The word "wanna" is one of those nonstandard terms (like "ain't") which has a standard spelling. It's an entry in a number of online dictionaries, although surprisingly not in either the Merriam-Webster online dictionary at www.m-w.com or the 11th Collegiate. In yesterday's *St. Paul (Minnesota) Pioneer Press,* on page A22, appeared a full-page ad for Rainbow Foods, a supermarket chain. An anthropomorphized pear was speaking to an anthropomorphized carrot, saying "Wanna' get fresh?"

So what's the deal with the apostrophe?

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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The word "wanna" is one of those nonstandard terms (like "ain't") which has a standard spelling. It's an entry in ... An anthropomorphized pear was speaking to an anthropomorphized carrot, saying "Wanna' get fresh?" So what's the deal with the apostrophe?

Sounds like a heroic example of 'greengrocer's *** apostrophe' (*best carrot's sold here).
It's comforting to know 'wanna' isn't in MW.
DCC
"Raymond S. Wise" (Email Removed) wrote on 16 Jan 2004:
The word "wanna" is one of those nonstandard terms (like "ain't") which has a standard spelling. It's an entry in ... An anthropomorphized pear was speaking to an anthropomorphized carrot, saying "Wanna' get fresh?" So what's the deal with the apostrophe?

Wel'l, if'n I had'da put in'n apostrophe, I'd stick it in'na mid'dle betwe'en the two "n"s in "wan'na" to show the mis'sing "t".

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
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The word "wanna" is one of those nonstandard terms (like ... "Wanna' get fresh?" So what's the deal with the apostrophe?

Wel'l, if'n I had'da put in'n apostrophe, I'd stick it in'na mid'dle betwe'en the two "n"s in "wan'na" to show the mis'sing "t".

If'n you're gonn'a do this, you've gott'a stick it after the two "n"s, like so: "wann'a".

Mike Nitabach
Michael Nitabach (Email Removed) wrote on 16 Jan 2004:
If'n you're gonn'a do this, you've gott'a stick it after the two "n"s, like so: "wann'a".

I tried it that way, but it didn't look right.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
The word "wanna" is one of those nonstandard terms (like ... "Wanna' get fresh?" So what's the deal with the apostrophe?

Sounds like a heroic example of 'greengrocer's *** apostrophe' (*best carrot's sold here). It's comforting to know 'wanna' isn't in MW. DCC

I don't find it comforting, I find it disturbing. They don't have "wanna," but they have "wanna-be" in the online dictionary at www.m-w.com and "wannabe," with a secondary variant "wannabee," in the 11th Collegiate (no "wanna-be). "Wanna," like "gonna," is a nonstandard usage with a standard spelling. The word "gonna" isn't in the Merriam-Webster dictionaries either. Both "wanna" and "gonna" appear regularly in print, where they are used when representing informal language and nonstandard speech. They should be in every general dictionary including "college" dictionaries and in large bilingual dictionaries: The English section of my *Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary* has both.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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It's comforting to know 'wanna' isn't in MW.

I don't find it comforting, I find it disturbing. They don't have "wanna," but they have "wanna-be" in the online ... in every general dictionary including "college" dictionaries and in large bilingual dictionaries: The English section of my *Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary* has both.

Collins has both, as well. Interestingly, they classify "wanna" as a representation of dialect, but gonna" as slang.

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 21 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey to whhvs)
On 16 Jan 2004, Raymond S. Wise wrote

I don't find it comforting, I find it disturbing. They ... The English section of my *Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary* has both.

Collins has both, as well. Interestingly, they classify "wanna" as a representation of dialect, but gonna" as slang.

It looks like they've both been around for awhile: The *Encarta World English Dictionary,* North American Edition, dates "wanna" to the late 19th century. It dates "gonna" to the early 20th century.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
The word "wanna" is one of those nonstandard terms (like "ain't") which has a standard spelling. It's an entry in ... An anthropomorphized pear was speaking to an anthropomorphized carrot, saying "Wanna' get fresh?" So what's the deal with the apostrophe?

I see that now and then. It seems to mean that the word or its spelling isn't standard.

Jerry Friedman
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