SoCS – Contraction

I’m not sure what dungeon mistress Linda G. Hill had in mind for us guys when she scribbled:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: ‘contraction.’ ” 

socs-badge-2015I’m not even sure what she had in mind for most women, herself included when she tacked on the “have fun” directive. “Fun” and “contraction” don’t seem to go together unless you’re talk’n ‘bout the couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t kinda contraction ‘cuz the other kind ain’t no fun…as far as I remember.

Actually, I remember pretty well. I was in the room after they wired my wife up to a monitor while we were waiting for our daughter to get out of bed, put on her makeup and begin the journey out of the womb. All of a sudden, my wife doubled up in the bed. The obstetrics intern calmly looked at the monitor and said: “oh, that was just a little one.” If looks could kill, there’d be one less obstetrician today.

Back to the other kinda contraction, they were banned by my best friend when I worked for him. I have to be specific, because we worked together in ‘most every possible way. We worked for the same boss, I worked for him, he worked for me, he was a customer of mine when I had my cabinet shop, I was a consultant to the firm we had worked for, and he was a consultant for the company I work for. So, like I said, when I worked for him, when he was callin’ the shots, as it were, I wasn’t allowed to use contractions in written communication. He said they were invented for speech and not for the written word. Wikepedia, my go-to source for all things grammatical, kinda-sorta agrees with him.

He also wouldn’t let me use “it” in written communication. He said “it’s never really clear what ‘it’ is referring to.” He probably didn’t actually say “it’s” but that’s what I remember. I think he was wrong. It was often blatantly clear what it meant when I used it in a sentence.

Uh oh.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: ‘contraction.’  Make the first word of your post a contraction. For extra points make the last word one too. Have fun!”

Apparently, I jumped to conclusions when I saw the word “contraction” in Linda’s prompt. I started writing before finishin’ and now, as I look back, I realize that she clearly meant the grammatical kind of contraction, not the child birth kind. But, you know, SoCS and all, I can’t go back’n fix this mess that I’ve written. We’ll just have to carry on. Fortunately, I get some bonus points ‘cuz I did start with a contraction. Now all I have to do is guide the voices in my head so I end with one.

I have to say, I’m enjoying playing fast’n loose with grammar, punctuation and, well English. I’m not sure all of these things are actual contractions, kinda like the way that wanna-be doctor didn’t think my wife’s was, but I’m leavin’ them in here. The ‘n instead of “and” is taken from Eat’n Park, the Pittsburgh version of the “Home of the Big Boy” restaurant chain. Here in Connecticut, the Big Boy franchise was Abdow’s. Abdow’s will never be Eat’n Park, but it is special memory because I gave my wife an Abdow’s Big Boy ring for an engagement ring. I didn’t have any money at the time. Maybe that’s why our daughter likes Eat’n Park so much.

I’m still getting flack for being so long-winded on my One-liner Wednesday post. I could go on forever about babies, and labor and double-decker cheeseburgers, but in deference to my readers, and in order to get the rest of those bonus points, I won’t.

39 thoughts on “SoCS – Contraction

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  1. HAHAHAAAAAA. Water is on for coffee and started my day with this. I am barely awake but updating things in prep for a possible grant and bleary eyed and laughed at all of this. I really liked that your daughter was putting her makeup on….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh yes, contradiction. I love to build characters who are full of contradictions. But right now all I can think about is that fantastic breakfast picture. My stream of consciousness ran into a dam right there and it’s just hanging around that plate. :D Happy Saturday, Dan. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks. I like the way SoCS forces us to just write, I also love the fact that the community accepts this stuff and responds so nicely. Thanks again. I do find that the local Monopoly editions make the game more interesting.


  4. Congratulations on your bonus points today!
    It seems several people didn’t read the directions very well. I truly enjoyed your meandering. I especially enjoyed the image of your daughter gilding the lily before leaving the womb :) That was precious!
    Happy Saturday :)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I immediately thought of the first definition of “contraction” too, Dan. As for the second definition, one contraction (or lack thereof) that’s always bugged me is “it’s” and “its”. It’s drilled into us that when something is possessive, as in, something “belongs to”, then you add the apostrophe. But when something belongs to “it”, then suddenly, “it” doesn’t want the apostrophe. “It” thinks “it’s” too good to be spelled “it’s”. Why can we say “It’s mine” but not “Give the dog it’s toy”? Whoever decided the it’s/its rule should be slapped.

    Since this is all about “stream of consciousness” today, then I don’t mind admitting that I got down to the photo section and my thoughts went a little something like this: “Mmm, that breakfast looks good… So glad I’m already eating something right now (I read the post this morning)… Is that butter on that French toast or a scoop of ice cream?… Ooo, Faith’s boots are fantastic!… Boots, boots, boots. Man, I really like boots.”

    After I saw the boots, I sorta forgot what the post had actually been about. Sorry, Dan. I can be such a girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s ok Wendy (sorry). Faith would be happy. She loved those boots and she looked forever before deciding to buy those. By the way, it’s butter on the French toast bug ice cream would work too :)


  6. It’s an ongoing task for me, as an editor, to work contractions into the opinion pieces our researchers write. Some of them don’t need the help; they already have a good conversational tone. But others seem determined to sound as much like a robot as possible. They obviously think that without a stilted, “academic” air, they won’t sound ed-u-ma-cated. In reality, they sound like Hal in “2001: A Space Odyssey”. So I try to loosen them up. (Not a lot. Just a bit.)

    Speaking of editing and contractions, let’s look at Eat’n Park. Shouldn’t it be Park’n Eat? Unless you order ahead and then sort of slow down as you approach, get the food, then eat it before you arrive back home and, yes, park. Then again, it could be a contraction for “eating park” — then the name would make sense. But since the chain started as a sort of Happy Days-style carhop place, I doubt it. No. It’s Park’n Eat. *bangs gavel* Next case!

    The food looks great. Very diner-esque. Not exactly friendly to the ol’ waistline or the arteries, but delicious, I’m guessing. A refill on the coffee? Of course. Way to earn that 20%.

    Does Faith mind posing for so many public pics? Or is it, “Well, it makes Dad happy. There are worse hobbies. And he usually springs for breakfast, so why not?”

    Some contractions don’t make sense. I mean, what is “ain’t” short for? And why do some people think “must’ve” and “should’ve” stand for “must of” and “should of”? That ain’t cool.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Paul. Where to start? First, Faith asked me to take that picture. Not that there aren’t several hundred “oh dad…” pictures on my Flickr stream. Originally, that Eat’n Park was one that you drove to and ordered from your car. The order might still be wrong but you could (and we did often) eat while parked. Yes, free refills. Finally, I do like an editor that works to make humans sound human. With so many things being written by computers today, I think we need a code to show that we’re human. Thanks for this (referring to the comment).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dan, for such a serious guy at work, you are downright hilarious in your takes on words and assignments. I thought of delivery contractions, too! :) That was my “mother side.”
    Then, my Language Arts teacher “side” came out and thought of all the ones I don’t like so much. (Ain’t, Can’t, shouldn’t, “y’all” from “Northerner’s” in a Southern establushment, and “alright.” Except in the famous song. . .)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robin. I’m guessing every mom thought of the physical contractions first. I jumped that that because we still joke about “oh that was a little one”. I’m a fan of contractions in writing but I’ve been corrected many times.

      Personally, I wish y’all had made it farther north. Of course, in Pittsburgh, we said y’inz – I lost that quickly once I moved but we don’t have anything other than “you guys” up here :(

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think grammatical contractions are just human things. Similar to shortcuts and nicknames. Even if your name has just one simple syllable, someone will always find you a nickname. I have always wondered at that.
    The late writer, Jackie Collins, used to have some of the strangest contractions I have ever come across in a book. Something like: “Why’dn’tja com’ere?”
    I think I read that one in Lucky, the second of her Santangelo books. Spoken by the villain called Santino Bonatti. I was too young when I read them and sometimes I couldn’t make sense of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This blog is the place for smiles. :D Thanks for that, Dan.
    P.S. When I came up with the prompt I didn’t even think about contractions due to the birthing process. Yeah, and me with three kids. :P :roll:

    Liked by 1 person

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