The American Language - Chapter 9.1 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 9.1 Summary

Introducing his common speech section with a chapter on grammarians, Mencken first reminds readers that so far he has concerned his study of a variety of language that is pretentious and self-conscious, that is mostly formal speech or discourse of the literate. He admits that this speech has been gleaned from carefully written materials such as speeches and books, but such materials do not accurately convey the nature of common speech. He notes that intentional bad grammar is a gift in literature giving the dialogue of common characters or showing the human tendency to err in esteemed characters; and he confesses delight in finding grammarians critiquing one another and making egregious grammatical errors themselves. Further, the author says, the best studies should consider the common unintentional grammar mistakes made by those who are not "conscious of doing any wrong."

This kind of speech is found...

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This section contains 914 words
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
The American Language from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.