You know who ELSE hated apostrophes?

Back on the subject of political ads and the attempt to influence my vote.

It’s really tough to assimilate every last nuance of every candidate and party’s platform and make a fully-informed choice on Election Day. Over time, though, you come up with some shortcuts that seem to work out well for you.

One of my most valuable little rules:

Political parties and movements that discourage the use of contractions are usually bad news.

Allow me to illustrate.

“Congress hasn’t been listening. We’ve been ignored and dismissed. Our voices will be heard on November 2nd.”

OK, if that’s the opening line in a blog post, I’m definitely bored by this timeless bit of campaign rhetoric but I’ll soldier on and keep reading to see what your actual point is. But if the same line is written as

“Congress has not been listening. We have been ignored and dismissed. Our voices will be heard on November 2nd.”

…Then I’m pretty sure you’re just into this elections for the costumes and the free balloons.

Contractions. They’re your friends. It’s how normal people talk when they’re saying something very sensible. You can omit them for a certain effect but do it sparingly.

And why not pull the eagle-topped flagpole out of your butt completely? How about:

“I feel as though the incumbent has let me down. I’m going to vote for a candidate who seems more aware of my difficulties.”

See what I mean? You get nowhere by assuming a d-baggey posture. Some sites amp up their No Contractions politics even further:

“We shall raise our voices high, strong and fearlessly, for we know that…”

They go full-out, replacing “will” with “shall,” “for” instead of “because,” and forgetting that they’re just one of tens of millions of people who are stopping off on the way to or from work on Tuesday to fill out a form in a high school gymnasium. This isn’t exactly the first twelve minutes of “Saving Private Ryan.” The worst thing they’ll face is a folding table with kids selling cupcakes to help fund a class trip.

When you use that of language, I start to worry that you’re just one beer hall away from having your own special armbands.

No political party has an immunity against this particular disease. It’s universal and it’s a common Human failing. Some people will go out there and get the job done. Others hope to do it from the top of a marble plinth in the middle of the town square…ideally, while on top of a horse.

I shall not allow these people to influence my vote. For, come election day, I cannot aver my duty; nor as I pass by that American flag shall I be unmoved from my responsibility, irregardless of those arrayed against the Cause: I shall hold my head high, raise my Scantronic pencil high as unto a god calling forth the full fury of lightning…and then I’ll probably vote for the candidates with the funniest names.

Blessings God has, upon America, Him given.

11 thoughts on “You know who ELSE hated apostrophes?”

  1. “I’ll probably vote for the candidates with the funniest names.”

    That reminds me of a list of Presidents with the dirtiest sounding names. On top of the list is Johnson. You could google the rest.

    Anyway, it seems you are not the only one who votes that way.

  2. Yes, “irregardless” is just that bad. It’s like a poker in the eye. Anyone who unwittingly uses that word should be sent to the Thunderdome.

  3. Yeah, “irregardless” is like a speedbump in a sentence for me too, like “supposably”, and “mute point”. Sorry (though I actually thought you were using it ironically).

  4. I had not given much thought to this issue, but I am a bit down on apostrophes since some neverdowell forced me to write a function which differentiates them from okinas.

  5. When you use that of language, I start to worry that you’re just one beer hall away from having your own special armbands.

    Brilliant, Andy.

  6. Matt J – yep, will try to work that quote into a conversation as it’s so funny.

    I tried readind the irregardless sentence three times and it was so bad I never noticed the word!

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