Monday, May 09, 2005

Just Sad 

This is pathetic...
This month will mark the passing of not only the final Star Wars movie, but also the latest Star Trek TV series, Enterprise. It's finale is slated for Friday, with no plans for another series to replace it.
No, not that both series are ending, and not that this was occasion for a debate as to which was better. (Sorry, Trekkies. Star Wars wins hands down).

No... what's sad is that a publication like the Toledo Blade, that would presumably pay people to know better... can't tell a fucking its from an it's.

This is one of my biggest linguistic pet peeves, so I take this opportunity to point it out and explain it yet again. It ain't that hard, people...

Some words -- like its, whose, ours, theirs -- have built-in possessives. They don't need the apostrophe. I rarely see who'se or our's or their's. But I constantly see "it's" used as a possessive, and it makes me nuts.

Here's the easy way to remember it. When you see the apostrophe in "it's", think of it as an "i", as in "it is", which is what it's a contraction for. Then, read "it is" instead of it's. If it makes no sense, you've got the wrong one...

So, the quote above says, "...Star Trek TV series, Enterprise. It is finale is slated for Friday, with no plans for another series to replace it."

Read it that way, and it becomes a matter of "Well, duh." But if you use "it's" instead of "its", people who know better will just think you're stupid. As opposed to thinking "your stupid", which needs something else after it -- "your stupid ways", for example.

Which is what the it's/its screw-up indicates. The corollary to this one: a plural is never formed with an apostrophe s. So cut it out with the "Suit's for Sale" or "Mortage's Here" and all that crap. And go read the section in the dictionary on forming plurals. The only time you might ever make a plural with an apostrophe s is in something like the 70's or DVD's -- but rarely in the latter case, and you'll never be wrong if you leave it out. The 70s or DVDs is perfectly acceptable.

But... Toledo Blade, you should know better, and whichever editor okayed that error should be sacked, immediately.

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