Revised as of 23 February 2018
This one drives me mad! Almost no one remembers that there are two ways of interpreting let’s and let us! I’m always having to pop that apostrophe in between the t and the s when I’m editing.
People! It’s not that hard! Every time you use any contraction, take the contraction out. Try it in full. If you’re using let’s, does let us provide the same impression? If it does, yeah, leave that apostrophe in there! If it doesn’t, well, whew, you caught it. Now take that apostrophe out and allow lets to stand on its own WITHOUT the apostrophe.
|On the One Hand…||…On the Other Hand|
Hey, why don’t we play a game/music/telly/???
|…lets … play
We allow John/Mary/Fido to play with us?
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Let’s, a.k.a., Let Us||Lets|
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Belleville High School|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Third person present verb for lets
Verb, transitive 2
|Used as a polite way of making or responding to a suggestion, giving an instruction, or introducing a remark||Noun:
[In racket sports] A play that is nullified and has to be played again, especially a when a served ball touches the top of the net
Allow to pass in a particular direction
Used in the imperative to formulate various expressions
Allow someone to have the use of a room or property in return for regular payments
Award a contract for a particular project to an applicant
[Archaic] Hinder 1
|Let’s have a drink.
“Shall we go?” “Yes, let’s.”
Oh, yes! Let’s do it.
A let will be given for any accidental hindrances.
A double fault equals a let.
You mustn’t let yourself get so involved.
Could you let the dog out?
A tiny window that let in hardly any light.
“Here, let me,” offered Bruce.
“Dear God,” Jessica prayed, “let him be all right.”
If he wants to walk out, well, let him!
Let A and B stand for X and Y, respectively.
Homeowners will be able to let rooms to lodgers without having to pay tax.
They’ve let out their apartment.
Preliminary contracts were let and tunneling work started.
Pray you let us not; we fain would greet our mother.
let someone down
let something down
let oneself in for
let someone in on
let someone into
let someone off
let something off
let someone out
let something out
|History of the Word:|
|The noun and the verb forms both come from an Indo-European root shared by late from the Latin lassus meaning weary.
1 Old English lettan for hinder. It’s of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch letten.
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!
Pinterest Photo Credits:
I’m Not Saying Let’s Go Kill All The Stupid People is courtesy of WeKnowMemes.