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It's not possessive when it has an apostrophe!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by jubilee, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    It's = It is. It's not the possessive form of it!

    Just needed to rant as I've lost count of how many times posters are consistently using it wrongly and it's clear that they are not typos.
  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Its is just as possessive as cat's, but it doesn't have an apostrophe because the printers and grammarians of the nineteenth century never thought the matter through. They applied their rule to nouns and forgot about pronouns, thus creating an exception (along with the food is hers, ours, yours, theirs) without realizing it. And even if they had noticed, they wouldn't have done anything about it, for it's was already taken, as it were, as the abbreviation of it is.

    The Fight for English: How language pundits ate, shot, and left (David Crystal, 2006)
    agathamorse, Pomza, strawbs and 6 others like this.
  3. anotherauntsally

    anotherauntsally Lead commenter

    Yes. I think there may be a problem with posters’ autocorrect function. I had to make corrections umpteen times when autocorrect kept insisting that I had meant to write ‘it’s’. I hope I haven’t let any slip through but I know from experience that it’s easily done.
  4. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    I’ve only recently started posting using my phone and the self-appointed autocorrect facility is a bit of a nightmare. You think you’ve posted one thing, but discover that the phone has a mind of its own and does its own thing.

    In this very post I’ve had to retype “its” on two occasions to get rid of the unwanted apostrophe! The phone adds one automatically.
  5. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

  6. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    I am pretty good on that one (I think) but admit 'less' v 'fewer' can still get me caught out.

    As can changing ' the legs of the table' to ' the tables legs'.....does it need an apostrophe? (table's legs??)...or,. as I tend to write 'the table legs'.

    Is that the genitive?? Such a headache at times, grammar. I blame Plato.
  7. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    **summoned, the genie of scandalised gifs**​

    colpee and smoothnewt like this.
  8. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Nobody cares!! Absolutely nobody.
  9. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Oh, but they do! You're just not aware enough!
  10. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    "The table's legs" is what you want.
    peter12171 and dumpty like this.
  11. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Bleddy apostrophes again.

    Their main function is to make some feel superior as they know the correct way to use them. The only real use is for the omission of a letter, much easier to understand as a rule, so lets keep that and drop any other use. If so many don't know how to use them properly they become pointless. If you can't use them properly, you won't recognise when they are used incorrectly either, so it doesn't matter.
  12. bevdex

    bevdex Star commenter

    And don't get me started on the Oxford comma!
  13. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I can cope with auto correct correcting incorrectly. What I struggle with is spelling that would be picked up by auto correct, but the person typing decides it’s still wrong.

    If you type ‘rediculous’ you get a red line under it, which ought to alert you to a mistake, but the number of times I see that spelling, instead of ‘ridiculous’ is alarming.

    Less and fewer is to do with quantity. Less time, fewer people.
  14. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    But that is how the possessive apostrophe arose! :eek:

    In Old English, -es was the ending of the genitive singular of most strong declension nouns and the masculine and neuter genitive singular of strong adjectives. The ending -e was used for strong nouns with Germanic ō-stems, which constituted most of the feminine strong nouns, and for the feminine genitive singular form of strong adjectives.

    In Middle English the es ending was generalised to the genitive of all strong declension nouns. By the sixteenth century, the remaining strong declension endings were generalized to all nouns. The spelling es remained, but in many words the letter e no longer represented a sound. In those words, printers often copied the French practice of substituting an apostrophe for the letter e. In later use, 's was used for all nouns where the /s/ sound was used for the possessive form
  15. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Yet again I am reminded of how much fun you must be in the pub.

    Meanwhile in Gotham, other non-news...

  16. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Am I bothered? Naw. Along with a huge number of the population!
    catbefriender and Mangleworzle like this.
  17. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

  18. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    Ah, @nomad, you lost me after the first sentence....
    nomad likes this.
  19. Nellyfuf2

    Nellyfuf2 Senior commenter

    Oh I don't get that.
    Do you mean for example - talking about an object - it's' colour is blue - ? as against ....
    It's a lovely day.
    Is that what you mean Jubilee.
    I used a capital for your name. Sos.
  20. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    So you knew exactly what was meant. Apostrophes - largely pointless.

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