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Concerning the American Language               397
" Oh, come! that is pure Yankee; everybody knows that."
" Yes, it is pure Yankee; that is true. One cannot hear it in America outside of the little corner called New England, which is Yankee land. The English them­selves planted it there, two hundred and fifty years ago, and there it remains; it has never spread. But Eng­land talks through her nose yet; the Londoner and the backwoods New-Englander pronounce ' know ' and 1 cow ' alike, and then the Briton unconsciously satirizes himself by making fun of the Yankee's pro­nunciation."
We argued this point at some length; nobody won; but no matter, the fact remains — Englishmen say nao and Mow for " know " and " cow," and that is what the rustic inhabitant of a very small section of America does.
" You conferred your a upon New England, too, and there it remains; it has not traveled out of the narrow limits of those six little States in all these two hundred and fifty years. All England uses it, New England's small population — say four millions — use it, but we have forty-five millions who do not use it. You say 'glahs of wawtah,' so does New England; at least, New England says glahs. America at large flattens the a, and says ' glass of water.' These sounds are pleasanter than yours; you may think they are not right — well, in English they are not right, but in 'American ' they are. You say JIahsk, and bahsket> and jackahss; we say ' flask,' ' basket,' ' jackass '— sounding the a as it is in ' tallow,' ' fallow,' and so on. Up to as late as 1847 Mr. Webster's Dictionary had the impudence to still pronounce ' basket ' bahsket, when he knew that outside of his little New England all America shortened the a and paid no attention to his English broadening of it. However, it called itself an