RE: OT -- "its" vs "it's"

Subject: RE: OT -- "its" vs "it's"
From: Jeff Hanvey <jewahe1 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2001 10:03:04 -0800 (PST)

--- "Rock, Megan" <Megan -dot- Rock -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com>

> I disagree. I distinctly remember these rules
> (it's/its,
> there/their/they're, whether/weather, etc.) being
> covered repeatedly in my
> grammar and composition books in elementary and
> junior high school. In my
> opinion, if something is taught at a sixth grade
> level, that doesn't make it
> elite knowledge that only specially-trained people
> need to know or are
> capable of understanding.

Maybe not, but even you have to admit that just
because something is covered in the sixth grade
doesn't mean that people actually learned it.

Why else would *college* English classes have to
repeatedly cover the issue? Why else would it be an
issue on this list?

By this standard, there should be a lot of things that
you should know that were covered in high school and
grammar school. For example, can you list every
president of the United States (assuming that you went
to school in America). What about the capitals of all
50 states?

These were items that I was required to memorize in
7th grade, but I can't list them all. I'd probably be
lucky to get half.

More to the point of grammar, can you still diagram a
sentence without referring to a textbook? How many
people on this list can? That was covered in my 6th
grade class!

How many of your remember the rule of sines and
cosines from geometry? How many of you could prove a
geometric theorem today? I have a bachelors degree in
math, and I'd have to look these things up!

That's my point - by the time we all get into our
careers, we have kept the skills that we use and
understood and lose those that weren't clear or used

Because as writers, we've used grammar rules
regularly, and have spent time reviewing and
explaining these rules, we have kept them.

To be clear, I'm not advocating that we throw grammar
out the window. What I am advocating is that we show
tolerance to those who aren't trained as carefully in

Besides, when I'm away from my keyboard, I couldn't
care less about grammar and certainly don't get bent
out of shape because of someone else's grammar. Life's
too short to get an ulcer over pronouns!

Jeff Hanvey

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