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June 15, 2019
Letters #20:
I would like to draw your attention to contractions in most examples of modern writing and how there is a rise in usage that has exploded exponentially. Are we in danger of losing our formal voice? There is a risk that the tipping point has already passed, that a tool to finesse language is being neglected and will ossify. Negatives are softened when wrapped in a contraction: “don’t” and “won’t” seem like marks of hesitation rather than negations. Their expanded versions, “do not” and “will not”, don’t roll off the tongue easily, sounding both clumsy and too emphatic.