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    #1

    contractions

    I saw this joke, but I'd be interested to hear why this sounds so strange as to be unutterable. I can't explain it. Prosody?

    "People say I use contractions wrongly. It's what it's."

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: contractions

    The second "it's" is wrong. That is the joke.

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    #3

    Re: contractions

    Do you have any explanation for that?

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    #4

    Re: contractions

    The original is "It is what it is". The first "it is" can be contracted, but the second one cannot. The only explanation is "it is what it is".

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    #5

    Re: contractions

    Modal verbs are not contracted if they are not followed by the full verb, as in, for example, short answers:

    Would you like to go to the theatre tomorrow?
    Yes, I would. / Yes, I'd like to. / XYes, I'd.

    The Full verbs BE and HAVE are not contracted when they form the entire predicate:

    It's a nice day today.
    Yes, it's lovely. / Yes, it is. / XYes, it's.


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    #6

    Re: contractions

    We're getting closer. I know the situation. Now how about the wherefore? Any ideas?

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    #7

    Re: contractions

    The person is denying the problem by illustrating it. It isn't very funny, and that is really all there is to the joke.

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    #8

    Re: contractions

    I see I am not expressing myself well. I am not asking about the joke, or why it is funny or not.

    Why do we not contract 'it is' to 'it's' when it is the whole content of the predicate? Do you have any ideas about this?

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    #9

    Re: contractions

    It is not about the predicate. For example, It is perfectly normal to say "It's normal if it's acceptable. But it is not OK to say "It's normal if it's".

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    #10

    Re: contractions

    The Full verbs BE and HAVE are not contracted when they form the entire predicate:

    It's a nice day today.
    Yes, it's lovely. / Yes, it is. / XYes, it's.
    Have to disagree there, see #5.

    I suppose there is no rhyme or reason.

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