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December 4, 2005


So, I've had a debate with one of my most-respected, brilliant friends about the "word" li'l. She tells me it's wrong... like ya'll is wrong (sheesh--I shudder to type that so very incorrectly).


Well, I say li'l is correct, simply b/c it displays the use of apostrophes anywhere there are letters removed. Keith says that means the true correct spelling is li'l' (displaying missing letters on two sides of an L).

Just like 'til is the proper use of "until" when shortened, I stand by my li'l.

So does Google. So does Urban Dictionary. No. I don't care that Lil Kim or Lil Bow Wow do it differently. They probably also write "ya'll" and "till" (and say "supposebly"), meaning they lose all respect and therefore don't get a vote in this.

Loose/lose and then/than counts double.

That's all I'm sayin'.

Posted by bonnie at December 4, 2005 11:25 PM


My opinion; Li'l is a colloquial abbreviation of little. It is written with the apostrophe to differentiate it from "Lil", the diminutive form of the name "Lily". A trailing apostrophe is not needed because the e is silent and the written word in this case is approximating or indicating the way the word is being spoken.

Posted by: Chairman B. Author Profile Page at December 5, 2005 1:40 AM

Advise/advice counts double too!

Or, how about "prolly" instead of "probably".

There's so many.

Posted by: Debra Author Profile Page at December 5, 2005 2:02 AM

Or irregardless...

Posted by: Ali Author Profile Page at December 5, 2005 3:45 AM

Y'all stands. Most other languages have a plural of "you" and it's an outrage that we don't.

"Are you coming?"
"Yes you. And you. And you. Are you coming?"
"All of us?"
"Yes we are."

Li'l, though - that's just lazy.

What's next? "T'was"? "'twixt"

Come on Bonnie, you're better than that.

Posted by: Cliff Author Profile Page at December 5, 2005 4:08 AM

I've nearly given up on proper spelling and punctuation. The battlefront in written language has moved back to subject-verb agreement and tenses. I have a friend, a mid-20s man who has a degree in computer science and who can't grasp how perfect tenses work.

BTW- as far as supposebly goes, my dad still calls that thing that sticks out of the top of a house for smoke to escape through... a chimbley.

Posted by: BrYan Author Profile Page at December 5, 2005 9:29 AM

"Li'l'" doesn't bother me in the least... you're absolutely right (proper use of apostrophes)... but I do have this pet peeve...


1. The opposite of tight: "I saw the plumber's butt-crack because his pants were too loose."

2. Not restrained or fastened: "My uncle Fred jingled when he walked because of all the loose change in his pocket"

3. Lacking conventional moral restraint in sexual behavior: "Sally is very popular with the boys because there are rumors that she's loose."

1. To be unsuccessful in retaining possession of; mislay - "Don't lose your car keys." "If my neighbor doesn't turn off that stereo, I will lose my mind."

3. To rid oneself of: "Girl, you need to lose that guy." "I can't see my feet - I think I need to lose some weight."

Don't even get me started on 'they're/there/their'

Posted by: Julie-O Author Profile Page at December 5, 2005 10:11 AM

I, too, have a problem with "loose". But probably not the same problem Julie has.

My biggest pet peeve is capitalization and punctuation. I'm so anal that I even take the time to make sure all is done correctly in cell phone text messages.

(Well, back when I had a working cell...)

As for "li'l"? I'm with you, BonBonDotMyI. I can understand Keith's reasoning, but two apostrophes seem to defeat the purpose of shortening a word.

Posted by: Leemer Author Profile Page at December 6, 2005 6:50 AM