Monthly Archives: August 2010

its vs. it's, give me a break!

At the risk of sounding uneducated and unsophisticated regarding the need for outstanding language skills to convey information and optimize one’s ability to frolic and play with fellow humans, I will say that it’s time to put away many atrocious grammar rules and pursue enlightened contextual interpretation (which Human brains excel at, by the way) starting with the “its vs. it’s” usage requirement. The usage is, by the way:

“its” is a possessive, and “it’s” is a contraction of “it is” or “it has”

I’m sure just talking about this rule, correcting the millions of essays that get it wrong, and devoting space to the subject (like this post) is costing a sizable chunk of the Gruesome Domestic Product (GDP) index. That precious savings would have allowed us to purchase a few feet of highway paving or erect yet another statue somewhere.

And, I’m not just picking on the English language (really U.S.A English, the real one) other languages could do with some cleanup. Like why does Spanish use an upside down “¿” at the beginning of a question? ¿Is it because of that alleged Spanish passion? Does one need a starting signifier so that one can build up to the crescendo of the right-side up question mark?  

I can see that at work in a Spanish soap on TV.  “¿What, you don’t love me?”* is filled with multiple intonations, cadence, meters, colors, and lip quivers while the soundtrack replays the history of Operatic music.  It’s more like: ¿What ……. quiver …. stare … pace … YOU ….. yes you (in a commanding imperial voice) …. dramatic turn of the head …. don’t (with sharp intonation, abrupt tongue stop like woodwind technique) …. long pause … the film starts to move again and accelerate (Fellini would be proud) … love (soft, caressing, subtle lilt) … ME (now the venom comes out, spat, gruesome) … the actress metamorphosis into a Betty Davis caricature, a Spanish Werewolf in London … the soundtrack reaches its crescendo, Wagner is turning in his grave, oy vey!

Oops!  Got carried away there.  Hmmmmp.  Anyway, its or it’s?  Does it really matter?  In the age of Texting and information transfer of unprecedented levels (albeit, most of it garbage and misinformation) it just doesn’t matter.  Well, OK, you fancy pants writing erudite stuff can continue to use it, just don’t get hypo-oxygenated with your nose sticking up in the stratosphere.  Please, simply leave us poor mortals to wallow in the filth of “its vs. it’s” misuse.

* Using Google translate that is:  ¿Qué, usted no me quieres?


It’s “its”! quote:  “… and I honestly apologize on behalf of the infuriating English language.  I didn’t invent this stupid rule ….”

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.