(BjornH @ May 16 2005,13:03)
Originally Posted by bachbeet,May 16 2005,21:46
And another confusing anomaly was exposed in this thread. Â That of the possessive form of "it." Â Why does it have to be different for that one word than it is for most other words? Â For example: One can say "Henry's over there." Â We know it means "Henry is over there." Â Or, one can say "Is this Henry's?" Â We know it asks whether something belongs to Henry. Â We know these meanings from the context. Â Why does it have to be different with "it?" Â No sense.
Well, I found it logical once it got pointed out to me. There are two contenders for the form it's: the 'it is' and the possessive it. One had to give way to avoid ambiguity and it was the possessive it that lost the apostrophe. I agree though, why make a special rule for this? Have any of you got any more sins that us foreigners regularly commit against English? I could suggest inapropriate ordering of words, but it's a bit hard to fix. B
its is a possessive in the way that his and hers are, and those don't take apostrophes. Â It is not a genitive in the way that "Bob's" would be in the sentence "The pen is Bob's." Â The "it's" with an apostrophe is a contraction of it is -- in the Â same way that "he's" is a contraction of "he is". Â I don't see how this is inconsistent with other grammatical rules. Â It's pretty simple. Â Maybe it's a corollary to the illiterate trend of putting an apostrophe after any plural, particularly plural proper nouns, such as "Those are my Green's [sic]." Â Correct spelling: Â Greens. Â It's a huge pet peeve of mine.
you know, the incorrectly applied apostrophe used to be a pet peeve of mine as well, but now i sortof perversely see the appeal of it. sometimes i don't like sullying a pristine proper noun with the addition of an 's', or, heaven forbid, 'ies' or some other pluralization. it just feels kinda wrong, like i'm having my way with someone else's name. Coincidentally, there were 3 Henrys at the conference. Coincidentally, there were 3 Henries at the conference. Coincidentally, there were 3 Henry's at the conference. Coincidentally, there were 3 "Henry"s at the conference. Coincidentally, there were 3 people named Henry at the conference.
ok maybe it was a bad example.
and then there's the problem of (for e.g.) team names, like the Braves. (never mind the A's.) The Braves are not going to win the Series. The Atlanta Braves is a great team. ...are a great team?
Who is the Braves's pitcher? ...the Braves' pitcher? Who's on First?