1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    The Use of the Apostrophe In Words

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Cacian, Jan 21, 2012.

    How often do you use the apostrophe in words when you write.

    which is better ?

    I am late
    or
    I'm late?

    He is here.
    or
    He's here.

    I tend to stick to non apostrophed words myself or at least I should.
    Sometimes when I write I might not aware and I would like to become more aware not to put apostrophes.
     
  2. Hellchoseme
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    Hellchoseme Member

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    If I'm making a quote I always go with them because that's the way people talk.
    At least where I live...
    Otherwise, without unless it sounds strange in my head.
     
  3. Cacian
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    In this example I would definetely say
    I am making
    rather then
    I'm making.
     
  4. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    Depends on audience, purpose and genre. Neither is wrong, as far as I'm aware they're both seen as standard English these days.
     
  5. Prolixitasty
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    Prolixitasty Member

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    Situational. The use of contractions sets a conversational tone. The absence of contractions sets a professional tone. At least that's the way I've always seen it. But then, I am not sure why I would not use contractions since I have always hated having to make short sentences merely seem longer.
     
  6. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I am John
    reads better then
    I'm John.
    The second one to me sounds wrong.
     
  7. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    They both sound fine, it depends on where they appear. The difference is, the first has a higher register than the second.
     
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I use a mix, usually, unless I'm going for a more formal, almost bardic, tone, in which case I don't use contractions.

    But if you use a mix, you can use the optional contraction to modify the rhythm of the sentence, and you can also use the non-contraction form for emphasis. I think you can gain a lot of flexibility if you're willing to use a mix.

    For me, the ultimate choice is made by how good it sounds when I read it aloud. It has to pass the ear test.
     
  9. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    Contraction render speech informal. If you prefer formal speech, do not use contractions.
     
  10. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I think that is what I was looking for..how it sounds.
    I think now I prefer to just not use contractions because I do not have to worry about ear tests.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there is a time and a place for both forms... for fiction, in either narrative or dialog, the determining factor must be the 'voice' of the person doing the narrating/speaking... if they're stiff and formal types, then they may not use many, if any contractions... and if casual/rural types they'd probably use them most of the time...

    time frame and locale also enter into the mix... in older times the upper classes tended to speak more formally and where the narrators/speakers live/come from will also make a difference...

    so the bottom line is that there's no right/wrong or better/worse way... there's just whatever fits the work at hand best... and it should always be the work that's the deciding factor, not merely the writer's personal preference...
     
  12. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I agree but with me it is kind of tricky when learning to write English properly so I am bettter sticking with one form, the uncontracted one because it is easier then wondering when and if.
    contractions do not add to the atmosphere of the story I do not think.
     
  13. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    I think they do add to the atmosphere of the story, they can completely change the narrative voice, making it either formal or informal. They can make it either accessible of inaccessible to a certain audience.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes... that's true...
     

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