Tag Archives: it’s vs. its

Don’t Repeat These Grammar Errors From Recent Headlines

Headlines provide never-ending examples of incorrect grammar, whether in word choice, word order or punctuation.

Reminder: I define grammar as the words we choose, how we string them together, and how we use punctuation to give them meaning.

News stories and their headlines should be examples of excellent writing. They also should conform to Standard English, defined as the way educated people write and speak. Writing in haste is no excuse for careless errors. Continue

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Misused Words: Did I Just Say That?!

man grimacing

I commented recently to a writer/editor friend that I have long considered there’s the most misused word in the English language. She gave me a puzzled look, as if to disagree but lacking evidence.

I could fill this page — or maybe a book! — with examples. Consider this sampling from weather forecasters to legislators, from financial specialists to everyday people. Continue

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Dogs, Cats And Cows: ‘Who’ Or ‘Which’?

Picture of farm anilams - should be used for animals?If you’re one of the millions of pet owners in the United States, I have a question for you: Do you call your dog or cat (or turtle, bird or gerbil) a he, a she or an it?

This might not appear to be an earth-shaking grammatical issue, but the New York Times considered it important enough — or maybe simply interesting enough — to publish an article about animals and how we refer to their gender: Continue

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It’s vs Its: A Typo Forever

Capitol DomeA comment from a British subscriber and a recent post on one of my favorite grammar websites evoked a memory about an unforgettable — and unforgivable — punctuation error I made years ago. All have to do with it’s vs. its.

The British subscriber to my monthly column named the misuse of it’s and its her biggest pet peeve.

The blog post on Daily Writing Tips featured misuse of it’s and its, stating: Continue

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