When is the proper time to use tonite or is it proper at all to use? I have seen it a lot recently and was wondering which type of situation calls for it.
'Tonite' is the lazy man's way of spelling 'tonight'. No situation calls for it. Thank goodness it is not yet acceptable orthography, but will probably eventually be included in the dictionary as an alternate spelling, much to the purist's chagrin.
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I totally agree with your comments. Many adults do not even know that there is a difference between the proper word tonight and the "lazy mans word tonite". I refuse to use this abbreviation and I will not allow my children to use it either. I find that more and more adults can not spell properly because of taking the easy way out.
English is (almost) a second language for me, but I've been teaching the thing for eleven years now, and this 'Internet spelling' of words and phrases is slowly but surely becoming an epidemic.
Apart from (relatively simple) mis-spellings like 'tonite' or 'nite', there have been numerous sightings of the use of 'there' as a substitute for the possessive 'their', and also of the possessive 'your' instead of the contracted verb form 'you're'. In sentences llike this:
Your right to make them carry there backpacks the rest of the way.
I haven't determined the origin of this practice, at first I thought it was simply an americanism, limited to teen web surfers, but I'm beginning to see it in other varieties of English, and in print, and the average age of the users seems to be going up, and up, and up. (Could be the same people growing, though...)
I agree with what everyone else has said. I just cannot bear to see the English language being destroyed, and when I see people starting to use texting (eg, u = you etc) when they don't need to, I find it abhorent in every way. Do we live in a world where there is no time to write our beautiful language beautifully any more? Don't ever write TONITE - or I'll haunt you forever. ha ha.
Mister McCawber wrote: "but will probably eventually be included in the dictionary as an alternate spelling.."
What the Dickens? Hee hee, it's not often I get to correct your English!
That should be "alternative" not "alternate".
I think that right now tonight is the only right spelling, unless you're talking about explosives, because according to wikipedia tonite is a type of explosive.
However, tonite and nite really aren't 'modern' ways of spelling. Tonite and nite were used all the time in the fifties. Don't know much about spelling/language, but as a film student I have to study old film advertisements and both tonite and nite are used all the time.
Tonite is an explosive somewhat used in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It consists of a mixture of equal weights of barium nitrate and gun cotton.