Music and Words

December 23, 2009

Christmas Shopping

Filed under: Words — melomania @ 10:31 pm

I hate Christmas shopping for my dad. I never have any clue what to get him. You can’t go wrong with a book, of course, but how am I supposed to know if he’s already got that book in his massive library-that-takes-up-the-whole-house? For that matter, how will I know he’ll even like it?

I got an email recently.

From: Dad

Subject: Christmas gift idea for Dad

Body: Amazon link

One click for two day delivery.

I love Christmas shopping for my dad.

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December 1, 2009

It’s ITS (continued)

Filed under: Pictures,Words — melomania @ 11:03 am

Here’s a handy chart on pronouns to help. Actually, the apostrophe-for-contractions-and-NOT-possessives rule holds true for all pronouns.

It’s ITS!

Filed under: Words — melomania @ 12:10 am
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PEOPLE! It’s really not that hard!

Pop quiz: which is correct?
A) Its licking me with it’s long tongue!
B) It’s licking me with it’s long tongue!
C) It’s licking me with its long tongue!
D) Its licking me with its long tongue!

The word “its” is a possessive pronoun. Like, my dog ate its dinner quickly tonight. Its keyboard is easy to type on. Its bowl is over there. You get the idea.

The word “it’s”, on the other hand, is a contraction. It is a shortened form of two separate words – it is. Like, it’s time to leave now. It’s not fair! It’s wrong. It’s green. It’s licking me and it won’t stop! Whatever.

Yes, I know it seems backward. I know in the rest of the English language, you would put an ‘s after something to indicate possession. BUT NOT IN THIS CASE! Not with It.

Generally speaking, if in doubt, use the apostrophe. It’s probably correct. You see, in this country, we have a habit of anthropomorphicizing (I’m sure that’s not right) everything, so if you’re using a possessive pronoun, it will probably be his or hers, not its.

You can also read the sentence, but substitute the words “it is” for the its/it’s. If the sentence still makes sense, then use the contraction. For example: you wouldn’t say that my dog ate “it is” dinner quickly tonight, so the contraction can’t be right. You would, however, say that “it is” time to leave now, so the contraction is used in this case.

Remember: when dealing with It, the apostrophe means it’s taking the place of two words. No apostrophe means something belongs to It.

So how about your pop quiz? The correct answer is C. The first It is the contraction (it is licking) and the second is possessive (it has a long tongue).

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