The American Language - Study Guide Chapter 5.2 Summary & Analysis

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Having left previously with a doubt that the war contributed Americanisms to the English due to a lack of fraternization, Mencken begins here by adding that American soldiers did not likely pick up Briticisms. He asserts that it is on "far higher and less earthly planes" that Briticisms enter American speech, are accepted, used, and regarded well. He says that because the only English "fount of honour" in high regard in America is the high court, which Americans imitate in many ways, the only Briticisms in America are those borrowed from royalty and the aristocracy. Further, the more specific influence, he writes, is found in the theatre. He credits the theatre with the perpetuation of Briticisms. The storylines are concerned with "fashionable life," actors are British and then Americans playing British characters, and the speech, affectation, and pronunciation, of the current...

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This section contains 831 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.