In deference to Wednesday’s post on it’s not versus it isn’t,* I threw out the potential compromise of it’sn’t. It turns out, courtesy of languagehat, that there actually once was a common contraction of the two: ’tisn’t.
That’s so much cooler sounding than mine.
* On a related note, there’s a forty page research paper on this issue: “It’s not” or “isn’t it”? Using large corpora to determine the influences on contraction strategies by Yaeger-Dror, Hall-Lew, and Decker. With graphs!
Speaking of out-of-date contractions, behold the following excerpt from the Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation. It’s from Major Monogram’s retooling of Frosty the Snowman as a platypus-themed adventure carol. (With some kick-ass spy music, I might add.)
Chorus: Look at that platypus, look at that platypus, look at that platypus go! Look at that platypus, look at that platypus flying o’er the snow!
Carl: “O’er,” sir?
Major: It’s a contraction. It means “over.”
Carl: It’s a bit archaic.
Major: It’s traditional. Get o’er it.
If you want to listen to the whole thing, head over to YouTube.