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Comparing Walt Whitman And Gelett Burgess

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Both Walt Whitman and Gelett Burgess have their lot to say about slang in America. Burgess believes slang is a creative and poetic part of modern language that should be used at the appropriate time. Whitman, on the other hand, views slang as a “lawless germinal element” that is the foundation for language and poetry. The definition, evolution, and role of slang in America are significant aspects of both Whitman’s and Burgess’ books. In the eyes of Walt Whitman, slang is “below all words and sentences, and behind all poetry..” He states that language is the combination of every “dialect, race, and range of time” and that all of these elements stem from slang. Burgess disagrees, as he declares that slang is “adjuvant to our speech.” It’s not
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