Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My hero, my friend.

Today, I found myself suddenly drawing a blank about the difference between its and it's. I can't believe this has happened to me especially since I belong to the group "If You Can't Tell the Difference Between It's and Its, You Deserve to Die!" on Facebook.

However, as I have often done during my darkest hours, I turned to my loyal, dependable friend, my rock and my secret weapon - Google. I typed "its and it's" and within seconds, the answer I was looking for appeared like magic before me and my world is right once again.

Its = possessive
It's = it is

I think people struggle with the two because, usually, a possessive includes the apostrophe as in Trisha's Johnny Depp or Johnny Depp's Trisha. So people tend to think that it's is the version that indicates possessives of nouns and pronouns.

Mixing up the two is an unforgivable sin - especially for a writer. I blame Lynn Truss, the author of Eats Shoots and Leaves, which I'm reading right now. According to the front jacket, it is a book with "the zero tolerance approach to punctuation".

I'm sorry to report that all it seems to have achieved is to confuse me about "it's and its" because of the numerous (hilarious) examples Lynn has included on the wrong way to use the two in a sentence.

Thankfully, Google was there to save me once again. My hero, my friend!
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