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Thread: "its" or "it's" ?

  1. #1
    Tony M's Avatar
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    "its" or "it's" ?

    We're all generally quite demanding and critical (in a good way) about our photography; after all, that's why we're here in this fantastic forum. A forum whose administrators, in this post, have politely asked us to write our posts in a style that makes them easy to read.

    That generated a lot of discussion, but I think its message was generally accepted and understood to not be too demanding.

    Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and ask that we try to resist the trend to write "it's" instead of "its".

    1) "Its" is a possessive pronoun, i.e. "I bought a good book. Its title is 'Understanding Exposure'".
    2) "It's" is short for "it is" or "it has", e.g. "It's a bull. It's got horns" ("It is a bull. It has got horns")

    See here for more examples.

    People always get 2) right, but often get 1) wrong, writing "it's" instead - even native English speakers.

    It's pretty basic grammar, so I hope you don't mind this refresher course. I occasionally get it wrong too, especially when typing quickly; I'm not demanding perfection, just that we try a little to get it right.

    Tony

  2. #2
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony M View Post
    We're all generally quite demanding and critical (in a good way) about our photography; after all, that's why we're here in this fantastic forum. A forum whose administrators, in this post, have politely asked us to write our posts in a style that makes them easy to read.

    That generated a lot of discussion, but I think its message was generally accepted and understood to not be too demanding.

    Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and ask that we try to resist the trend to write "it's" instead of "its".

    1) "Its" is a possessive pronoun, i.e. "I bought a good book. Its title is 'Understanding Exposure'".
    2) "It's" is short for "it is" or "it has", e.g. "It's a bull. It's got horns" ("It is a bull. It has got horns")

    See here for more examples.

    People always get 2) right, but often get 1) wrong, writing "it's" instead - even native English speakers.

    It's pretty basic grammar, so I hope you don't mind this refresher course. I occasionally get it wrong too, especially when typing quickly; I'm not demanding perfection, just that we try a little to get it right.

    Tony
    Good point.

    But by far the group of words that are most often misused in English are:

    their - possessive pronoun

    there - as in "look, over there . . ."

    they're - contraction for they are

    Glenn

  3. #3
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    Cor I forgot all that stuff.

    http://www.apostrophe.org.uk/page2.html

  4. #4
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    I totally agree with you guys- my mom was an English teacher and her words still echo. I'm less than confident that we can make any real headway in this noble endeavor, but I support you fully. I still mourn the near extinction of the semicolon

  5. #5
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    Another common fault is the use of "then" instead of "than". One camera is better "then" another camera is incorrect. It should read, one camera is better "than" another camera...

    Additionally that round glass thing protruding from the front of your camera is a "lens" not a "lense". Although if you have two of these glass gizmos; you have two "lenses".

    Our common language has been passed down from many contributors, Anglo-Saxon, Norse, Norman as well as neat words like "khacki", "curry" and "bungalow" and many others from the Sub Continent of India.

    One of my favorite books on our language is "The Story of English" by McCrum, Cran, and MacNeal; which was converted into a BBC mini series.

    Of course, sometimes we are only guilty of mistyping a word. I know that the three legged contraption on which I support my camera is a "tripod" unfortunately, I sometimes hit the key to the left of the "d" and spell the word as "tripos".

    Using spell check with CiC (opened in Internet Explorer) often causes more problems than (not then) it solves.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoc856 View Post
    I still mourn the near extinction of the semicolon
    I'm doing my bit; read any of my posts and I bet you'll find (at least) one

  7. #7

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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    And there's "your" and "you're" as well. I make those mistakes when I'm writing too fast. But we usually know what people mean from the content and context. I don't think its a big deal.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    ... and don't start me on the misuse of "their", "there" and "they're"

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graystar View Post
    But we usually know what people mean from the content and context. I don't think its a big deal.
    Absolutely, not everyone is fortunate enough to have had as good an education as I did and even I get things wrong (most days, in fact).

    Plus, as you say; these things creep in when we're rushing.

  10. #10

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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    It's a shame that even CiC gets its spellcheck wrong. For example it'll flag practise as a spell error but leaves practice alone. Same for color vs colour amongst others. Is it not possible to merge the UK and US dicts?

  11. #11

    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    One of my favorite books on our language is "The Story of English" by McCrum, Cran, and MacNeal; which was converted into a BBC mini series.
    On a lighter note; if you have a friend with "interesting" grammar/punctuation, buy them a copy of the light hearted "Eats, Shoots and Leaves - The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation" http://www.amazon.com/Eats-Shoots-Le.../dp/1592402038

  12. #12
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    I am a big offender on nearly all of these. Mostly caused by being in a rush. I do try to correct it as I catch it when I read my post for the 8th time and likely don't catch everything. Forgive me.

  13. #13
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    I love this stuff . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony M View Post
    Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and ask that we try to resist the trend to write "it's" instead of "its".

    1) "Its" is a possessive pronoun, i.e. "I bought a good book. Its title is 'Understanding Exposure'".
    2) "It's" is short for "it is" or "it has", e.g. "It's a bull. It's got horns" ("It is a bull. It has got horns")
    I'll go out on a limb also - and hopefully you'll see it as humour.

    'It has horns', not: 'It has got horns'.

    'got' is a verb, being the past participle of the verb 'to get' – the bull doesn’t need to ‘get them’ he already ‘has them’

    ‘has’ is the correct VERB in that simple sentence: and the sentence would be (simply) parsed thus:
    ‘It has horns’
    It – pronoun, (Subject)
    has – verb (Verb)
    horns – noun (Object)

    WW

  14. #14
    Didace's Avatar
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    u r 2 mean' I ain't got no time 2 spelt it awl write!!!

  15. #15
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Absolutely, not everyone is fortunate enough to have had as good an education as I did and even I get things wrong (most days, in fact).

    Plus, as you say; these things creep in when we're rushing.
    Do not assume people get English grammar wrong due to a lack of education. There are plenty of people who have a very high level of education in for example engineering, science or maths that are are hopeless at written grammar. In this forum so long as I can understand what somebody has written I am happy.

    It would be a very uninteresting forum if posts were reserved only to those who had faultless English grammar skills.

  16. #16
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    Mahsayulf, Ah cain't hardly wraht good English, been here too long ;-)

    The problem is universal I fear. It was with great sadness that I noted that my Mother country has changed the pronunciation of anything to do with history and geography. Boodica . . Toot'an'hamoon . . . Mumbye . . . and Qatar pronounced as a nasal drip . . .

  17. #17
    CP140's Avatar
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony M View Post
    We're all generally quite demanding and critical (in a good way) about our photography; after all, that's why we're here in this fantastic forum. A forum whose administrators, in this post, have politely asked us to write our posts in a style that makes them easy to read.

    That generated a lot of discussion, but I think its message was generally accepted and understood to not be too demanding.

    Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and ask that we try to resist the trend to write "it's" instead of "its".

    1) "Its" is a possessive pronoun, i.e. "I bought a good book. Its title is 'Understanding Exposure'".
    2) "It's" is short for "it is" or "it has", e.g. "It's a bull. It's got horns" ("It is a bull. It has got horns")

    See here for more examples.

    People always get 2) right, but often get 1) wrong, writing "it's" instead - even native English speakers.

    It's pretty basic grammar, so I hope you don't mind this refresher course. I occasionally get it wrong too, especially when typing quickly; I'm not demanding perfection, just that we try a little to get it right.

    Tony
    Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa... went back and corrected the mistrake in my previous post

  18. #18

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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    Amusing thread.

    But seriously I have no wish to americanise my English and that spell check really needs to be fixed. On the positive side, when it redlines my words, I know I am right!

  19. #19
    CP140's Avatar
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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Amusing thread.

    But seriously I have no wish to americanise my English and that spell check really needs to be fixed. On the positive side, when it redlines my words, I know I am right!
    Oh... let's not open that can of worms... neighbour/neighbor, labor/labour, defence/defense, aluminum/aluminium, theater/theatre, cookies/biscuits/scones, jumper/sweater...


  20. #20

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    Re: "its" or "it's" ?

    You are right, let the worms crawl out when the can rusts open.

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