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Americanisms in England More than once during our original days we encountered Americanisms that had gone over into English and English locutions that had begun to get a foothold in the United States Such exchanges are made frequently and often very quickly and though the guardians of English still attack every new Americanism vigorously even when as in the case of scientist it is obviously sound or as in the case of joy-ride it is irresistibly picturesque they are often routed by public pressure and have to submit in the end with the best grace possible For example consider caucus It originated in Boston at some indeterminate time before 1750 and remained so peculiarly American for more than a century following that most of the English visitors before the Civil War remarked its use But according to J Redding Ware 1 it began to creep into English political slang about 1870 and in the 80s it was lifted to good usage by the late Joseph Chamberlain Ware writing in the first years of the present century said that the word had become very important in England but was not admitted into dictionaries But in the Concise Oxford Dictionary dated 1914 and in Cassells New English Dictionary published five years later it is given as a sound English word though its American origin is noted The English however use it in a sense that has become archaic in America thus preserving an abandoned American meaning in the same way that many abandoned British meanings have been preserved on this side In the United States the word means and has meant for years a meeting of some division large or small of a political or legislative body for the purpose of agreeing upon a united course of action in the main assembly In England it means the managing committee of a party or fraction--something corresponding to our national committee or state central committee or steering
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