The American Language - Study Guide Chapter 2.4 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 2.4 Summary

Many words, Mencken maintains, were contributions already in existence, just changed in meaning for new purposes. He gives a couple of examples, including how the word lot was debatably a) first used to label any parcel of land, or was b) used because land in New England was distributed by lot, but is, regardless, c) still used throughout America but hardly at all in England. Other words used today in American but not in English, or taken from the English and modified in form or meaning for American include the English team, meaning a pair of draft horses but in American coming to mean horses and vehicle, and the English word corn, meaning any edible grain, coming to mean only the Indian maize the colonists ate and learned to grow.

Chapter 2.4 Analysis

The author repeats that separation of American and English languages is an important distinction -...

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This section contains 250 words
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The American Language from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.