Attitudes toward American English language

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Attitudes toward American English language
Attitudes toward American English were mixed.
Early attitudes of British writers were often patronizing. Reactions to New North American vocabulary terms were often strong, eg. A. Gil (1621) condemns importation of words such as maize and canoe into the lg. Travelers often recorded not so much what they heard, but what they wanted to hear. There are many examples from journals and diaries.
John Witherspoon - argued that American education needed to tighten up on the teaching of grammar and style. He argued that Americans make errors and “improprieties” of grammar and usage. But he claimed the “vulgar” in America speak better than the vulgar in Britain, given greater standardalization of dialect in America. He coined the term “AMERICANISM” insisting it didn't necessarily much inelegant or ignorant. In spite of his efforts he failed to reform and regulate the lg.
Noah Webster (1758-1834) - he wrote frequently in the late 18c. on American “usage”. He focused on the relationship between lg and freedom and between lg and national identities. He published the American Dictionary in 1828. It had as much influence on the American lg as Johnson's dictionary had had in England for the previous half century. His dictionary defined and codified American English.
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