Saturday, November 11, 2017

Grammar Peeve

Even though I’m technically an English professor, I don’t get too worked up about grammar. I swear I don’t proofread emails people send me, and I’m prone to make my own typos and errors on the regular. I know grammar rules are arbitrary and indicative of power structures in our society that can be oppressive. I really don’t get hung up on them.

The little one that irks me is one I see ALL THE TIME from bloggers who are otherwise perfect in their proofreading. It seems to slip by everyone... but it drives me a little crazy when people who are professional bloggers screw it up. (We nonprofessional bloggers can do whatever the hell we want and get away with it.) These folks would never let a there/their/they’re error get past them, and yet this one slips right by.

It’s the its/it’s screw up. And autocorrect is no help here.

Quick recap: its without an apostrophe is a possessive. It is like his or hers. It is often used when describing a garment, so perhaps that’s why I notice this with fashion blogs a lot. “This sweater is great! It’s sleeves have an adorable bow at the cuff.” Or whatever. “I love this bag. It’s handles are the perfect length.” Noooooo! The sweater? Its sleeves have the bow. This bag? Its handles are perfect.

It’s (with the apostrophe) is a contraction for it is. The apostrophe does NOT make its possessive, just as you wouldn’t use an apostrophe in his, hers, or your. It’s a great day to blog about grammar! It’s a sure way to alienate and annoy your readers!

Your welcome.

I mean, you’re welcome.

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