Submitted by elizabethmcauley  •  April 23, 2006

Contractions

I have read that at one time in the American South, it was not common to use an apostrophe to form a contraction of words. Some examples used in the article were you’re spelled as youre, don’t as dont. The implication was that the change was part of Reconstruction and a way of forcing conformity on the southern states. I cannot remember where I read this nor what sources were cited as reference. Where can I find information to prove or disprove that such was the case?

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Actually, I seem to recall reading that in the south contractions were not used much at all before or during the Civil War. I'm not sure when contractions became popular. Look at old letters from that time period and it seems you see the absence of contractions.

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Sounds to me more like laziness. I doubt their grammar teachers teach this rule.

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