- couldn’t of
- " ‘Couldn’t of got it without you, Pops,’ Parker said.. ." (New Yorker). As a shortened form of "couldn’t have," couldn’t of does unquestionably avoid the clumsy double contraction couldn’t’ve, a form not often seen in print since J. D. Salinger stopped writing. However, I would submit that that does not make it satisfactory. Using the preposition of as a surrogate for ’ve seems to me simply to be swapping an ungainly form for an illiterate one. If couldn’t’ve is too painful to use, I would suggest simply writing couldn’t have and allowing the reader’s imagination to supply the appropriate inﬂection.
Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.
Look at other dictionaries:
couldn't of — Couldn t of got it without you, Pops/ Parker said (New Yorker). As a shortened form of couldn t have, couldrit of does unquestionably avoid the clumsy double contraction couldntve, a form not often seen in print since J. D. Salinger stopped… … Dictionary of troublesome word
couldn't — by 1670s, contraction of COULD (Cf. could) + NOT (Cf. not) … Etymology dictionary
couldn't — (could not) v. used to express the fact that one is unable or unwilling to do something; used to express the impossibility of an occurrence … English contemporary dictionary
couldn't — ► CONTRACTION ▪ could not … English terms dictionary
couldn't — [kood′ nt] contraction could not … English World dictionary
COULDN'T — contr. could not. * * * /ˈkʊdn̩t/ used as a contraction of could not I tried but I couldn t do it. couldn t care less see ↑care, 2 … Useful english dictionary
couldn't — [[t]k ʊd(ə)nt[/t]] Couldn t is the usual spoken form of could not … English dictionary
couldn't — [ˈkʊd(ə)nt] short form the usual way of saying or writing ‘could not . This is not often used in formal writing I couldn t go to her party.[/ex] … Dictionary for writing and speaking English
couldn't — Date: 1646 could not … New Collegiate Dictionary
couldn't — /kood nt/ contraction of could not. Usage. See care, contraction. * * * … Universalium