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

Page 210

first l in fulfill; an Englishman makes the first syllable foo. An American sounds every syllable in extraordinary, literary, military, dysentery, temporary, necessarily, secretary and the other words of the -ary-group;  13 an Englishman never pronounces the a of the penultimate syllable. Kindness, with the d silent, would attract notice in the United States; in England, according to Jones,  14 the d is “very commonly, if not usually” omitted. Often, in America, commonly retains a full t; in England it is actually and officially offen. Let an American and an Englishman pronounce program (me). Though the Englishman retains the long form of the last syllable in writing, he reduces it in speaking to a thick triple consonant, grm; the American enunciates it clearly, rhyming it with damn. Or try the two with any word ending in -g, say sporting or ripping. Or with any word having r before a consonant, say card, harbor, lord or preferred. “The majority of Englishmen,” says Menner, “certainly do not pronounce the r …; just as certainly the majority of educated Americans pronounce it distinctly.”  15 Henry James, visiting the United States after many years of residence in England, was much harassed by this persistent r-sound, which seemed to him to resemble “a sort of morose grinding of the back teeth.”  16 So sensitive to it did he become that he began to hear it where it was actually non-existent, save as an occasional barbarism, for example, in Cuba-r, vanilla-r and California-r. He put the blame for it, and for various other departures from the strict canon of contemporary English, upon “the American school, the American newspaper, and the American Dutchman and Dago.” Unluckily for his case, the full sounding of the r came into American long before the appearance of any of these influences. The early