Nit: please don't user "it's" unless you can substitute "it is" without changing your inteded meaning.

Spellman brucespellman at
Wed Jan 18 10:13:19 EST 2006

Fuzzyman wrote:
> BartlebyScrivener wrote:
> > "The pronominal possessives hers, its, theirs, yours, and oneself have
> > no apostrophe."
> >
> > Strunk & White, The Elements of Style. Section II.1
> >
> > The Elements is a classic masterpiece of concision and lucidity, unlike
> > Eats, Shoots, Sells Books, and Leaves.
> >
> Which is however eminently more readable, except perhaps for the
> overlong introduction...
My favorite grammar book, Patricia T. O'Conner's "Woe Is I," is
readable as well as concise and lucid. Here's how she explains it (or
rather "it's" vs. "its"): If the word you want can be replaced by "it
is," you want "it's." If not, use "its." (By the way, her chapter
titles are a hoot; the one on punctuation is called "Comma Sutra.")

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