Texting is resulting in a society that no longer can write appropriately. Because of the constant flow of quick messaging, we’re often hurried and sloppy in our spelling and grammar usage. The misuse of contractions is particularly common.

Contractions are the shortened versions of words or groups of two or more words. Unlike compound words that use the words in their complete form, as illustrated in the word “bookkeeper,“ contractions replace a letter or two with an apostrophe. For example, “they” and “are” becomes “they’re;” “do” and “not” becomes “don’t;” and “I” and “am” becomes “I’m.”

When unsure of using words with the same sounds such as “your” and “you’re,” ask yourself if the word can be replaced with the full form such as “you are.” If so, use the contraction (or the full form).  It’s very simple and only takes just one more moment. The more often you spell the words correctly the easier it becomes.

©2012, Mary K. Doyle

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