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"it's" vs. "its" - so few know the difference!!

 
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:25 am
@ebrown p,
Good point. Items like the apostrophe are historical residuals analogous to fashion residuals such as the sleeve buttons on a jackets (originally used for releasing the sword arm). Yet, to a large extent we are our history and language significantly conveys that aspect of social reality. Philosophers like Heidegger went even further into the a priori status of language when he cryptically declared "language speaks the man".
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 10:30 am
For some men, it even speaks volumes..
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 01:51 pm
@ebrown p,
Still, you use upper case letters at the beginning of your sentences, and periods at the end of your sentences. I encourage you to keep it up, even though you probably don't follow the practice in oral speech.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 01:58 pm
@roger,
there is an auditory period
a break in flow of speech to denote when one sentence ends and another starts
it might surprise you to know that i speak in all caps
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 02:09 pm
@ebrown p,
You got me! No, that doesn't surprise me at all.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jan, 2010 02:16 pm
I known the difference between its and it's, your and you're, they're, there, and their.. for many decades; the same with here and hear. I still find myself messing them up in a post from time to time. The misuse of the words seems to come from my primitive brain and stream through my typing fingers without stopping for cognizance on the way. If I'm in a hurry I might not catch the error until I reread the post some hours later, when it is too late to fix it.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 06:37 pm
@hawkeye10,
Hawkeye, you don't know what you're talking about.
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 06:38 pm
@alabhaois,
Quote:
It would seem that most people don't know the difference between "its" and "it's."


Thomas Jefferson didn't either.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 06:40 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Quote:
For some people, appartently so.


Smile
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 06:41 pm
@Seed,
Quote:
I think it's more a lack of typing skill mixed with laziness then people not knowing the difference between the two.


Smile
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 06:55 pm
@Phoenix32890,
A fine example - you've mentioned it a number of times, Phoenix - that people can consciously think they're doing something wrong, a belief that comes from nonsense they've heard from others who know little about language, yet all they're doing is following the natural rules of their language.
0 Replies
 
Aa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 09:12 pm
The definitions I've seen so far are incomplete, as they refer only to "it's" as meaning "it is".

"It's" is always a contraction, but its meaning refers to either of the following:
1. It's = it is: ........It's your turn to decide which DVD to see.
2. It's = it has: .... It's been good knowing you, pal.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 01:23 pm
@Aa,
Odd that all English speakers seem to know the difference between these identical contractions. If the language can stand using the same contraction for such diverse grammatical structures, it would hardly present a problem if we also used it's for its.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jan, 2010 12:38 pm
@aidan,
Quote:
Yeah, but Fresco, don't you think that the inadvertent lapse in correct usage, though it does serve as a marker for social and political membership might also indicate a tendency to laxity or lapse in terms of intellectual functioning?


Certainly, some uses indicate a tendency to relaxity Smile but it's clear that that is what much of our language use is.

As to 'intellectual functioning', not in the least, Aidan. Every fool knows their language and the grammar of their language.

Being good at spelling, [spelling being an artificial construct], is not a good way to measure intellect. These 'markers" of social and political membership often do not equate to correct usage.

I'd say it's more appropriate to question the intellectual functioning of those who hold to examples of specious correct usage.

Quote:
I mean, for the most part, I ignore it - but I have to say that whenever I see someone over and over and over misusing or mispelling words, I come to my own conclusion. I try not to be judgmental about it - but it does lead me to a certain conclusion - I can't lie about it.


All too often, even for someone as thoughtful [in the critical thinking sense] as you, Aidan, these "judgments" are more the result of social conditioning towards language than any sense of what really is.
0 Replies
 
nothingtodo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 04:54 pm
@hawkeye10,
Hawkeye,
You place yourself in a quagmire with your use of the word '*******' as an exclamation of anger... In certain circles of society, the way you termed that sentence implies you are 'one of them' in the original sense, you should really drop the word for your own benefit.. I will only say it once, if I do not, some kid starts getting sneered at because it's OK.

Though in fairness, are you sexual? or a proper '******'?.

OP, thanks, I learned a few things here.. I never really learned English properly due to moving schools.

0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 10:14 pm
@Aa,
Quote:
"It's" is always a contraction, but its meaning refers to either of the following:
1. It's = it is: ........It's your turn to decide which DVD to see.
2. It's = it has: .... It's been good knowing you, pal.


JoefromChicago and Eva are having a little trouble with this, in a conscious sense. In an unconscious sense they, like all native speakers, have no problem.
0 Replies
 
TheParser
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Dec, 2012 05:19 am
@alabhaois,
Yes, it irritates me, too.

But maybe we should remember what a great scholar once wrote: "His" was the usual form for things until the close of the sixteenth century, when "its" (in older English, often with the apostrophe, "it's") began to replace it here: "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor ...."

*****

I found that tidbit in the two-volume A Grammar of the English Language (1931) by Dr. George Oliver Curme, who I feel was one of the greatest grammarians ever. (Am I allowed to praise Dr. Curme? At another grammar forum, one of the moderators ordered me never to praise him!)
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Fri 28 Dec, 2012 12:32 pm
@TheParser,
Quote:
(Am I allowed to praise Dr. Curme? At another grammar forum, one of the moderators ordered me never to praise him!)


That sounds pretty open minded, P.

Dr Curme doesn't seem to be too well known.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Dec, 2012 02:34 pm
@Eva,
Quote:
<sees ebrown p and JPB coming...hides AP Stylebook>


Is that where you got that silly notion that <it's> only means "it is", Eva.

'data' is naturally used as a singular by native speakers because it is viewed as a mass noun, the same as 'information'.

Granted, it is used by pedants who fall into that same old Latin trap.

0 Replies
 
TheParser
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Dec, 2012 09:10 am
@JTT,
Hello, JTT:

Thank you for your note.

If anyone is looking for a two-volume grammar book that explains the historical basis of today's English (up to 1931), s/he should try to get a copy of Dr. Curme's book. For very serious students of the language, it will be a treasured possession.

James
0 Replies
 
 

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