TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
I have to agree with Dave: When people are reading rapidly, it is all too
easy to miss the meaning behind a contraction--especially with negatives
such as "don't" and "can't". I also wonder if people are as used to
*reading* contractions as their full word counterparts. And as the
literature shows, reading is very much a process of recognizing the visual
patterns of common words--e.g., "is," "will," "not," and so on.
Heli L. Roosild
helir -at- msmailhq -dot- netimage -dot- com
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: Contractions
Date: Friday, April 07, 1995 7:29AM
Easier to read? I have a real problem with this one. Can you convince
me it is actually easier to read AND UNDERSTAND the following contractions
than their fully-written counterparts?
I'd, you'd, can't, I'll, would've.
Even English-speaking readers would have to spend a little more time
and effort to fully understand what you are writing. Foreign-born
readers may have to ask such questions as: *Don't: is that do not or
donut?* We can not (lack of contraction intentional) afford such
ambiguity in our writing.
For clarity, avoid contractions.
Dave Demyan *** Mendem Concord, Inc.
(908) 753-8500 *** One Mountain Blvd.
concord -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com *** Warren, NJ 07059
FAX: (908) 754-8224