Sha’n’t or Shan’t? Which is correct?

Both terms, “sha’n’t” and “shan’t” are correct, but the term “shan’t” has always been more popular.  These words have both been known to be used to describe the colloquial contraction “shall not”.  These words both have British English origins and they’re considered to be old-fashioned.

Shan’t’ Vs. Shan’t Popularity And Usage

Many assume that shan’t is an abbreviation of shall not, therefore some ask the question as to why sha’n’t is written instead.  This version of the word has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary, despite its lack of popularity.  Interestingly, shan’t is an older spelling of the word and remained steadfast due to its convenient spelling.

Sha’n’t Vs. Shan’t Meanings

What is interesting about these two terms is that they both are the exact same, besides their spellings.  There are no differences in definitions of these two terms; there only exists a difference in the convenience of spelling.  It has been presumed that because sha’n’t is such a nuisance to spell for most, it was never a popular way to spell the contraction.

Spelling Differences Between “Sha’n’t” And “Shan’t”

According to some sources, the spelling of “sha’n’t” is considered a non-standard way of spelling the contraction of “shall not”.  Another thing to note about these two terms is that if the apostrophe is removed from them, it leaves the word “shant”, which is considered a shack or a shanty.  It seems that when it comes to these terms, apostrophe placement is important.

Evolution Of “Sha’n’t” And “Shan’t”

Nowadays, both of these terms are considered “stuck up” or the speaker who uses them is usually thought of as pompous and self-centered, even high-class.  The popularity of using both of these terms severely dropped at the turn of the 18th century.  Even today, it is rarely used but predominantly in English culture.  The terms were developed in the 1660s.

Examples Of “Sha’n’t” And “Shan’t” Used In Sentences

Sha’n’t and shan’t are both considered colloquial and are a type of slang.  Some examples of the words in action include:  “I sha’n’t listen to you any longer”, “I shan’t go tomorrow evening”, “I sha’n’t discuss any of this topic with you until we are alone”, “I shan’t have the money to go to the market this Wednesday”, and more.

No matter which way you spell these two terms, it doesn’t change their meaning and both are considered to be correct according to English dictionaries.  Although the spelling of “sha’n’t” grew very unpopular quite quickly, it is still regarded as an English word today in the English dictionaries.


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