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

Page 26

G. A. Barringer. 45 That, even to the lay Continental, American and English now differ considerably, is demonstrated by the fact that many of the popular German Sprachführer appear in separate editions, Amerikanisch and Englisch. This is true, for example, of the “Metoula-Sprachführer” 46 and of the “Polyglott Kuntze” books. 47 The American edition of the latter starts off with the doctrine that “Jeder, der nach Nord-Amerika oder Australien will, muss Englisch können,” but a great many of the words and phrases that appear in its examples would be unintelligible to most Englishmen—e. g., free-lunch, real-estate agent, buckwheat, corn (for maize), conductor and popcorn—and a number of others would suggest false meanings or otherwise puzzle—e. g., saloon, wash-stand, water-pitcher and apple-pie. 48 In the “Neokosmos Sprachführer durch England-Amerika” 49 there are many notes calling attention to differences between American and English usage, e. g., baggage-luggage, car-carriage, conductor-guard. The authors are also forced to enter into explanations of the functions of the boots in an English hotel and of the clerk in an American hotel, and they devote a whole section, now mainly archaic, to a discourse upon the nature and uses of such American beverages as Whiskey-sours, Martini-cocktails, silver-fizzes, John-Collinses, and ice-cream sodas. 50 In other Continental works of the same sort there is a like differentiation between English and American. Baedeker follows suit. In his guide-book to the United States, prepared for Englishmen, he is at pains to explain the