Covers show very minor shelf wear. The American Language is a work in lexicographical historiography and philology on the American dialect of English. Mencken's classic is so old the shock hits when you realize that the 60s he is referring to are the 1860s! Three new sections dealt with American slang. About this Item: New York, Knopf, 1962. As a journalist, Henry Louis H. These additions included more examples and explanations of regional expressions, dialects, and other speech developments and characteristics.
It is this observation precipitated this substantially revised 4th Edition, which is in a real sense a separate work. The best part was sounding out the words with their regional dialect. But, he will say it in such an interesting way. Condition: Very Good to Very Good+. After the book's publication, Mencken received additional material from people all over the country.
Volume two shows hole in dust jacket at lower edge with chip to rear panel's upper edge and closed tear to lower edge. The American cinema floods England and the rest of the English-speaking world with American neologisms, but there is very little movement in the other direction. The earliest settlers in Virginia and New England, confronted by plants and animals that were unfamiliar to them, either borrowed the Indian names or invented names of their own. This is a very nice copy. Mencken research is exemplary, but, in the end, the book read too much like a dictionary.
A novelty loses nothing by the fact that it is a novelty; it rather gains something, and particularly if it meet the national fancy for the terse, the vivid, and, above all, the bold and imaginative. An indispensable work for scholars of the English language, the book is written with flair and humor and sheer pleasure for the amateur linguists as well. Supplement One: water staining to page edges and dj; crease and a tiny tear to top of dj. Ninth printing of the Fourth edition. Mencken on the front endpaper. But revising the manuscript filled him with dread. To the former class the Dutch contributed cruller, cold-slaw, cockey, scow, boss, smearcase and Santa Claus, and the French contributed gopher, prairie, chowder, carry-all and bureau a chest of drawers.
As a reporter and columnist, mainly working in his hometown of Baltimore, Mencken became known in the early decades of the twentieth century for his witty and cynical views of American life and culture, such as his famous maxim, 'Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public. Most of all, he attacked Puritan morality. All domestic orders shipped protected in a Box. Linen boards; dyed upper text edges. Ultimately, however, the book could not hold my interest beyond about a third of it.
Thus the American dialect of English was firmly established by the time the Republic was well started, and in the half-century following it departed more and more from standard English. I soon found that no such work existed, either in England or in America—that the whole literature of the subject was astonishingly meagre and unsatisfactory. All 3 volumes present here: The original, plus the first and second supplement. The argot of sport enriches it almost daily. Blue cloth with gilt-stamped spine title. Limited to 1500 copies of which this is no. Bibliography There is no satisfactory dictionary of Americanisms.
Words like exluncticate, absquatulate, go-ahead-ativeness. Two bookplates and the corner of a small label are on the front pastedown. Mencken very effectively shows how there mere fact of arriving in America forced explorers and settlers to begin developing their own language to describe the new plants, animals, landscapes and peoples they encountered. Dust jackets show edge wear. About this Item: Alfred A Knopf, New York, 1960.
Specific comments regarding the condition: Black cloth covered boards are moderatley worn and soiled. Gold lettering on spine crisp. Likewise, contact with the various explorers, settlers and later immigrants brought new words and phrases into the language. It would be the final edition, as Mencken retired that same year due to a stroke, and passed away in 1956. The 4th edition largely keeps the same structure as the earlier editions, focusing on spelling, pronunciation, grammar, and slang, but is greatly expanded, especially in the slang section. We have many other vintage and collectable books and other unique items in our store, so please check us out! He's such an amazing individual, I love to hear him talk about anything; his insight on human nature is spot on.