The American Language - Study Guide Chapter 2.5 Summary & Analysis

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The enormous difficulties of communication, Mencken reports, helped foster the sense of separation from England that Americans felt. These difficulties added to 1) the differences of culture and custom felt by a population of descendants of original immigrants in America and to 2) the new aristocracy forming in the colonies. Further, traveling to Europe took almost a year and was both dangerous and costly; and what literature the colonists had - though much came from England - they did not read. There were no allusions to Shakespeare, and the libraries contained no Addison, Steele, Bolingbroke, Dryden, Pope or Swift, tells Mencken, who cites Perry and other scholars' reports. He reasons because of that separation and subsequent isolation, words were impacted in one of two ways: they were continued in the colonies long after they had disappeared in England; and they became more and more Puritan in the colonies. Seventeenth-century...

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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.