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Concerning the American Language               399
H'yaah! h'yaah!' We pronounce it heer in some sections, ' 'h'yer' in others, and so on; but our whites do not say ' h'yaah ', pronouncing the a's like the a in ah. I have heard English ladies say ' don't you '— making two separate and distinct words of it; your Mr. Burnand has satirized it. But we always say ' dontchu.' This is much better. Your ladies say, 4 Oh, it's oful nice!' Ours say, ' Oh, it's awful nice!' We say, ' Four hundred,' you say ''For'— as in the word or. Your clergymen speak of ' the Lawd,' ours of ' the Lord,' yours speak of ' the gawds of the heathen,' ours of ' the gods of the heathen.' When you are exhausted, you say you are 'knocked up,' We don't. When you say you will do a thing ' directly,' you mean ' immediately' ; in the American language — generally speaking—the word signifies ' after a little.' When you say ' clever,' you mean ' capable' ; with us the word used to mean * accom­modating,' but I don't know what it means now. Your word ' stout' means ' fleshy' ; our word ' stout' usually means ' strong.' Your words ' gentleman ' and ' lady ' have a very restricted meaning; with us they include the barmaid, butcher, burglar, harlot, and horse thief. You say, ' I haven't £"0/any stockings on,' ' I haven't got any memory,' ' I haven't got any money in my purse' ; we usually say, ' I haven't any stockings on,' ' I haven't any memory,' ' I haven't any money in my purse.' You say ' out of window' ; we always put in a the. If one asks ' How old is that man?' the Briton answers, ' He will be about forty;' in the American language, we should say, ' He is about forty.' How­ever, I won't tire you, sir; but if I wanted to, I could pile up differences here until I not only convinced you that English and American are separate languages, but that when I speak my native tongue in its utmost purity
an Englishman can't understand me at all." 26