9/24/09

A Bone to Pick

I have a bone to pick.  Or maybe it's just something that drives me crazy or gets on my nerves. 

Today is the perfect day to share my irritation. 


You see, it's National Punctuation Day.  The observance even has its own web site. 

So, my pet peeve is this: the misuse of the apostrophe in its/it's.  Why is this so difficult for so many people?  The ONLY time to use an apostrophe between the "t" and the "s" in that word is when it means "it is." 

See the second sentence above?  An apostrophe was used there because that could read "Or maybe it is just something ...."

Better yet, look at the third paragraph, i.e. the fourth and fifth sentences.  The fourth one could read "You see, it is National Punctuation Day."   The next sentence, however, could NOT be read as "The observance even has it is own web site."  Therefore, I didn't use the apostrophe.

Is that so hard?  Did someone change the rules along the way?

Rules have changed for some punctuation marks, depending on the venue.  In school, I was taught to put a comma before the word "and" in a series.  In college, though, as a journalism major, I was told to never place a comma before the word "and" in a series.  I tend to follow the latter rule. 

Similarly, in "Creative Writing" courses, I was taught to be creative with beginning sentences, to be descriptive, etc.  In journalism school, I was taught to grab attention in the first sentence and to answer certain basic questions immediately.  In law school, I was taught to be boring with my writing. 

Go figure!

5 comments:

Sandee said...

I don't think it's too hard to figure out how to do this properly. I've noticed that I do have trouble with some words though. Perhaps these folks just can't figure out if it is or it's not. Bwahahahahahaha.

Have a terrific day. :)

Syd said...

The art of writing and having correct grammar is being lost with the texting generation. I find that graduate students these days don't write nearly as well and that their spelling and punctuation are poor.

kaye said...

I recently read another post on this very same peeve. Since then I've really tried to be careful!

Hillbilly Willy said...

It is correct what you say. It's correct what you say. You are right.

Willys way of writing leaves no issue with punctuation ----Sorry no ' in Willy's - You know what Willy means. Willy's education behooves him to hate people who cant' punctuate properly.

Just kidding.

10-4 Willy

Patricia Rockwell said...

Amen to this one! It's so annoying!

 
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