while taking a shot normally the lcd goes blank.
but with the s110 sometimes the backlight stays on.
so you do not see an image, but you have light coming off the display.
and with night shots it is really a deal breaker if that happens.
sometimes it happens the complete run, other times it is a few shots off and then 1 or 2 shots on.
Are you sure this is canon behavior, not the script using set_backlight() ? Generally, if the script turns the backlight off with set_backlight, it gets turned back on after every shot.
The Canon firmware behavior varies depending whether it is set to continuous drive or single shot. In continuous mode, the screen stays on and shows the last image. In single shot, it generally goes black. The "review" settings also affect the Canon firmware behavior.
The Canon firmware behavior might also vary depending whether it displays "busy" after shooting due to high ISO noise reduction or dark frame.
is there a way this can be prevented?
On most cameras, set_lcd_display(0) turns of the display completely, including the backlight. The camera may turn it back on if you have "Review" enabled in the Canon settings, but otherwise it should stay off until you turn it back on. However, there could be camera-specific variation.