The American Language Themes

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.
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National Pride

Mencken carries the theme of American independence from England throughout the book. Besides breaking away from the British government, economy, and culture, early Americans soon broke away from the British English language. Just as Americans created a new way of life and self-government, they created new ways of expressing themselves. In some cases, they even took British words and revived or redefined them to make them American. Early American settlers took great pride in differentiating their English from that of England. They took great offense at being considered ignorant and barbaric by British visitors for their new words, pronunciations, terms, and dialects. As they struggled to establish a new nation, many Americans were unwilling to accept anything that seemed too British, including speech. The increasing tension between the two countries in America's early years led to hostility toward the British and created a strong sense of American...

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This section contains 449 words
(approx. 2 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.