Is “don’t” used incorrectly in the English language?

Brian Collins is right, but let me try a different approach.

I do not nationalise the memes of production > I don’t nationalise…

Do not nationalise the memes of production > Don’t nationalise…

When that’s happened, it has now made don’t a word. The clitics that Brian refers to are bits of meaning, that semantically are different words, but phonetically are part of a word. Which applies to n’t.

So. Do you nationalise the memes off production?

You want to say this in a shorter way. But you now have a new word, don’t. And language really, really values consistency.

So you use that new word instead of respecting the underlying pattern. I’m sure it was weird 700 years ago. But the important thing here is, don’t isn’t a search and replace substitute for do not in all contexts. It is a new word, with its own grammar.

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