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Abstract

I watched a World War II program about how the Germans recruited a group of soldiers who could speak English (or thought that they could) to infiltrate American lines and cause havoc. Even though dressed in U.S. uniforms, they soon ran into difficulties as a result of their English language knowledge and usage; for example, some of them were only familiar with British English. This situation transported me in my mind back to the Revolutionary war. I doubted that there was a great deal of language difference in those days between the speech of the British and the Colonials, but in this proposed time warp and flight of fancy let's pretend that the linguistic situation was as it is today.

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