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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Steve Parkes For pedants only (106* d) RE: For pedants only 12 Oct 01


You mean papers, Mary? *G*

Snuffy--I'm a bit late here, but never mind. "Wo'n't"="woll not" ("woll" now an archaic form, superseded in the last two or three hundred years by "will"); Carroll was correct in his apostrophisation (oops--big word!) of the missing letters, but the convention nowadays is to use "won't" with one ap'phe--likewise "sha'n't".

Whistle Stop, using "their" (plural) with "child" (singular) is generally acceped today as preferable to "his" (the pedantic form) or "his or her", which is clumsy. If you're speaking colloquially, it's OK to use the "gender-free" plural, but in formal writing, you may do better to recast the sentence if you can, and avoid the problem altogether. Anyway, Lewis Carroll did it, and if it was good enough for him ..!

Steve

If you like this kind of thing, check out Take our word for it and World wide words.


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