Once and for all: the possessive is "its" AND "it's" = "it is"

It’s seems like “it’s” SHOULD be the possessive, because so many possessives have apostrophes, but nope-- it ain’t so.

“The tree waved in the breeze, and the wind sang in ITS branches.” This is correct.

“It’s,” on the other hand, is a contraction for “it is.” The apostrophe takes the place of the letter “i” in “is,” just like the apostrophe takes the place of “o” in “don’t,” (do not) and “a” in “you’re” (you are).

I see this mistake everywhere, although, thank God, not so far in The New York Times (except in the reader comments section).

I believe it is the misuse of “it’s/its” that is the real cause of global warming. So, please, do your part for the ozone layer and get on board. Thank you.

This might be the wrong forum for this.

Whose not doing it right?

No matter how upset you or anyone gets about improper usage, and no matter how many grammar pilgrimages you go on, there are still going to be people who will use the wrong one (non-readers, the unintelligent, those who write English as a second language, etc). You’d do better to accept this than to try to change the rest of the world, you know?

Not only what** Rache **said, but its also the stupidest rule of grammar, punctuation, spelling, or whatever category it falls under. It’s rationale is absurd.

And of course, the argument about other possessives having apostrophes falls apart when you look at the other possessive pronouns. No place to hang one on her or their, is there?

While I otherwise agree with your rant, I want to point out that in English, only nouns form the possessive by adding an apostrophe & s. Pronouns simply add an s without the apostrophe, or are unchanged. See *ours, yours, theirs, his, hers. *

This is one of the few spelling rules that I overlook others’ mistakes in, just because it’s so evidently confusing to so many people, and most possessives take apostrophes, so they have some justification for their confusion. I reserve my fury for the people who use apostrophes when they make plurals.

I think everyone approaches this from the wrong angle. We need a new, special word for what we currently call its. All of the other 1st/2nd/3rd party possessives are special words distinct from the party’s pluralisation and contraction with its conjugation of *to be *:

I -> my/mine/I’m
You -> your(s)/you’re
He -> his/he’s
She -> hers/she’s
We -> our(s)/we’re
They -> their(s)/they’re.

Not poor old it! Let’s just stick an s on in the pronunciation of both and hope for the best when it comes to orthography. For want of a better, and distinctly pronounced word, generations of grammarians have had to suffer the misconception that they are superior at this wonderful garbled pit of ambiguity that is the English language.

Alternatively, let’s get a new punctuation symbol to distinguish between the possessive and elisions. It~s would thus be distinct from it’s, but someone would start harping on about when people do/don’t use the possessive mark for words like mine (or should that be mine~?):smack:

I have a hard time believing you could instigate such a top-down approach. Remember the poor interrobang?

At some level i understand your reasoning here, but while there might be some justification for initial confusion, it’s not like we’re talking about rocket science here. Surely, once the correct procedure has been explained, it is simple enough to grasp. If someone continues to get this wrong in formal writing after having it explained to them multiple times, the only reason for it (assuming the person doesn’t have a problem such as dyslexia) is laziness.

But why?

I mean, by your own logic, it’s understandably confusing. There are heaps of words that end in “s” and have an apostrophe before the “s,” so isn’t it understandable that some people might think that an apostrophe should always precede “s” at the end of a word?

This rule is no easier and no more difficult than the rule about it’s/its.

Once for for all? Yeah, right.

It’s been my experience that most people don’t know that there is another place you use “it’s”.

I don’t know why this is the error that people always choose to start threads about. Errors with hyphens are much more common, but nobody ever starts a thread on those.

We had an incredibly long thread on this topic hardly a month ago.

Nobody ever confuses “his” with “hi’s”.

You know what’s more annoying than it’s vs its? Comma splices and unnecessary commas, of which the OP was guilty of so many that I stopped counting.

If you’re going to criticize other people’s grammar you had better not fuck it up yourself.

I disagree. The stupidest rule of grammar, etc., is the apostrophes’ stupid rule for plurals.

Meh. I’d be willing to call it tie.

My pet peeve is people who correct grammar on bulletin boards. Those of us who get paid to do it professionally would never do it for free, and we’re also qualified to do it. It seems to me that the likelihood of bbs grammar correction is inversely proportional to that person’s qualifications to do so.

Well, you have been proving that point in another thread.

Which one? I never correct someone’s grammar in their BBS posts.

Are false accusations reportable?