The American Language is a book by H. L. Mencken published in 1919. The book examines spoken English in the United States, its many racial and regional variations. The book was an affront to English prescriptivism, an ideal of proper English language that excluded slang and Americanisms as legitimate words. Inspired by the language of African-Americans, Mencken's book attempts to make sense of the English spoken in America as its own distinctive dialect.
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