1
vote
3answers
137 views

What type of word is “abnomaly”?

I've got a coworker that frequently uses the word, "abnomaly", not "abnormal" and not "anomaly", but "abnomaly". While the types of these words differ (i.e. adjective versus noun), the meanings are ...
2
votes
2answers
260 views

Why is an apostrophe used in the genitive “-’s”?

The English possessive isn’t a contraction, but rather a relic of the grammatical case system, so why is an apostrophe used in (most) forms of the possessive?
2
votes
1answer
217 views

Why is there an apostrophe in “h'm”?

By that I refer to the sound people make when they're thinking. Most people write "hm" nowadays, so they may not know of this, but traditionally, people wrote it as "h'm". The apostrophe can't ...
29
votes
6answers
18k views

What is “won't” a contraction of?

"Don't", "wouldn't", "couldn't" and "isn't" are all contractions of "do not", "would not", "could not" and "is not"... So what's "won't" a contraction of? It appears to be "will not", but if so, why ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

When did “y'all” become improper?

It is my understanding that the contraction y'all was considered correct American English in times past. At what point was this word removed from valid American English?