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I have deliberately decided to use the word it's as a possessive pronoun in my writings. I do not use its. In the hope that other people will make a similar decision I am setting forth my reasoning as follows:
So there it is... Think of me as an uneducated hick if you'd like. My influence is only 1 in a billion on this issue, but I've taken my stance, and I hope other people will do likewise. Next time a self-appointed language cop harasses you about improper use of it's, go ahead and tell them that you have made a deliberate decision, at least in your own life, to actively change an outdated rule that doesn't make sense, and that you are working democratically to change the rules of English for the benefit of your great grandchildren. It might not take that long. When was the last time you googled something?
- Language is a public domain common law undertaking.
- There is no organization tasked with the burden of keeping English pure or defining what is or is not proper usage. If such an organization existed, I would reject it's authority.
- Dictionaries do not define the proper usage of words, they merely document how words are currently being used.
- In the English language, an apostrophe s is universally used to indicate a possessive. It doesn't make logical sense to make an exception for the word its. For the sake of consistency and to simplify learning English its should be abandoned in favor of it's.
- It's is commonly used and universally understood based on context as being possessive. No native speaker would be confused if it's was used in place of its in a sentence.
- Because the word it's is universally understood, and commonly used as a possessive, it should be viewed as a alternative usage rather than as an error. Similar examples that are commonly encountered and readily tolerated would be differences in spelling between the USA and the UK for example theater vs theatre etc.
- At this time, and well into the foreseeable future, it's is and will continue to be a commonly used as a possesive form and as a synonym for its.
- The dictionary editor that first proclaimed it's to be incorrect is long since dead. That decision is no longer valid based on current usage.
- The same philosophical understanding of the world that causes me to reject the purity of seed genetics, also causes me to reject the notion of purity of language.
- I am distrustful of anything that is centralized, whether it be a plant variety, or a seed company, or a government, or a language.
p.s. To dictionary editors and publishers. It's time for you to do your job properly in regards to posessive it's vs its and to document how language is currently being used. You should be calling this a "common usage" and not a "common error". By their writings, the common person on the Internet in the modern day English writing world has declared that it's as a possessive is proper usage. I claim it is your duty as dictionary publishers and editors to acknowledge the common usage. If you really can't overcome your schooling, then at least describe it as an "ethnolect". The traditional use is close to death anyway. Why shouldn't it be our generation that finally gets rid of this abberation? For example, see http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/it's
|“The truth of the matter is that these supposed ‘rules’ were never really ‘rules’ to begin with.” Has Internet usage changed our English? Article | February 21, 2011 | By Emily Cegielski | thedmonline.com|
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