Re(2): Use of Apostrophe

Subject: Re(2): Use of Apostrophe
From: Doug Nickerson <Doug_Nickerson -at- ONSETCOMP -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 10:16:44 -0500

smcclare -at- DY4 -dot- COM,Internet writes:
>For technical writing, however, "what's" and other contractions might be
>considered too informal, and you might want to just write out "what is,"
>"what does," or "what has" in full. Though YMMV.
>Take care,

Hi Scott,

In broad outlines, I agree we are allowed to 'get away with'
more in speech than we are in writing. However, I hate this blind
obedience to the "contractions are no good in some forms of writing" rule.

Last year, while writing a book, I followed the guidelines of my
publisher--who was
trying to affect a 'personal' style. These guidelines recommended the free
of I and you, and contractions such as "let's" and "I'm".

Around this time, I was contributing to a software manual at work. I'd
used a
few contractions in it. My supervisor crossed out the contractions and
wrote in the margin : "No contractions in formal writing."

This writer, (can I say it?), who was much less experienced than I, was
misguidedly (me thinks), adhering to a rule she heard in school.

I'd be interested to hear what people have to say about contractions.
There are more formal
and less formal forms of writing,all of which can be called technical.
It's important
to keep in mind Winston Churchill, who is supposed to have said (about
prepositions) :
"That is nonsense with which I will not up put."

Doug Nickerson
Bourne, Mass.
Author: Official Netscape JavaBeans developer's guide

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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