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Double and triple contractions

Double and triple contractions

Double and triple contractions

(OP)
I came across an interesting discussion on Reddit today, discussing double and triple contractions in the English language.  The discussion referenced this wikipedia page. I can only recall encountering single contractions, e.g. don't, won't, etc.  Are these multiple contractions legitimate English?

Here is a link to the reddit discussion too.

RE: Double and triple contractions

My belief is that if you allow a single-character contraction at all (e.g., "would've"), then it is reasonable for a double- (e.g., "wouldn't've"), or triple-character (e.g., "'twoudn't've") (or even more) contraction.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
"People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: Double and triple contractions

I wouldn't consider them proper written English, but I've certainly used a few of them when speaking.  smile

Annihilannic
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RE: Double and triple contractions

Contractions are a method of allowing written English to reflect accepted spoken English. Many other languages do not accommodate contractions, and other languages do accommodate contractions (e.g., Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and German).

If one wants to know how stilted spoken English sounds when the speaker does not use contractions, just watch an episode of N.C.I.S. (Naval Criminal Investigative Service for those without (American) TV). The character Ziva (depicting a Israeli ex-Mossad operative) never uses contractions in her spoken English.

 santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
"People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: Double and triple contractions

==> Are these multiple contractions legitimate English?
In my opinion, Legitimate?  Yes.  Proper?  No.  Standard?  Not yet.

English is a descriptive language, not a prescriptive language; therefore, standards change as prevalent usage changes.  What people use to successfully communicate determines what is and is not legitimate.  As a particular usage becomes more prevalent, it becomes accepted and standardized.  Over over time, if usage continues, it becomes ingrained in the "proper" language.  It's how the language evolves.
 

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RE: Double and triple contractions

it is the ability of the language to accept this type of on the fly modification that makes English such a sophisticated language.

As an example the now common word transistor is a perfectly meaningfully English word (an contraction of Transfer Resistor, which describes what it does).

The rules of other languages do not allow words to be created like this.

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RE: Double and triple contractions

Quote (IPGuru):

it is the ability of the language to accept this type of on the fly modification that makes English such a sophisticated language.

As an example the now common word transistor is a perfectly meaningfully English word (an contraction of Transfer Resistor, which describes what it does).

I believe "transister" is a portmanteau, not a contraction.

And I agree that it does show a great deal of sophistication and has allowed the creation of impressive and memorable new words. All hail the Spork!

bigsmile

 

RE: Double and triple contractions

Quote:

...and now for something completely different...
You can get Spock's Sporks here
 

James P. Cottingham
I'm number 1,229!
I'm number 1,229!

RE: Double and triple contractions

Quote (SamBones):

I believe "transister" is a portmanteau, not a contraction.
I believe a "transister" is a nun that has gone through gender re-assignment.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
"People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

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