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Grammar

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Jacque, 17th Jan, 2006.

  1. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    After finishing the excellent, excellent "Eats Shoots and Leaves" book on punctuation by Lynne Truss (Thanks to Sim for the recommendation!) I thought it prudent to reiterate the rule about using the words "it's" and "its".
    Some may label me a grammar nazi (a la Davidr :)) but I don't mind.... truly!
    Being an ex-teacher, it's a hobby of mine :)

    "To those who care about punctuation, a sentence such as 'Thank God its Friday' (without the apostrophe) raises not only feelings of despair but of violence. The confusion of the possessive "its" (no apostrophe) with the contractive "it's" (with apostrophe) is an unequivocal signal of illiteracy and sets off a simple Pavlovian "kill" response in the average stickler.
    The rule is: the word "it's" (with apostrophe) stands for "it is" or "it has". If the word does not stand for "it is" or "it has" then what you require is "its". THIS IS EXTREMELY EASY TO GRASP. Getting your itses mixed up is the greatest solecism in the world of punctuation. No matter that you have a PhD and have read all of Henry James twice. If you still persist in writing, "Good food at it's best", you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave." \

    So, now we all know, there's no excuse!!! :)
     
  2. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Yup - that was always something that caught me out, but thanks to some berating from my school-teacher-sister, and with a bit of help from Lynne, I think I've mostly cured myself from that curse.
     
  3. Glebe

    Glebe Well-Known Member

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    Teacher, teacher, is it true that a sentence must contain a predicate and a subject? If so, is your sentence above poor grammar?

    Being taught in the 80's and 90's the teachers didn't dwell on grammar too much... thankfully!
     
  4. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Oh Glebe, you pedant :)