The American Language - Chapter 8.5 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 8.5 Summary

The Americans are responsible for the current reform of English-American spelling, says the author. After Webster and between 1875 and 1886, philologists gathered to form committees, propose new spellings, and report successful changes. These decision-makers had a reasonably easy time of their tasks, as Webster had spearheaded many of the changes earlier. Yet at the same time, the simplifications were the reason they met and sought agreement.

The solution came a little over a decade later. The "movement" took a proposal to the American Education Association to start with a short list of spelling changes. The experiment was successful at one level, stimulating donations from Andrew Carnegie, bestowal of the entitled Simplified Spelling Board, approval from President Roosevelt, and the president's assignment of their adoption by the Government Printing Office. The simplified spelling laws were established. However, Mencken suggests that the reform list is too far "...

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This section contains 433 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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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.