Monday, November 19, 2007

Hey - Grammar police ...

Thanks for ~jacking me up~ on the use of it's and its. You made me stop and think about it and second guess myself! And since no one can read my typing tone - that was said in a sarcastic, playful tone. I don't want anyone thinking I'm all upset and then starting a grammar war!

When you brought it up to me, I thought to myself "Well, of ~course~ I know the difference. I know how to write!". I (mistakenly) assumed an apostrophe s means possessive. Made logical sense so I started being aware of how many times I was (mistakenly) using it wrong.

Over the past week, I've been thinking about it each time I typed it. And although logical, it seemed wrong. I didn't like to use it this "new" way (for me) and ended up looking it up tonight.

Damn it. I WAS using it right all along!!!

Taken from It's "its", by Craig S. Kaplan.

"It's" is a contraction. It is short for "it is" (or occasionally for "it has"). It's not a way to describe a property to some "it".

It's a small world, after all. It's a small world, after all.
You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around, that's what it's all about.
Well, it's been a long, been a long, been a long, been a long day., that's what it's all about.

"Its" is a possessive pronoun. Its interpretation is something like "that which belongs to it", where "it" stands for some previously defined object.

He left it dead, and with its head he went galumphing back
Love rears its ugly head.

I do take into consideration that maybe I was using the possessive pronoun of "its" wrong and maybe that is what the anonymous grammar police was pointing out. But I DO use "it's" a lot and have always used it as a contraction of "it is". I don't have the energy (nor the time now since I just spent so much on it already) to go back through my posts previous to anon letting me know just how much my lack of "it's and its" knowledge offended her reading senses. (Which is okay by me. Maybe not something I would have pointed out to someone anonymously, but there's a lot of things I do that others wouldn't too). None of the previous posts had been corrected or updated or touched in any manner. Maybe one of those previous posts shows some grievous uses of "its" as a possessive pronoun. Maybe I used "it's" instead of "its", but I know that I have been using "it's", as a contraction, correctly.

Man, that's been bugging me.

Update - approx 10 seconds after first publish... I ~did~ have the energy to look back at the previous entry before the anonymous grammar police gave me a ticket. I did use "it's" wrong. Twice in the same *sentance. I used "it's" incorrectly as a possessive pronoun. So yeah, ignore everything up above that makes it seem that I thought Anon was incorrect in scolding me. I did use it wrong in the way I thought I could have and that is probably what she was pointing out. But I still stand by everything else especially the part about it ~jacking~ me up!

* You know what's really funny? Since the grammar girl chimed in, I have been trying to at least spell check each post so I don't look like a complete idiot. And when I put in the update above, I hit publish before spell checking and thought to myself "nah, no chance I spelled something wrong in just a quick paragraph".


Kim said...

It's sentence, Nancy. Damn it, learn how to spell!

Kidding, of course. The grammar police need to get lives!

Amanda said...

I'm oddly fond of the grammar police. I get red-faced if someone points out an error to me, but I'm oddly glad they did. I don't point it out to others unless they piss me off or unless it's my friend Amy. She and I have a grammar war going and enjoy pointing out the other's mistakes.

Yeah, I'm weird.

Anonymous said...

You're not upset yet you post a whole journal entry about the correct use of "It's" or "Its". I remember you correcting quite a few members of our forum a while back. Now the table has turned to you and you seem a bit offended.

nancy said...


I'm ~not~ offended in the least! I admitted how I didn't think I used it wrong and how I was totally wrong and I did use it wrong. I even laughed about it. It obviously was on my mind, hence me posting about it - but do you actually really think I'm offended and upset? How much more honest can I be? I've admitted I thought I was right. Then I assumed I was wrong. Then I proved myself right AND wrong again - followed by a laugh!

In regards to me pointing out mistakes ... Like I JUST said, in this very post, it's "not something I would have pointed out to someone anonymously". Yeah, I've pointed out grammar mistakes - but only to a friend, USING MY NAME and usually always in a private forum.

I just don't understand anonymous comments like this. Was the only point of it in the hopes of "proving nancy wrong"? Hrm. I'll never ever understand why the time is taken to write anonymous comments that are neither support, a non-negative comment pertaining to the converstation, or even a simple "hi". ~shrug~. I guess it's because I can honestly say I've NEVER commented anonymously to someone just to be negative.

nancy said...

I had one other thing to say ... I also said I understood how Miss Grammar could be bothered enough over things she apparently knows about, that it's normal for her to correct people. And I never said she shouldn't have told me - just because I wouldn't have done it, doesn't mean she couldn't.

Heather said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Anon!

Nancy - Thanks for the grammar lesson. I feel that I'm never too old to learn, and it's nice to get a update of basic and essential grammar rules now and then.