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

Page 343

America it is always accented on the second.  50 In diminutives there are several differences. The English Jem is almost unknown in the United States and so are Hal and Alf. The English, on the other hand, seldom use Peggy, Teddy or Beth. In general there has been a tendency to drop diminutives. When I was a boy it was rare, at least in the South, to hear such names as Charles, William, Elizabeth, Frederick, Margaret and Lillian used in full, but now it is very common. This new custom, I believe, owes something to English example.  51

3. Geographical Names
  “There is no part of the world,’’ said Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘‘where nomenclature is so rich, poetical, humorous and picturesque as in the United States of America.’’ A glance at the latest United States Official Postal Guide  52 or report of the United States Geographic Board  53 quite bears out this opinion. The map of the country is besprinkled with place names from at least half a hundred languages, living and dead, and among them one finds examples of the most daring and elaborate fancy. There are Spanish, French and Indian names as melodious and charming as running water; there are names out of the histories and mythologies of all the great races of man; there are names grotesque and names almost sublime. ‘‘Mississippi!’’ rhapsodized Walt Whitman; ‘‘the word winds with chutes—it rolls a stream three thousand miles long…. Monongahela!