7.2a In contact with punctuation or composition signs.

Some of these contractions also have the same form and position as certain marks of punctuation. Confusion is avoided by a rule that requires that these whole-word lower-sign contractions must never be in contact with any other letter, contraction, word, or punctuation sign whereas punctuation marks are normally in direct contact with a word or other punctuation. Whole-word lower-sign contractions may, however, be preceded by composition signs, such as the capital sign and/or italic sign (to be studied later). Thus, in the following sentence none of the whole-word lower-sign contractions can be used.

“His history book was—or rather is—in the same place my books were.”

Note that the word his could have been contracted if it had been preceded only by the capital sign, but since it is also preceded by the opening quotation mark it must be spelled out. The contraction for his cannot be used in the word history because the lower whole- word contractions cannot be used as parts of words. The contractions for was and in may not be used because the one precedes and the other follows a dash. The contraction for were may not be used because it would be in contact with the period.