Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's it's, unless it's its

If you're one of the many who have trouble distinguishing between "it's" and "its," which I'll grant is confusing in that two rules are confused ([contractions with is take an 's] [possessives take an 's]), I have a helpful suggestion for you.

Rather than trying to figure it out, just use the same one all the time. This is the principle of the old brain-teaser, which is more correct, the clock that loses a minute every day, or the clock that doesn't work at all? (The second, of course, as it is right twice a day.)

Many writers seem to get "it's" and "its" wrong; apparently they completely misunderstand the right rule. So pick one, and you'll only be wrong 50% of the time. You're welcome (or is that your welcome?).

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