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The last post was the 21 things I KNOW at 42. At the end I said I'd consider writing 21 more things to make it 42 in total & then ...


Da Kang's Anglish: the contraction edition

Yes..."p" is for Puffin, but it's also for punching you in the throat if y'all keep making these mistakes. More than that, it's my sworn duty to use this guy & these shirts that have been made for everything under the Sun because they bring me joy. DISCLAIMER: this is all in frustrated fun.

1st, lemme take a moment to acknowledge the latest followers to join the ranks. I rarely ever take the time to make mention of seeing y'all over there to the right, but know that I do & don't *contraction alert* take your presence for granted. Hope your time here is worth it.

Now, back to this butchering of the Kang's Anglish. Today I'm *contraction alert* going to focus on a slab of meat called contractions. I'll *contraction alert* be using contractions as often as possible here because they never get used in my 9 to 5 3:30 world & I miss them. I'm *contraction alert* really starting to question if they're *contraction alert* taught in schools at all. I remember my own invisible tears falling as I attempted to clarify apostrophe-s to 6th graders last year. I realized that they not only don't *contraction alert* write it, but they skip over it when reading & NEVER say it. I was hearing things ALL THE TIME like:

-Ms. T pen.
-Charlie seat.
-Her mama car.
-My daddy phone.
-Kayla goin' with her.
-Darlene goin' witchu.
-K'ya lookin' for you.

It made my heart hurt in a way that really made me question whether I'd *contraction alert* eaten something bad for me. & I had. I'd *contraction alert* been served the steaming pile that's *contraction alert* left behind when children grow up either hearing other people speak incorrectly or just not being corrected as they're *contraction alert* developing their own understanding of their native language. I could've *contraction alert* perhaps found a way to swallow the lack of apostrophe-s til I also realized they don't *contraction alert* write the word "is." Say huh? How do you just eliminate most necessary verbs from a sentence?!? Well, in this new Anglish, apparently verbs ain't necessary &, according to 1 of my students, you can also have a sentence without a noun. You need a tissue to wipe those tears yet? I had to ask that student if they had any idea how many nouns were even in the sentence used to tell me none were necessary? I knew then that the lesson I was going into shortly thereafter on subjects was going to fall on Helen Keller type ears. Sigh...

It gets worse. As I said yesterday, the apostrophe has been misappropriated so if it's *contraction alert* not in a name, like De'ja (?) it's *contraction alert* eliminated. No one seems to even know what a real accent mark is. Shameful. So, while they can understand contractions that involve "n't" they, without fail, leave off the apostrophe. Why? Cuz "can't" ain't French. Get it? Anyway... The hardest part was to try to teach words that involve "'ve." Apparently there are parts of our community that have misheard or misunderstood, or both, the break down for these words. "Should've" has become "should of." Replace "should" with "would" or "could" & it's *contraction alert* the same problem. & this is a problem that causes me to reach for the Pepto Bismol or the activated charcoal. It gives my stomach a run for its money, making it sick to itself, barely able to eat or hold anything down. & it's *contraction alert* not just the kids. THIS egregious error I see mostly in Twitterville on the posts from grown folks who I respect for some reason or another.

You prolly make this mistake all the time & busy giving me a chinky eyed look not induced by that loud. You're *contraction alert* in a state of wonderment tryna figure out WHY this is a mistake. Well, lemme 'splain it to you. See, "of" is a preposition. That's *contraction alert* a word that comes before a noun--praying your remember what those are--that indicates a relationship or an association. Like, you are OF your parents. You are a part OF a family. Examples of relationships. Ya schmell me? The word you're *contraction alert* actually looking for is "have." Yeah. I promise. Have is all about possession, experience or responsibility. Such as: I HAVE 2 dogs; or I HAVE a feeling...; or I HAVE to go straight home after school. That means it's *contraction alert* not "I could OF torn out my hair every time someone wrote 'could of'" but "I could HAVE torn out my hair every time someone wrote 'could of.'" & because we all like a good shortcut--microwaves, back doors, public assistance--the English language has provided you with one. They HAVE given us permission to shorten "have" in contractions & make it apostrophe-ve. Looks like this: "I could'VE torn out a hair follicle every time someone wrote 'could of.'"

I know...it's *contraction alert* hard to keep up with all of this. But I really need you to try. As an English lover, a lover of reading, writing, & speaking, it makes my skin crawl when I go to professional meetings or read professional emails & the people responsible for gettin' out this information sound like they're *contraction alert* damn near illiterate themselves. I realize I just confirmed for you why it doesn't *contraction alert* have to mean shit to you to work on this. However, to know better is to do better. Why not just do it so you can be proud of how you sound? & then you can help revive the Each One Teach One movement & help pass this knowledge along because to care is to share. It's *contraction alert* because I care for you that I've *contraction alert* shared this.

Assignment: count the number of *contraction alerts* you see & get a gander at just how commonly they're used (there goes another 1) & how easily they get sprinkled in, saving time from typing out words like "they are." If you come here frequently or just drop by sometimes, you know I play with language. I can because, like I said the other day...I read good. I can make up stuff for fun because I am EXCELLENT with the code switch. Code switching is actually a rèsumé worthy skill. When they ask how many languages you speak, if you can speak standard English & that home grown, count it as 2. Who said Spanish & Mandarin are the only languages worth knowing? Get these skills! Pass 'em on to your kids! Help us help them & help them help themselves. Give a kid a fish & he'll eat for a day. Give him an apostrophe & he'll have a few more words in his vocabulary to impress his teachers with & help with the underground movement to abolish their use in names. Thank you in advance.

Watch me move.

Post Script--I SO wanna go into there, their, & they're; your & you're; & to, too, & two but I don't know if my presha can handle it.

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