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The question has been edited and it appears to be on topic now.

OP is simply asking if "wont" is an acceptable wariant of "won't" and if , possibly, there are difference in that respect in AmE vs BrE. To the question I just added some research but I didn't change its nature. The Google findings are not necessarily that obvious to any user and stylistic variants might be found in literature or in informal writings. What's so horrible, unacceptable, and shameful about that question? It is a decent, reasonable doubt. There are a lot of exceptions to the rules in the English language. Why is this "unaskable"?

  • I think it's unfair to ask answerers if "all the examples in google Books" are typos; when there is no other evidence that wont, lacking the apostrophe, is a valid contraction of will not. Is the only way to answer to go through all the hits in every book and individually determine whether the instance is a typo, an OCR error, a deliberate stylistic choice of an author who likes to flout orthographic rules? What other evidence would convince you that contractions in English require the elision to be marked with an apostrophe, besides the flood tides of authoritative works saying just that? – Dan Bron Apr 5 '17 at 21:11
  • From a quick check of the first few SERPs from your google books link, literally every example I checked was a typo (sometimes for want, sometimes for won't, the latter frequently in self-published books or lesser-known publishers). I don't know what else anyone could do to answer the question, or even why the question arises at all. – Dan Bron Apr 5 '17 at 21:18
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    @DanBron - I am just trying to help OP who is probably less experienced than you and may need support on an issue that looks so obvious to you. Some interesting comments (that were promptly removed ) suggested that GB Show made use of contractions without apostrophe for stylistic purposes. It may be a point, just to confirm it is an ortographic exception. I don't think this is the worst of questions. – user66974 Apr 5 '17 at 21:22
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    Certainly the examples I checked in Ngrams are either typos, illiterate (that is, ignorant) misspellings or deliberate imitations of illiteracy. But "are all the examples typos" is not a reasonable question. – Andrew Leach Apr 6 '17 at 9:26
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    +1 I think the question of is wont (meaning will not) a contraction?, is a good one. – green_ideas Apr 6 '17 at 16:32
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    @Clare I tidied the question a bit, and included your suggestion. – Mari-Lou A Apr 6 '17 at 18:22
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    @clare - I do appreciate you contrarian point of view :) 10 downvotes so far..wow! – user66974 Apr 6 '17 at 18:28
  • @Mari-LouA - no, nothing personal, on the contrary I am still here supporting my view, just that 10 , now 11 DVs for a question from a new user....Welcome to ELU!! – user66974 Apr 7 '17 at 8:05
  • @Mari-LouA - yes probably, – user66974 Apr 7 '17 at 8:49
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I see no reason to reopen this question in its present form, or its proper form.

First, I am not against editing a post to save it, even if it means adding research. However the cases where we can add research without changing the meaning of the post are few and far between because we don't know what kind of answer the questioner is seeking. Changing the meaning of a post is a violation of the help center guidelines, and contradicts a review queue rejection reason (two actually, as this also has the character of an attempt to reply). It may prove to be especially problematic if the guess as to what piqued interest in the question was wrong altogether, the answer accrues presumably valid answers as the result of a premature reopening and gets edited by its poster in a manner that invalidates the efforts, by clarifying the desired result.

If an off-topic question is asked that piques your own interest in such a way that you are willing to make such a drastic edit that it has a different meaning, I would suggest making your own question instead. Even if the only reason you want to reopen the question is so that you can provide an answer please do remember that you may answer your own questions if you think you have genuinely helpful information to share.

Maybe if you could adequately explain how you deduced the questioner's intent from the text provided as I had here, or provided evidence that you have somehow read their mind I would reconsider, but I doubt you can. I think this is all relatively baseless supposition.

The commentators point out other problems too: It is overly broad to ask about every example occurring on Google Books; we need more particular examples. It may even be primarily opinion based if the plethora of recommended and actual examples regarding whether to use the apostrophe are not sufficient evidence, although there may be mitigating factors. Questions about style also often tend to be closed as Primarily Opinion Based, because most stylistic choices are optional, and lack any systematic rationale.

I am not even sure if this question is validly about English, or Google Books software. Google Books treats punctuation apostrphes weirdly. Type in won't into the ngrams viewer and you'll get the message "Replaced won't with will not to match how we processed the books." The very first example I see on Google Books is clearly a transcription error. The second example almost omits punctuation altogether.

My recommendation is to roll this edit back so that the close reason matches the body of the text.


Also, it is not difficult to understand the question in its base form, but that question is a textbook general reference question, even if we posit the dictionary entries on reasonable searches aren't enough (which is doubtful) because they don't provide a complete explanation or comparison in a single link.

I would suggest that Grammarly is a sufficiently reputable resource specifically designed to answer this type of question, that gives an answer which appears on the first page of any reasonable google search you could perform. Here are archived search results for Won't, wont and both words put together. These results make the answer obvious enough to warrant closure, especially since the first and most reasonable search supposed by this edit returns many more congruent results.

And the stuff you establishes gives new meaning to the question by adding meanings that were not there before. How do you know for a fact that The Grammarist's answer is dissatisfactory? I doubt we do. In a perfect world, we would be able to infer that they would not bother to ask us, but in practical reality questioners accept general resources to questions frequently and they garner many votes for them as well, despite the fact that they simply are not a productive use of Stack Exchange's efforts. This is why we have a close reason like this.

However, I would like to make it clear that I am not saying the question is necessarily horrible, shameful, ridiculous, unsalvagable or even unworthy of being asked. I am just saying that it is that in light of the above consideration, it is the responsibility of the poster to show us that this is not the answer. However the edited question may be less clear than the original, so when they do, they should also add why it is not a sufficient answer, preferably by providing the context that casts sufficient doubt on the common knowledge. Perhaps a quotation by a famous author that frequently escapes the clutches of editors might save the question, e.g. the lack of capitalization in the writing of E.E. Cummings might cast sufficient doubt on the common knowledge. It'd still have to survive the other close reasons to be reopened though.

I'd provide an example of a question that asked whether his name should be written with or without capital letters, but I can't find it right now.

  • @DanBron - "any resource you could look into on the matter, from any recognized authority, would be a simple and direct "no", really? If so that could be the start of a possible answer OP will never get. Welcome to ELU!! – user66974 Apr 6 '17 at 22:02
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    @Josh That's not he "start of an answer", it's the whole answer, and OP got it instantly, in the comments and closure of his question. This question you champion is the absolute exemplar of "more research required". If we apply this new standard you're promoting to all questions, then we can't close questions like "is cat also spelled dog?": that standard is no standard at all, and if we adopt it, we might as well throw up our hands, dispense with voting altogether, and just let the flood come. There is peace in inundation, eventually. – Dan Bron Apr 6 '17 at 22:25
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    @DanBron - come on, don't ridicule this issue. It is not a new standard. We often disagree on the perceived quality of questions. Similar "alleged off-topic" questions have been "saved" before from the axe of intransigent users. It is clear we disagree. Just move on. – user66974 Apr 6 '17 at 22:37
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    @Josh I'm ridiculing it because it is ridiculous. This isn't some borderline case, this is not me being stubborn about some fuzzy issue. This question could be the poster child for Poe's Law as it relates to "general reference": it proves it is impossible to fabricate a question so obviously answerable by general references that a real-life user won't come along and ask a yet more obvious one in all sincerity. Given that, I honestly can't see why you think this particular question is worth saving, or if you think it's not GR, what would qualify. Why do you like it. As opposed to others? – Dan Bron Apr 6 '17 at 22:43
  • @DanBron - I do like the question, I do think it may be useful (mainly to NNSs probably) . OP as a new user might be unfamiliar with all the sources that we frequently use, or wouldn't know where to look for differences between AmE and BrE. I know that we require high standards but lower standard potentially good questions shouldn't be automatically rejected. Having said all that, please accept the fact that we disagree on this specific issue. I know you can make it. :) – user66974 Apr 6 '17 at 23:05
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    @Josh If the question is useful for mainly non-native speakers, it should be asked on ELL, though I think it would have a rough go there as well. This question isn't based on consulting some obscure reference specific to ELU, it is answered by literally any resource which discusses the issue. If we can't close this question as POB, I can't imagine one we could. I don't know where the idea that there might be dialectical diffs came from, but I know it wasn't OP, I think it was a Hail Mary to save the question, and anyway is answered by a dictionary. – Dan Bron Apr 6 '17 at 23:10
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    Also, I can be convinced, on occasion, to accept lower standards for good questions, but this is not a good question, and I honestly don't know what inspired you to think it was. And of course I accept that we disagree on the question, that we do so is obvious, so again I don't see why you think otherwise. If you're saying that simply because I'm responding to points you raise, you may feel free to stop responding to mine. – Dan Bron Apr 6 '17 at 23:12
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    @DanBron - don't worry, there are more questions to come on which we will disagree. – user66974 Apr 6 '17 at 23:13
  • @Josh I am sure. – Dan Bron Apr 6 '17 at 23:14
  • I guess all the above comments should be deleted. – user66974 Apr 6 '17 at 23:17
  • @Josh Maybe the question would be more suitable on E.L.L. if N.N.S. are your main concern. Their only research requirement is "it can't be answered by a dictionary" if I recall correctly. Then again, this question might even run afoul of that since won't has an apostrophe in the dictionary, so ask their opinion in chat first. – Tonepoet Apr 6 '17 at 23:19
  • @Tonepoet - I'm sure there are NNSs active on ELU that would find the question useful. Anyway thanks for your suggestion. – user66974 Apr 6 '17 at 23:22
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    @DanBron Actually, the O.P. did ask if there was an "American/English difference" in revision 1, and by that I presume by that he means a difference between the orthography of the U.S.A. and England. I don't think that saves it from Gen. Ref. closure though. – Tonepoet Apr 6 '17 at 23:58

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