The Death of Contractions

paulblackford

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I've been noticing that people are using less contractions in their writing. I don't have a smart phone, but I'm wondering if it's more difficult (no apostrophe, or something?) with the phone key options.

They're - You've - We've - Wouldn't - Should've, etc...

I see more people spelling out "I have" instead of "I've", and things like that. Is this a side effect of texting? Are there 'smart' fills in sentences that bypass contractions? Am I imagining the whole thing? :)
 

Harbinger77

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OP has noticed a trend in the “writing” done by “people.”

Very scientific, merits discussion.
 

Buckocaster51

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Nope. I'm 54 and was taught to not use contractions in "proper" writing. The exception being dialog, obviously. As well, if I'm writing someone a personal conversational letter I will likely use contractions.

Scott

You are correct, Sir. Contractions should never be used in written language. They should rarely be used in spoken language.
 

unixfish

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I use them. On a keyboard, it's easy. From a phone, there is one key stroke to go into the sub menu, then type the apostrophe, then another keystroke to get back to letters. Too much work. On my phone, I avoid them.
 

paulblackford

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I use them. On a keyboard, it's easy. From a phone, there is one key stroke to go into the sub menu, then type the apostrophe, then another keystroke to get back to letters. Too much work. On my phone, I avoid them.

I figured there might be something on phones that would explain this. Thanks.
 

bsman

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"The crux of the biscuit
is the apostrophe"
Well you know, the man that was talking to the dog
looked at the dog, and he said
Sort of staring in disbelief
"You can't say that"
he said
"It doesn't, and you can't, I won't, and it don't
it hasn't, it isn't, it even ain't, and it shouldn't
it couldn't"
 

schmee

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I've been noticing that people are using less contractions in their writing. I don't have a smart phone, but I'm wondering if it's more difficult (no apostrophe, or something?) with the phone key options.

They're - You've - We've - Wouldn't - Should've, etc...

I see more people spelling out "I have" instead of "I've", and things like that. Is this a side effect of texting? Are there 'smart' fills in sentences that bypass contractions? Am I imagining the whole thing? :)
I just eliminate them entirely a lot when texting, yes because it's more trouble. People know what you mean anyway. Right now I'm hiding from the writing police in an urban homeless infested abandoned building............
 

Ronzo

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“No contractions” was a plot device used in the Longmire TV series (Netflix) for Lou Diamond Phillips’ Henry Standing Bear character. The precision of his speech pattern implied the character’s steadfast adherence to rules - and stood in stark opposition to the character’s flaws as shown later in the series.

“I’ll give you a topic: The Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire. Discuss.”
 

Dennyf

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I hadn't . . . er, I mean, "had not" noticed this myself, but then practically all of my written communication is with fellow geriatrics, so I'm . . . I mean, "I am" probably just oblivious. My phone also adds the apostrophe in common contractions for me, so I kinda . . . er, I mean "kind of" doubt that digging up the apostrophe is driving the trend. On a keyboard, I'm . . . I mean, "I am" a touch-typist, so I don't . . . I mean "do not" have to go hunting for it.

Actually, typing everything out is a b*tch. Huh. Interesting indeed!
 

Mark E Rhodes

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I like contractions.
As for dialogue, some characters speak without using them and this is supposed to make them sound more formal and perhaps more educated. (Ziva David on "NCIS" never used contractions.)

For songwriting, it depends on whether you need two syllables ("does not"), or one with character ("don't"). ;o)

"Would not" and "wouldn't" both have 2 syllables but the latter is much harder to sing. I think this is why Paul Simon sings "No, I would not give you false hope" in "Mother and Child Reunion." (He uses contractions in "Slip Slidin' Away," among other songs.)
 




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