Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's vs. its

It's me and Randy. It's my Sporster. Its pipes are loud. The other is an Electraglide. It's mine as well. Its seat is comfortable.

I have always found it's and its annoying. I'm annoyed that it just doesn't seem to be common sense. I'm annoyed when people use it incorrectly. I'm annoyed when I use it incorrectly.

I had a manager that had me type a flyer for her. She taught business classes at a community college. It was to be mailed out to faculty members and students. I corrected it's to its because she meant ownership of, and she changed it back. I'll bet she thought I was stupid. I wonder if the students and faculty thought she was.

I'm bored. I am actually sharing one of my idiosyncrasies, or should I say idiot secrecy's that should probably remain secret. I always over share.

It's is a contraction for it is or it has.
Its is a possessive pronoun meaning, more or less, of it or belonging to it.
And there is absolutely, positively, no such word as its'.
A simple test
If you can replace it[']s in your sentence with it is or it has, then your word is it's; otherwise, your word is its.
Another test
Its is the neuter version of his and her. Try plugging her into your sentence where you think its belongs. If the sentence still works grammatically (if not logically) then your word is indeed its.
It's been good to know you. Contraction: it has It's a bird! It's a plane! Contraction: it is
The dodo bird is known for its inability to fly. Possessive pronoun: its inability = the dodo bird's inability

Oh, I'm bored.



Rain said...

I am bored too. I think I've been using it's incorrectly. I also avoid using semi-colons because I don't know how to use them. I have however, mastered then and than :)

zilla said...

Oooh, Becky. I try to double-check my it'ses-and-itses, and I don't have to be bored to do it. I appreciate those who care to double-check the it's VS the its. You're a girl after my own heart.

We gotta getcha un-bored, though. Bored's no good! Given no time-family-money limitations, what would you love to do, more than anything else?

Sassy said...

Bored and smart you are!

alpharat said...

No, I'm with on the its and it's, and all of the theres and the thens. I'm a serious stickler for it, which is why it really pisses me off when I am hammering something out and make that mistake myself (I sometimes type faster than I think, I think).

The one that's most inexcusable, though?

"Should of"

"I should of done something."

"That's right you should of done something! You should of learned how to use proper grammar!"

That makes me want to slap somebody.

pearl said...

i have trouble with grammar. i admit bad....

alan said...

I try, sometimes very disappointed that I can't remember those grammar classes of 45 years ago or so...

So should I screw it up, please forgive the dumb illiterate auto-worker?


Ange said...

Forgive me, too. I need threat of physical pain to retain some of the rules.

Clicked over and this made me snicker:

"Its is the neuter version of his and her."

Poor its. The eunuch of the possessive pronoun.

fineartist said...

Idiot secrecy...heh, now that's effin funny.

Me too with your and you're. Yep, and yeah I do it too sometimes, even muff up hear and here, but their and there I've got down. Touch me, heh.


Sir James E. Watkins said...

That’s phenomenon has always bugged me as well.

Get it right people!

Holly said...

Your boredom made me smile! Thank you for that. :) See? "IT'S" the little things!

love you the most!!!

Doug said...

Those of us who notice the misuse of these terms have suffered long enough.

I have come up with a simple plan that should solve this once and for all.

It's only something you should read if you're bored. And probably something I shouldn't admit.

I won't tell.