The American Language - Study Guide Chapter 10.3 Summary & Analysis

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Geographical names become the focus next. The writer studies the poetic beauty of names proliferated throughout America that emulates or speaks to the richest and most beautiful of places in America. He adds, "No other country can match our geographical names for interest and variety." Acknowledging the profound studies of philologist Johann Jakob Egli, Mencken says that such studies contribute to the history of and to understanding the psychology of American people.

The first settlers, he says, were not all that imaginative. They used names from "home" or added New to geographical names back in England. Then, however, they began to travel, and seeing landscapes named by the aborigines with more "engaging" names, Mencken surmises, they likely adopted some of these. Back to unimaginative efforts, the pioneers, seeing rapid expansion, fell to duplicating the names of rivers and towns and the...

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This section contains 551 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.