Sunday, May 22, 2005

Keepin' It Short & Sweet.

Several months ago someone pointed out that I tend not to use contractions when I write. I thought he was crazy...until I looked. By George, he was right!

I assure you that I don't talk like a robot or alien in real life. I also think I have a good ear for dialogue, but something about my mind tends to steer away from contractions when I write.

Just the knowledge that this was an issue seemed to make me vigilant enough to automatically self-correct most the time. It was only an issue when I wasn't aware of it. I have a lot of old stories that I look at now and I see this habit a fingerprint in dust.

I know it's common for people to have expressions or quirks in speech that they are unaware of overusing. Early on, I noticed my husband had a habit of answering the phone, "Uh? Hello." It drove me still drives me nuts. How do you forget the word hello? I feel that there is little to no chance this habit will be broken.

I used to live next to a Southern woman who would pronounce any meat prepared by anyone other than herself to be "dry as a bone." I had a boss who ended lectures by asking, "Does that make sense to you?" In high school lots of guys thought the word was "volumptuous" instead of "voluptuous"--and I have to imagine that some of them still do. I had a junior high teacher who said "cornflict" instead of "conflict" and. since he taught English and History, he said it an awful lot.

Does anybody else have quirks in their writing or speech patterns?
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