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The American Language Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 9.9 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 9.9 Summary

Next in his book, Mencken devotes a chapter to additional syntactical peculiarities. He opens by quoting Sayce, who avers that language begins not with single words but with whole sentences. He then exclaims that when a language is new, quickly developing, and "unrestrained by critical analysis," there is a marked tendency to sacrifice the integrity of individual words for the well being of the complete sentence. Reclaiming past examples, the author adds such phenomena as would've, could've, sort'a, and kind'a...as well as off'a or off'n, as in "I bought it off'a John." Mencken adds a few more peculiarities, naming localisms, for example, but concludes that to offer up all of them would be to fill a volume.

Chapter 9.9 Analysis

Again Mencken treats particular speech tendencies with a light surveying touch. He gives examples of what happens to contracted word combinations to show...

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This section contains 179 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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