[whatwg] Editorial: Colloquial contractions

Øistein E. Andersen liszt at coq.no
Tue Sep 15 16:05:29 PDT 2009

On 15 Sep 2009, at 02:37, Ian Hickson wrote:

> On Tue, 8 Sep 2009, Øistein E. Andersen wrote:
>> The spec currently contains a few occurrences of colloquial  
>> contractions
>> like "can't", "won't" and "there's", which should be changed to
>> "cannot", "will not", "there is" etc. for consistency.
> I haven't changed this, because it doesn't seem especially important,
> frankly. If there are specific cases where you think the current text
> reads poorly due to the use of contractions, please let me know.

'Tis not that specific instances are particularly horrific; the  
problem is that unmotivated alternation 'tween the two, just like any  
other typographical error or inconsistency, gives the impression of  
carelessness, which is always discomforting in a technical  
specification, whate'er the cause might be.

I still think 'twould be worth fixing this, though I must admit 'tis  
more pervasive than I first thought.  To make it less open-ended,  
please find below a list of changes that would correct most instances  
(capitalised forms not listed separately):

s/doesn't/does not/
s/isn't/is not/ except: isn't his
s/don't/do not/ except: "don't know,", "don't."
s/it's/it is/ except: it's hot (twice), it's so pedantic, it's  
unarguably, it's about
s/I'm looking/I am looking/
s/there's/there is/ except: there's a microphone (twice)
s/won't/will not/ except: won't be that
s/that's/that is/ except: that's right
s/wasn't/was not/
s/aren't/are not/
s/wouldn't/would not/
s/we're/we are/ except: team we're, >we're (twice)
s/they're/they are/ except: they're really
s/here's/here is/ (except: there's a microphone)
s/didn't/did not/ except: didn't have, didn't know, didn't <
s/we'll/we shall/
s/we'd/we would/
s/I've/I have/ except: I've liked, I've got, I've only
s/hasn't/has not/ except: hasn't changed
s/you're doing/you are doing/
s/couldn't/could not/ except: couldn't admit
s/we've/we have/
s/shouldn't/should not/ except: shouldn't say
s/let's simulate/let us simulate/
s/it'll/it will/
s/haven't/have not/
s/you'd/you would/
s/it'd/it would/
s/I'd probably/I would probably/
s/I'd realised/I had realised/
s/hadn't/had not/
s/they've/they have/
s/they'll/they will/
s/there'd/there would/
s/he's covered/he is covered/

Øistein E. Andersen

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