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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 176

pork-barrel, buck-private, dough-boy, cow-country. And adjectives: jitney, bush (for rural), balled-up, 17dolled-up, phoney, pussy-footed, tax-paid. 18 And picturesque phrases: dollars to doughnuts, on the job, that gets me, one best bet. And back-formations: ad, movie, photo. And various substitutions and Americanized inflections: over for more than, gotten for got in the present perfect, 19rile for roil, bust for burst. This last, in truth, has come into a dignity that even grammarians will soon hesitate to question. Who, in America, would dare to speak of bursting a broncho, or of a trustburster? 20
  Turn to any issue of the Congressional Record and you will find examples of American quite as startling as those I have exhumed—and some a good deal more startling. I open the file for 1919 at random, and at once discover “they had put it on the market in a condition in which it could be drank as a beverage.” 21 A moment later I find, from the same lips, “The evidence disclosed that Jacobs had drank 28 bottles of lemon extract.” A few pages further on, and I come to “It will not take but a few minutes to dispose of it.” 22 I take up another volume and find the following curious letter written by a Senator and inserted in the Record at his request:
Hon. Edgar E. Clark,
    Chairman Interstate Commerce Commission,
        Washington, D. C.

My dear Mr. Chairman: It has been brought to my attention by many people in Georgia and those whom I see here that the present high passenger and freight rates are doing more to decrease the amount of income received by the railroads than if a lower rate was in effect, which would cause more freight