The Night before Christmas is recited all over the world on the night before Christmas. This oft’ recited poem was first published in 1823. It was published anonymously so the original writer didn’t get rich. Two poets are offered up by some, and there is a dispute, I prefer to suggest we don’t know who wrote it. It was published as ‘A visit from St. Nicholas’ and has subsequently been called ‘The night before Christmas’ and ”Twas the night before Christmas’. It is likely that the present practices of Christmas and Santa likely were fortified if not spawned by this verse.
It begins with ‘Twas. I understand that it is a contraction. This particular contraction doesn’t lead to urgent boiling of water or any Christmas urge to push… They simply dropped some letters and replaced them with an apostrophe. The apostrophe should go where the missing letters go. ‘Twas makes me wonder about ‘twit’ and the expanded version ‘Twitter’
At the risk of the contractions coming quicker and stronger, we use them every day in writing and speech. Contractions in present-day speech have their roots in words like; be, had, will, have, would and not. Perhaps we can even make some of our own. The cumbersome sentence, “she had it” could be contracted to be S’h’it. So much easier and economical to say. Most people don’t write anymore, crap, I used a contraction. I used don’t. I saved one keystroke and it was a space. Usually, you insert an apostrophe which is a keystroke, so you don’t save any wear and tear on your arthritic fingers.
When we do write, this drivel being a good example, contractions are likely ok. I want you to read this like I’m talking. I did it again. If this was a paper or serious drivel I would attempt to avoid contractions. The goal would be to sound more proper. I would (I’d) or I would not (wouldn’t) use them, y’ understand y’all.