I am confused about Data's use of ”I've”.
One of the first things that we learn about Data in TNG is that he cannot use contractions.
“I've” is a contraction, yet I'm pretty certain I've heard him saying that in what feels to be every episode of TNG.
Then again, I don't specifically remember him using other contractions, so I thought that maybe “I've” is somehow special, and is excluded from the notion of "contractions" in-universe.
But then I watched s03e16, "The Offspring".
At around 24:00, the following dialog takes place in Ten Forward:
Lal: I've been programmed with a listing of 14 hundred and 12 known beverages...
Guinan: What did you just say?
Lal: I've been programmed with a listing of 14 hundred...
Data: You have used a verbal contraction.
Guinan: You said "I've" instead of "I have".
Data: It is a skill my program has never mastered.
And to top that, a bit later in the same episode, at around 30:30 we have:
Data: She can use contractions. I cannot.
Admiral Haftel: An aberration? What have you done about this?
Data: I've maintained records on positronic matrix activity, behavioral norms and all verbal patterns. I've seen no other evidence of aberration.
I can understand the actor letting it slip every now and then without noticing.
I understand the members of the crew (both the filming crew and the Enterprise crew) not noticing too in normal circumstances, thus letting a couple loose in each episode.
But using a contraction in the next sentence after saying that he cannot do that? Twice?
Is there a running gag about having Data use “I've”, specifically, in each episode, or some other peculiar explanation?