American English: A History

Trace the fascinating history of American English, from the English of the first colonists to the latest slang, idioms, and jargon of America's technological and social media age. Our study will be conducted via presentations, videos, class discussions, games, and puzzles. Discover curious facts such as: The first word heard by the Pilgrims from a Native American was "welcome." A little blue book that sold for 14 cents a copy was one of the most influential books in the history of American English. Well-to-do steamboat passengers were referred to as highfalutin because of the high fluted funnels on the boats. President Theodore Roosevelt was a strong supporter of a spelling board designed to simplify American English spelling; his wife joked that the President supported the board only because he couldn't spell anything. Benjamin Franklin came up with over 200 colorful phrases for being drunk, including, "he ate a toad and a half for breakfast", and "he sees two moons." Let's learn about the fascinating history of American English and have fun doing it!

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