On Thu 6 May 2004 11:18, Marty Landman wrote: > At 10:05 AM 5/6/2004, Daniel B. wrote: > >Marty Landman wrote: > >>Please. Ain't is the contraction of "are not". > > > >That is obviously wrong. If it were _the_ contraction of > >"are not", then "aren't" couldn't also be a contraction of > >"are not." > > > >Perhaps you mean to argue that it is _a_ contraction of "are > >not." > > Daniel, thanks for pointing this out. On second thought, Woody > Guthrie sang "I ain't gonna be treated this a way" so ain't must be > the contraction of "am not". My Canadian Oxford English dictionary lists "ain't" as an informal contraction for "am not", "are not" and "is not" and also for "have not" and "has not". To me, the only one that makes any real sense is as a replacement for "am not", since no other contraction exists for it (amn't anyone?) But even there I wouldn't use it. Of course it would just be our luck as Canadians to get the worst of both British and American usage... The Brits (Cockneys) seem to use it mainly for "are not" whereas the Americans seem to use it more for "is not" and "am not", at least that's my impression. And for some reason, the spellchecker that KMail is using doesn't flag ain't... which is kind of odd. Worse, it even suggested replacing "amn't" with "ain't". Sigh. That was with both the American and British dictionaries, so now I'm curious as to who inserted ain't into them and why. -- David P James Ottawa, Ontario http://david.jamesnet.ca ICQ: #42891899, Jabber: firstname.lastname@example.org If you've lost something, you had to lose it, not loose it.