The contraction for "would have" is "would've". And yet, if I am writing that "If I have a doctor's appointment at 3pm, I would have to leave at 2pm to be there on time", I don't think I would write "would've to leave at 2pm". That doesn't feel right, but I don't know why. MeFi grammarians?
I’ve noticed that I’m increasingly reading “I’ve not” in place of “I haven’t” and “I’ll not” in place of “I won’t.” When I was growing up (the 70s), these expressions were exceedingly rare. I knew they existed, of course, but to me they seemed redolent of century-old books: “I’ll not brook such behavior in my classroom, Tom Sawyer!” “Fezziwig! I’ve not heard his voice since my youth.” But in the last 15 years or so, I've been seeing these phrasings more and more often in colloquial writing — other blogs, Amazon reviews, internet discussions, MeFi etc. I don’t seem to hear these forms spoken, which adds to their air of formality. [more inside]
When did the use of contractions become common in American English and/or when did the absence of contractions become an (accurate or not) shorthand for outdated diction? [more inside]
Is there a correlation between how painful/strong your menstrual cramps usually are and how painful/strong your labor contractions will be/were? [more inside]
Vagaries of the English Language, part n: I need to tell my boss why the contraction "I'm" cannot stand alone as a sentence. For example, "Yes, I am" is okay. "Yes, I'm" is not. I haven't been able to find any good logic for this case or that works for the different contractions in general ("don't" can also stand alone, "I'd" and "I've" cannot). Given this is about languages, and particularly English, "just because" is, alas, potentially the best answer.
When I work my abs a lot, I get little mini shaky spasms, similar to what your muscles do after lifting, except they last for a while, say 24 hours, give or take, as opposed to up to two hours or so after weightlifting. Does this happen to you too? Is it common? [more inside]