The Death of Contractions

nojazzhere

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Hmmm...I used to study the French language pretty seriously. I seem to recall a good many apostrophes floating around in there.
Oh...don't pay attention to @loopfinding......in his world, it's often "opposite day".....and he does this all the time. But seriously, he often gets things right! ;)
 

Ronzo

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I beg to differ. Granted, many a schoolteacher has told children to avoid them in papers for class, but once one grows up one has the options of a adult. Contractions appear daily in newspaper articles and that is "written language." Contractions are used in advertising / marketing copy, business letters, and public relations press releases by politicians, celebrities, military officers, and other public figures. (One may bemoan this but that is another matter.)

Contractions are not allowed in legal writing.
But before one says "they should not be allowed in any writing", ponder this: what is the difference between "I will not go" and "I won't go"? The latter is a contraction of the former but the meaning and tone of the two phrases is not identical, whether spoken or written. They do not mean quite the same thing. ("Y'all" and "you all" are closer yet there is a difference a speaker and writer should recognize when using one or the other.)
And that was the point of the “no contractions” plot device I spoke of in “Longmire”. It was about the precision of Henry Standing Bear’s thinking and method of expression, reflecting his internal values. It made later episodes of the series more interesting to see his struggles against ethical positions.

Tour de force character development by Lou Diamond Phillips, IMO.
 

LOSTVENTURE

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I know nothing about being "proper" but since my writing is all most of the world sees of me, I'll contract to my hearts content, and let you think what you want. Just know that it really will have no effect on my day.
 

telemnemonics

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

On an iPhone if I simply type were there’s a bar at the bottom with we’re and were to choose between or it chooses one or the other. The visible keyboard has no punctuation marks but it just adds an apostrophe if clearly needed.

they're
You’ve
We’ve
All got a suggested pop up window apostrophe
 

1955

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I just write whatever and however the hell I want. Always have. I don’t even know most of the rules. I had to help write an obituary a couple weeks ago and they edited out the Oxford comma! I don’t really care about grammar. Creativity with language and (at least the attempt of) original ideas are more important to me.
 

telemnemonics

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That’s ok since can and can’t are really the same.
Can you help me change my flat tire?
Well I CAN…

what you’re looking for is WILL

I'm happy to see 'em go. I've got no use for them.

Actually, I'd love to see "can't" go away in spoken language. I have one heck of a time hearing the spoken difference between can and can't.
 

Manual Slim

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You are correct, Sir. Contractions should never be used in written language. They should rarely be used in spoken language.
On another hand, if I know what someone means when they write in their own personal style I can’t be bothered to care about our stylistic differences. It ain’t all a term paper.
 
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Manual Slim

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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.)
He would not be convicted by a jury of his peers.
 

Manual Slim

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Question: When is it okay to correct someone's grammar on the interweb?
Answer: When it's done like Dana Loeshe.

She receives hateful posts like this all the time:

"Your a s---, w----, b----, and I hope your killed with a gun."

Her response is simply:

"You're"
Heh. I sometimes reply to such things by letting the person know that whatever it is that they’re saying belongs to me is actually everyone’s.
 

DougM

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What I see is many people using your for you're, and could of, should of, would of, for could've, should've, would've. I know that's what they sound like when we say them, but you should still know the difference. Didn't anyone pass high school English? And, while were talking about it, what's with the silent L?
 




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