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    #1

    Question don't etc.

    Is it really inadmissible to write "don't" instead of "do not" or "can't" instead of "cannot", etc., in formal letters or, in general, in formal writing? I was tought so, but I am not sure of this: I saw such "don't"'s etc. in such a journal as The British Journal of the Philosophy of Science (the author was BE native speaker and the philosopher) .

    Best
    Nyggus

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    #2

    Re: don't etc.

    Contractions are generally thought to have little or no place in formal writing. If he or she is a senior philospher, they can get away with it, but if you wrote an application letter with contractions, people might well think that you were a sloppy writer.
    Last edited by Tdol; 10-Jan-2006 at 07:08.

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    #3

    Lightbulb Re: don't etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Contractions are generally thought to have little or no place in formal writing. If he or she is a senior philospher, they can get away with it, but if you wrote an application letter with contractions, people might well think that you were a sloppy writer.
    I don't want them to think like that, certainly. Thanks

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    #4

    Re: don't etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Contractions are generally thought to have little or no place in formal writing. If he or she is a senior philospher, they can get away with it, but if you wrote an application letter with contractions, people might well think that you were a sloppy writer.
    Look at this quotation: "However, it should be always remembered – and isn’t always – that …" It is from „Understanding English”, Paul Roberts, San Jose State College; Harper & Row, Publishers, New York and Evanston, 1958. The author is an expert in English language and uses contractions in formal writing. I am confused again...
    Nyggus


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    #5

    Re: don't etc.

    You'd better stick to the rule which says that in formal writing it's much better to use full forms. Omit contractions. As simple as that :P

    However, there's a tendency to simplify the language in all areas... sometimes this tendency leads to "oversimiplification".

    As Tdol said... someone may think that you're a sloppy writer... however, personally, I don't care too much when I'm reading an article and there's "don't" instead of "do not". I guess I take certain things for granted.

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