The American Language - Chapter 4.4 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 4.4 Summary

Mencken covers euphemisms, first giving numerous examples of those the English use, then comparing English to American euphemisms. He provides examples used in labor, educational milieus, medicine, business, and the arts. He gives anecdotal examples to show the differences between American and English euphemisms and labels. He also discusses names attached to ethnicity, showing that the language and naming practices in England differ from those in America because of the sensitivity to connotations. For example, he describes how in America, the possible "influence of Jewish advertisers" leads to newspapers and other printed materials calling Jewish people Hebrews, whereas in England, he writes, Jewish people "...are in the main of considerable education, and so they are above any silly shrinking from the name of Jew."

Chapter 4.4 Analysis

Mencken seems to have a bit of fun discussing euphemisms with snarky comments about examples and humorous...

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This section contains 646 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The American Language Study Guide
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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.