The American Language Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 92 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The American Language.
This section contains 1,432 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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Chapter 1: The Two Streams of English

Americanisms began with the early settlers' need to describe their new land. Increasing awareness of changes happening to English resulted in two camps, one supporting the development of Americanisms, and the other staunchly protective of British English. With the American Revolution came a "national conceit" that led Americans to reject anything British and embrace anything uniquely American. As America grew, new words and new pronunciations of existing words emerged. British critics were suspicious, resentful, and hostile, resulting in a great rivalry.

Americanisms first made their way into literature by way of humorists such as Benjamin Franklin and Washington Irving. Later, dialect writers such as Mark Twain introduced regional humor.

Chapter 2: The Materials of the Inquiry

In this chapter, Mencken reviews the ways that scholars have defined and recorded American English. He explains that American English is characterized by its consistency across the...

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This section contains 1,432 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The American Language Study Guide
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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.