Solidus Contractions
In the editorial world, things tend to come in waves. I don't know why it is, exactly, but over a certain period you tend to see the same mistakes made across the board by a bunch of different clients. One month you'll see everyone misspelling "believe" and the next month everyone will be using "between" instead of "among." And then suddenly everyone will forget which punctuation goes inside the quotation marks and which goes outside. It's all pretty weird, when you really think about it.

The most recent trend is the disappearance of contractions. I had no legitimate theory as to why people were using "do not" instead of "don't" or "cannot" instead of "can't," but then a colleague of mine tipped me off to the fact that voice recognition software will often spell out contractions whether you want it to or not. I personally don't use the stuff so I can't speak to this point, but if it's true, investors take note -- it would seem that the use of voice recognition software is on the rise.

The result, though, while proper English, comes across very stilted and a little too proper for my tastes. I understand that if you're the President and you're making a speech you're probably not going to employ a whole lot of contractions, but if you're writing a blog post or copy for your website, that little apostrophe can do a whole hell of a lot toward making you or your company sound much more conversational. And therefore much more approachable.

So unless you specify to me that you want to avoid contractions, expect me to load you up with would've, should've, could've, might've, must've, isn't, aren't, wasn't, weren't, haven't, hasn't, hadn't, won't, wouldn't, don't, doesn't, didn't, can't, couldn't, shouldn't, mightn't, mustn't, and if I'm really rolling, a she'd've and maybe a 'twas.

By that point I'll have used up my allotment of apostrophes for the month. But it'll all be worth it.


By Steve Boudreault



 


Comments

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04/20/2017 2:30am

The professor in my English class would always make marks on my paper because I am using apostrophe and one time she really wrote a note on my paper that I should not it instead I should spell out the whole world. Since then I have avoided using apostrophe and it makes me cringe everytime I read my works because it sounded too formal. I began using the apostrophe again, it makes a huge difference and sounds better. I now get the reason why my professor keeps on marking my paper it's because formal paper should avoid the use apostrophe. The apostrophe should be used properly make sure it is not for a formal paper.

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