Funny… Ha-Ha-Ha… No… Not Funny!
The ELL adult student stepped up to read out loud in place of the student who was absent for their Speaker Graduation Presentation. The student read with confidence until the word at the end of the PowerPoint on the screen that read, Cont. The student pronounced the word, ‘C-nt’ (with the u in the middle), the roomful of adults and students roared laughing. The perplexed student looked at his audience feeling verbally incompetent. That exact situation happened to me with a different word years ago when I was learning English. I’ve never forgotten that experience. Oh my goodness!
What happened in this setting?!
Here’s what happened:
Years ago in our English Language we used to abbreviate the word Continued in its grammatical form as Cont’d. With time, some have adopted the abbreviation Cont to mean the word Continued, especially on PowerPoint Presentations.
Notice that originally there was an apostrophe between the letters ‘t’ and ‘d’. This indicated that the letters ‘inue’ were between the ‘t’ and the ‘d’.
Today we see Cont on PowerPoint Presentations at workshops, seminars, webinars, professional speaker presentations, and even college classes. Cont looks like a word, so we have to ask, what happened to the abbreviation?
Understandably the English Language is an evolving entity, however, there are some aspects in its usage that we may be able to keep the semantics of old and avoid embarrassing moments for our adult students who are sincerely and amazingly making an effort to keep up.
In summary and grammatically speaking, this grammatical feature of the use Cont’d may be a better fit for clarification and correct grammatical use.
So, what will your next PowerPoint Presentation display to your audience?