The American Language - Chapter 10.4 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 10.4 Summary

Regarding street names as he does proper surnames, given names, and geographical names, Mencken remarks at the unusual differences in American and British naming and numbering practices. Quoting authors like W. W. Crane and Rudyard Kipling, he notes the "strangeness" of such habits as using number names; omitting the word street; odd phrases used in street name directions; over-use of designations; "barbarous" pronunciations; and the re-naming or translating of old street names.

Chapter 10.4 Analysis

When it comes to the practices of naming and numbering streets, Mencken is disturbed by the "strangeness" of American tendencies. First, he attributes the use of numbers in place of names to "sheer poverty of invention." Twenty-third and Sixteenth are mindless American afterthoughts compared to the English wealth of street names, which is often more than ample, as they often have two names for one...

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This section contains 337 words
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Buy The American Language Study Guide
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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.