Created By: StevenT on March 31, 2013 Last Edited By: IchigoMontoya on July 1, 2013
Nuked

Cannot Use Contractions

Someone who doesn't use contractions in their speech.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
A character speaks without contractions.

Two common reasons for this are that they aren't human or English isn't their first language.


Examples:

Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • March 31, 2013
    DunDun
    Could use more explaining as what talking like this could mean for the character--and potholes.

    Real Life
    • In America, high school English teachers insist that all essays are formal, contraction-less, researched, and five paragraphs. Many students are completely unprepared for university-level English courses that break that down an insist that essayists can, in fact, use contractions.
  • March 31, 2013
    MiinU
    ^That's news to me, I always used contractions in my English classes, which included formal essays, and I never lost points for it.

    Live action television

  • March 31, 2013
    Megaptera
    I'm pretty sure this is part of Spock Speak.
  • March 31, 2013
    XFllo
    Isn't this too narrow to trope? When it's connected to just one language? And many non-native English speakers can and do use contractions, because it's very natural for the language and not that hard... I skimmed through Spock Speak and I think it really covers it just fine. But I'll wait what others have to say. :-)
  • March 31, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Yeah, I considered making this a couple months back but I decided it was too specific a subtrope of Spock Speak to be worthwhile.
  • March 31, 2013
    TomWalpertac2
    NCIS: As a non-native speaker of English, Ziva did this quite a bit.
  • March 31, 2013
    DunDun
    ^^^^ I thought it was obvious that I was speaking generally, so your exception doesn't really mean much...

    ^^^ Non-native English speakers are typically put in "English as a Second Language" courses, aren't they? That's not the same as "English" classes (like German classes in a country where German is the official language is not the same as German classes are in other countries).
  • March 31, 2013
    DRCEQ
    Yeah this is a part of Spock Speak. Both Commander Spock and Lt. Commander Data from Star Trek are listed on that page, pointing out their lack of contractions in their vocabulary.
  • May 29, 2013
    glisglis
    There was a TNG episode ("Datalore") in which Lore lorded his ability to form contractions over Data. That was such a stupid idea on the part of the writers. I mean, we're talking about an android who in one episode can learn some ancient dead language only based on what he sees on a computer interface within a matter of seconds ("Contagion"), but this guy can't figure out the English contraction rules and implement them in his programming? But, anyways, this is already covered in Spock Speak.
  • May 29, 2013
    SquirrelGuy
    Grover on Sesame Street avoided contractions, at least in the early days.
  • May 29, 2013
    rgeminas
    Faye, of Questionable Content, didn't use contractions on the beginning of the comic so as to hide her accent.
  • May 29, 2013
    foxley
    Mattie Ross from True Grit (both the novel and the movies) talks like this. It is particularly noticeable in her first person narration in the novel. Mad Magazine pointed this habit out in their parody of the 1969 movie.
  • Live Action TV
    • A huge and important part of the personality of Grover from Sesame Street.
  • June 22, 2013
    Jess
    • In Questionable Content Faye usually speaks without contractions to hide her Southern accent. She starts using them when drunk.
  • June 24, 2013
    AgProv
    Real Life: this trait is quite noticeably marked in Welsh speakers of English. Listening to a Welsh person, especially one whose first language is Welsh, the speaker can not, will not, does not contract "can not" into "can't", "would not" into "won't", "have not" into "haven't", et c.
  • June 26, 2013
    XFllo
    ^ :-) Didn't know that. However, you should corretc a type of sorts: "would not" into "wouldn't" or "will not" into "won't".

    However, I still think this is not tropeworthy, though I don't think i was one of those who added Motion To Discard.
  • June 26, 2013
    Madrugada
    For this to be a trope, there needs to be some patternof additional information conveyed to the audience by the fact that the character doesn't/can't use contractions. So far, we've got:
    1. ESL
    2. hiding an accent
    3. as part of Spock Speak or Robo Speak
    4. No apparent reason at all (The example of Grover from Sesame Street fits none of the above categories.)
  • June 26, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Are any of those distinct from Spock Speak? The description of Spock Speak specifically cites ESL speakers, hiding an accent is Too Rare To Trope (and isn't really accurate... she doesn't hide her accent with dropping contractions, but does it because she's more comfortable distancing herself from people by doing it. It just happens that when she gets drunk, she both gets more comfortable and her accent lapses).

    Soooooo... keeping my motion to discard.
  • June 26, 2013
    Madrugada
    Yeah, sorry, I realize that my post wasn't clear. I do not think that this is a trope as it stands currently. It's too broad -- there is no one pattern that it follows -- there are at least four, all jumbled together. And from past experience, that means that if this launched, it will gather "examples" that are simply "any character that doesn't use contractions", and most of them will also be Zero Context Examples. In short, it's a problem waiting to happen.
  • June 26, 2013
    foxley
    Sometimes not using contractions is a part of Antiquated Linguistics.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=l8qleuvc6gduieuar1vl7dvd&trope=DiscardedYKTTW