Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Grammar & Editing Tidbit

Our friend and colleague Carla made quite a name for herself with her History Tidbits column. So I've decided to jump on the tidbit bandwagon (who even knew tidbits had a bandwagon!), and parlay my copyediting skills into Grammar & Editing Tidbits. 

Today's Tidbit: it's vs. its

it's is a contraction for "it is" or sometimes used colloquially for "it has."

its, like his and hers, is the possessive form of it.

(Note: I know I am preaching to the choir. You guys already know this stuff, but right now I'm swamped with my day job -- copyediting -- and it's on my mind.)


Karen Beeching said...

Well while we're at it, could you please give your two cents on ending a sentence with "too?" Is it with a comma like ", too" or just "too?"

I looked it up in several areas and it seems both are acceptable. Is that true?

There doesn't seem to be a definitive answer out there. One editor will demand it one way and another editor ...

You get the point.

Carla Swafford said...

Awww! JoAnn, you're such a sweetie. History Tidbits was so much fun, but I decided to stop writing those articles when I realized I wasn't interested in writing historicals. At least for now. ;-)

When it comes to contractions and checking on words like you'd mentioned along with "they're" & "their" and "who's" & "whose", I read them as full words. Such as "they are" and "who is" to decide if I'm using it correctly.

Louisa Cornell said...

And is it EVERY alright to end a sentence with a preposition?

M.V.Freeman said...

LOL, I have to admit, that it took me some time to get the its and it's right.

Now, it drives me nuts if I see it written wrong. My poor children.