ain't” unpardonable; while “he don't,” though still questionable, is excused.
Then there are differences of locality.
The educated American
says “It is he,” while the educated Englishman
still perversely says “It is him,” and tries to defend it. The same Englishman
is astounded when he hears Americans
say “gotten,” and does not himself discover that it is an archaic phrase, Scriptural, but mainly disused in our Northern States, as in England
, until it migrated from Virginia
northward after the Civil War
. One of the few phrases that still remain as the shibboleth of an Englishman is his saying “different to” instead of “different from.”
Another is “directly I went” rather than “directly after I went.”
It shows how skin-deep is our alleged Anglicism that we Americans
hold our own so inflexibly on these points.
Probably we are influencing the English
in language more than they are affecting us, and not always beneficially; it is now, for instance, far more common to see “I expect” used for “I
think” by a good English writer than by a good American writer.
We are acquiring, it is to be hoped, something more of the English
habit of clear and well-cut enunciation, but we are holding out fairly well against the deluge of the coarser