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The American Language Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 6.2 Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 123 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The American Language.
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Chapter 6.2 Summary

Of all the ways American iconoclasm reveals itself, the author asserts, one way is especially clear: the general disdain for "the niceties of Modern English." He gives examples showing how the American neglects otherwise important speech distinctions. He explains how natural forces, not etymology, contribute to this disregard of proper language. Besides being a "confection of grammarians," he says, further quoting the Fowlers, "idiomatic use of auxiliaries, [for example, will and shall]...is so complicated that those who are not to the manner born can hardly acquire it." Further, even those "to the manor born" have difficulty with the demands of orthodox language. Nevertheless, Mencken says, the examples of grappling or defying language conventions yield new class distinctions - between those who speak orthodox, pure English and those who ignore such distinctions.

Chapter 6.2 Analysis

Mencken maintains that Americans ignore...

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This section contains 279 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The American Language Study Guide
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The American Language from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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