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

Page 269

deservedly successful, 20 Lardner reports the common speech not only with humor, but also with the utmost accuracy. The observations of Charters and his associates are here reinforced by the sharp ear of one especially competent, and the result is a mine of authentic American.
  In a single story by Lardner, in truth, it is usually possible to discover examples of almost every logical and grammatical peculiarity of the emerging language, and he always resists very stoutly the temptation to overdo the thing. Here, for example, are a few typical sentences from “The Busher’s Honeymoon”: 21
I and Florrie was married the day before yesterday just like I told you we was going to be…. You was to get married in Bedford, where not nothing is nearly half so dear…. The sum of what I have wrote down is $29.40…. Allen told me I should ought to give the priest $5…. I never seen him before…. I didn’t used to eat no lunch in the playing season except when I knowed I was not going to work…. I guess the meals has cost me all together about $1.50, and I have eat very little myself….
I was willing to tell her all about them two poor girls…. They must not be no mistake about who is the boss in my house. Some men lets their wife run all over them…. Allen has went to a college foot-ball game. One of the reporters give him a pass…. He called up and said he hadn’t only the one pass, but he was not hurting my feelings none…. The flat across the hall from this here one is for rent…. If we should of boughten furniture it would cost us in the neighborhood of $100, even without no piano…. I consider myself lucky to of found out about this before it was too late and somebody else had of gotten the tip…. It will always be ourn, even when we move away…. Maybe you could of did better if you had of went at it in a different way…. Both her and you is welcome at my house…. I never seen so much wine drank in my life….
  Here are specimens to fit into most of Charters’ categories—verbs confused as to tense, pronouns confused as to case, double and even triple negatives, nouns and verbs disagreeing in number, have softened to of, n marking the possessive instead of s, like used in place of as, and the personal pronoun substituted for the demonstrative adjective. A study of the whole story would probably unearth all the remaining errors noted in Kansas City. Lardner’s baseball player, though he has pen in hand and is on his guard, and is thus