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

Page 211

colonists, in fact, brought it with them from England, and it still prevailed there in Dr. Johnson’s day, for he protested publicly against the “rough snarling sound” and led the movement which finally resulted in its extinction.  17 Today, extinct, it is mourned by English purists, and the Poet Laureate denounces the clergy of the Established Church for saying “the sawed of the Laud” instead of “the sword of the Lord.”  18
  But even in the matter of elided consonants American is not always the conservator. We cling to the r, we preserve the l in almond, we are relatively careful about the final g, we give nephew a clear f-sound instead of the clouded English v-sound, and we boldly nationalize trait and pronounce its final t, but we drop the second p from pumpkin and change the m to n, we change the ph (=f) sound to plain p in diphtheria, diphthong and naphtha,  19 we relieve rind of its final d, we begin to neglect the d in landlady, handsome, grandmother, etc., and, in the complete sentence, we slaughter consonants by assimilation. I have heard Englishmen say brand-new, but on American lips it is almost invariably bran-new. So nearly universal is this nasalization in the United States that certain American lexicographers have sought to found the term upon bran and not upon brand. Here the national speech is powerfully influenced by Southern dialectical variations, which in turn probably derive partly from French example and partly from the linguistic limitations of the negro. The latter, even after two hundred years, has great difficulties with our consonants, and often drops them. A familiar anecdote well illustrates his speech habit. On a train stopping at a small station in Georgia a darkey threw up a window and yelled “Wah ee?” The reply from a black on the platform was “Wah oo?” A Northerner aboard the train, puzzled by this inarticulate dialogue, sought light from a Southern passenger, who promptly translated the first question as “Where is he?” and the second as “Where is