Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Contraction Afflictions II: Reader Post of the Day

This bit of entertainment comes from the delightful Barry L. (Staring at Empty Pages):
The only thing worse than counting 1-2-3-3 is counting 1-2-5 (note Monty Python reference here). However it's counted, though, I agree with your "maybe" statement about "where's". I think "where's == where does" is a perfectly acceptable, if colloquial, contraction, and the fact that "where's" can now mean "where is" or "where does", or, indeed, "where the bathroom at, jive-ass?", well, it's just how English worketh.

I've even been known to use things like "I'ven't". Creativity, within some reason, is to be commended, don't you think?

What's perhaps more disturbing in Key Bank's advertising campaign than the use of a creative contraction is the excessively folksy tone of something like "Where's 'at leave ya?" It makes me want to say, "No. You are not my beer buddy. You are my m'f'in' BANK. Act professionally." (And note creative contraction of "m'f'in', which serves at least three purposes here.) (SPOGG note: So it's OK to choose a president based on beer-buddy potential, but not a bank? ;-) )

While we're talking of contractions, I should point out the sort of contraction that we use in the 'puter industry -- perhaps you already know about it. It's the technique of using a number instead of an apostrophe, usually in long words where we take the first letter and the last letter, and put the number of missing letters in between.
It's almost always used with words ending in "-tion":

internationalization == i18n
globalization == g11n
localization == l10n
optimization == o10n
...and so on.

It does save on typing, and, I'm happy to say, no one seems to *pronounce* the contractions (that is, we always say "internationalization", never "eye-eighteen-en"). Still, it's enough to give one a c8n.

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