4.2 One-Cell Whole-Word Contractions (Alphabet Contractions) [XI.36]

The first type of contraction to be discussed is the one-cell whole-word sign that is represented by a single letter of the alphabet. Following is a complete list of these contractions, which should be thoroughly memorized.

b

but

h

have

p

people

v

very

c

can

j

just

q

quite

w

will

d

do

k

knowledge

r

rather

x

it

e

every

l

like

s

so

y

you

f

from

m

more

t

that

z

as

g

go

n

not

u

us

Note that, except for it and as, all these words are represented by their initial letters. Because the letters a, i, and o are also single-letter words in themselves, they cannot be used as contractions for other words.

These contractions should be used to represent the words for which they stand, regardless of the part of speech involved. They are also used to represent whole proper names, such as “Will Rogers” and “Thomas More.” There is an exception to this rule: when the words do and so refer to the notes in the musical scale, the contractions d and s cannot be used.

It must be emphasized that these contractions can be used to represent whole words only. Thus, c standing alone reads can; but c cannot be used as a part word to represent can in canopy because this would be read as the word copy. Similarly, x cannot be used for it in merit and h cannot be used for have in haven't. The letter s cannot be added to any of these contractions to form the plural. Thus, the plural of will is brailled wills, not ws.

• Note: An apparent exception to this rule is the use of the contraction for it in its. This word has a special rule associated with it that will be studied in Lesson 11.