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“Isn’t” and “aren’t,” “didn’t” and “don’t,” “shouldn’t” and “won’t” are all considered perfectly respectable contractions. So it doesn’t really seem fair that “ain’t” is frowned upon. Dictionaries still label “ain’t” as “nonstandard” or “uneducated,” while those other contractions are given a pass. Even your spellcheck might still underline “ain’t” with a disapproving red squiggle that calls it out as an error.

“Ain’t” actually has a long history that takes it back to the 1600s. It first appeared in print as “an’t.” That soon morphed into “ain’t,” often appearing in the speech of upper class characters in 18th and 19th century English literature. Despite the disapproval of grammarians and teachers, the expression has remained robust ever since.

You’re not alone if you sometimes have trouble differentiating between the English words “affect” and “effect.” The distinction can be tricky, even though on the surface the difference between the two words is simple.

Perhaps this usage issue is a losing battle, but it’s worth taking one last stand!

Did you know that when a speaker says someone is “taller than me” or “smarter than him,” the speaker is using incorrect expressions? The statements should be “taller than I” or “smarter than he” – short forms for “taller than I am” and “smarter than he is.” 

Could care less” vs. “couldn’t care less”

People have been known to engage in bitter arguments as to which of these English terms is correct. But all it takes is a bit of logic to work out the winner.

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