Monday, June 29, 2009

It's its Mother

When I was in the third grade, I walked up to my teacher and asked her the distinction between "it's" and "its." She explained that "it's" means "it is" and "its" is the possessive of "it." Little did I know how much trouble such tiny words would cause! Suppose there's a kitten and someone asks you about a nearby cat. You might answer, "It's its mother," meaning the cat is the kitten's mother. It shouldn't be hard to remember which is which. You wouldn't write "hi's" for "his," "her's" for "hers," "our's" for "ours," or "their's" for "theirs," would you? At the car tag office today I viewed a notice that stated, "This office close's at 3:15 p.m." Further, there was something like, "Person's in line at that time will be served." The worst error, though, because of the otherwise historic and beautiful nature of the piece, I found at the bottom of a painting of a 1942 locomotive scene. The caption read something like, "The train covered it's tracks . . ." It broke my heart to see a fine framed work with a mistake like that. Here's hoping you'll always do better!

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