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