Posted by: beccathomas | February 3, 2010

“Ain’t it about time!” (Topic of week 2)

“Ain’t it about time we talked about this?”

We see contractions used freely everyday.  Many times I use contractions to the point where I seldom take notice of the two words I combine.  However, there is one contraction that I can not help but cringe when I hear it used.  I cringe over the fact that someone would use this contraction as if it was a completely normal and socially acceptable.  The contraction I am speaking of is “ain’t”.  In my mind this contraction carries certain connotations along with it.

I really enjoyed reading Grammar Girl’s blog post about this issue.  In this blog she address when it is acceptable and when it is not acceptable to use the word “ain’t”.    I was surprised to know that it is actually acceptable at certain times.  She mentions that this contraction is only acceptable in dialog or when you want to convey a colloquial tone.  She also says that you should not use that contraction unless it’s in a quote, joke, or well-known saying.

She says that you should avoid the contraction in everyday conversation, and especially in business or educational settings.  I think she sums it up best when she says, “treat it like spicy mustard; don’t make a whole sandwich from it.”

I think I will always cringe at the use of that contraction, but I know that other people do not share in that opinion.  Either way, I think you should check out her blog.  If you do, you are sure to learn something!

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