The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #39822   Message #570468
Posted By: GUEST,Steve Parkes
12-Oct-01 - 10:10 AM
Thread Name: For pedants only
Subject: RE: For pedants only
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 "Wo'n't"="woll not" ("woll" now an archaic form, superseded in the last two or three hundred years by "will"); Carroll was correct in his apostrophisation (oops--big word!)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 ..!


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