Written by American journalist, humorist and social critic H.L. Mencken, this book investigates unique features of American English. Mencken was alarmed by English critics who looked down their noses at "Americanisms" deemed inappropriate for "pure" English usage. He was similarly dismayed by American prescriptivists who forbade anything not found in textbook English. Asserting that languages evolve on their own through common usage, Mencken set out to document truly American variations on the English language.