War of 1812 naturally exacerbated this animosity, though when the works of Irving and Cooper began to be known in England some of the English reviewers moderated their tone. Irving’s “Knickerbocker” was not much read there until 1815, and not much talked about until “The Sketch-Book” followed it in 1819, but Scott had received a copy of it from Henry Brevoort in 1813, and liked it and said so. Byron mentioned it in a letter to his publisher, Murray, on August 7, 1821. We are told by Thomas Love Peacock that Shelley was “especially fond of the novels of Charles Brockden Brown, the American,” but Cairns says there is no mention of the fact, if it be a fact, in any of Shelley’s own writings, or in those of his other friends.

Such words as oratory and dilatory are pronounced with the penult syllable long and accented: missionary becomes missionary, angel, ângel, dânger, danger, etc. But this is not all. The Americans have chosen arbitrarily to change the meaning of certain old and established English words, for reasons they cannot explain, and which I doubt much whether any European philologist could understand. The word clever affords a case in point. It has here no connexion with talent, and simply means pleasant or amiable.

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American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States, 4th Edition by H.L. Mencken

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