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3 Comments

  • It’s a mistake that has appeared all sorts of reputable places. In the last nine months, and without going out of my way to look for it, I’ve seen it on the websites of The Economist, The NYT, The Boston Globe, The Plain English Campaign, and Language Log. I also saw it in a book I read recently, from a reputable publisher.
    Robert Burchfield said it might be better to do away with the apostrophe in the cases of plurals and possession. I’d like to think people could just learn how to use it, but I expect the problem to get worse rather than better. It has always been a troublesome mark, as this short history (PDF) shows.

  • I taught “its” was a separate word like “his” for “he” and “her” for “she.” I am a bit confused to learn that its initial form was actually “it’s”.