1. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Contractions - could've

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by peachalulu, Feb 5, 2015.

    Open Office makes a little wiggly under this contraction basically saying to change it. But is could've not acceptable in writing? I don't mean dialogue but I typed in this sentence - Dexter could've sworn the eyes moved.
    And Open Office flagged it. I don't always take everything it says as a rule but I found it strange. Should it be switched to - Dexter could have sworn the eyes moved?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's perfectly acceptable. Programs like Word often make mistakes when it comes to pointing out grammatical errors.
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, that's perfectly fine. Not sure why it would balk at could've. Word always gripes when I use the word same in the context of: ... having been explained of same during the prior hearing. It's a common bit of legalese that comes up all the time in court docs, but Word clucks its Microsoft tongue. *shrug*
     
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  4. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    You can probably try to disable this in your spell check settings if it is calling you out on grammar/style rather than spelling; otherwise, you can add it to the dictionary. Microsoft Office has a feature to check or ignore contractions, so maybe Open Office has it too. I have only ever used Open Office like...once until I decided that I hated it.

    I like to enable most of the style checks just to keep me aware of what I am writing.
     
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  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    My version of Word doesn't flag it.
     
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  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well my character is Will and whenever I write something like: "Will walked down the street," 'Will' gets flagged with a squiggly green line lol.

    I use could've all the time, actually. I'm not sure if it's an official contraction like you're though, is it?
     
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  7. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm using LibreOffice (which is based on the same framework as OpenOffice) and it doesn't complain about "could've".
     
  8. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't use could've in the narration, although I think it's fine when writing dialogue. It isn't incorrect per se, but I personally don't like the look of it and don't think it's commonly used.
     
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  9. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with this, but I've never had a character who would talk like that!
     
  10. Carly Berg
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    Carly Berg Contributing Member

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    "Could've" looks a bit off to me. So does "It'd," and a couple more contractions that I can't quite recall right now. But I don't know if that differs by country or if I'm just not used to seeing it very often, or maybe it's just one of those things where what some dictionaries consider correct lags behind the general changes in usage.
     
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  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't use could've in a formal voice. It would be fine in the narrative of some novels. It would be entirely natural in dialogue. But, yes, in my own fictional narrative I would probably use "Dexter could have..." unless I was very tightly inside a character's voice.
     
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