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

Subject: RE: OT -- "its" vs "it's"
From: "David Berg" <dberg -at- dmpnet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2001 12:32:36 -0600

> That's been my experience also. Either way, whenever I see incorrect usage
> -- whether adding an apostrophe to the possessive form or omitting it from
> the "to be" form -- it really sticks in my craw. It's such an easy rule to
> remember that it's very frustrating to see it goofed up.

That's been my experience as well. At the same time, I'll plead guilty to
lax syntax on occasion. I suppose that I'm a hypocrite for my own admitted
lack of perfection.

There were times in college that I wished I'd chosen another major besides
tech writing. Too often I'd find that the errors in my texts for other
subjects were so glaring that it became difficult to concentrate on the

My first semester of grad school I signed up for my first creative writing
class. I anticipated enjoying the change of pace, but I was caught a little
off guard for the difficulty I would have letting go of strict writing
standards and embracing a degree of "poetic license" in my writing style.
I'm glad that I tackled that issue, and I feel that a broader range of
writing skills will benefit me in any of my writing. Now, when I read
fiction I still find myself becoming mildly irritated when I see errors that
are flat-out errors in punctuation, etc., well outside what would be
considered poetic license (and I know that's not quite the right term, but
it's all I can think of right now).

For me, the place where I find spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. errors
humorous is in advertising and journalism. Sometimes it isn't a matter of an
outright error, but simply that the person wasn't thinking what they were
saying. For example, in front of a restaurant near my home a sign said:

New Management
Liver $2.99

BTW, for a long time I remember having a hard time understanding why I put
an apostrophe before the s if I was indicating possession, unless I was
referring to an object or group as "it." For me, while I understand that
rule today, is still one of the more confusing aspects of grammar.

David Berg

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