Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
Lovely Joanne who blogs at Cup On The Bus, asked a question in her comment on Franklin's most recent post:
Ask your mom about this, Franklin. I'm currently reading The Song of the Lark, Willa Cather, 1915. I'm seeing all contractions written as would n't, could n't, should n't, etc. Can she sometime write a little history of when the space between d and n elided?
Franklin responded by saying he was sure that I would do it, but I'm afraid Franklin spoke too soon. I don't know the answer and can't find it in any of my grammar texts or through online research.
I recall seeing contractions written in this way from reading My Antonia, also by Willa Cather, for a class on American novels that I took long ago.
If it was commonly done at the time, however, I do not remember seeing it in other books from the early 1900s. Perhaps they had been updated, or I didn't notice the space. My Antonia is so beautifully written that it has always stood out to me.
So, how about it, Brilliant Friends? Do any of you know the answer to Joanne's question? Feel free to show off your knowledge.
And if you feel the need for lovely, cotton tea towels, Joanne weaves them. You can see her offerings at Everything Old Is New Again.
Infinities of love,