MRAB google at
Mon Dec 15 17:15:41 CET 2008

Steve Holden wrote:
> Ben Finney wrote:
>> James Stroud <jstroud at> writes:
>>> Ben Finney wrote:
>>>> James Stroud <jstroud at> writes:
>>>>> Yes. I think it was the British who decided that the
>>>>> apostrophe rule for "it" would be reversed from normal usage
>>>>> relative to just about every other noun.
>> It also seems an indefensible claim to say that anyone “decided” it
>>  would be that way, especially “the British”.
> It's our language, dammit! Ours, ours, ours!
> This decision was actually taken at a meeting of the Society of
> British pedants on November 23, 1786. This led to a schism between
> the British and the newly-independent Americans, who responded by
> taking the "u" out of colour, valour, and aluminium.
Actually the Americans have been a bit confused about how to spell 
aluminium. See

>>>> Remember that “it” is a pronoun. I see no reversal:
>>> Ok. Pronouns are reversed.
>> Or, more generally: Pronouns, which are different in just about
>> every other way from other nouns, are different in this way also.
>> Is that about right?
> Just think of them as "nounpros" and you won't go wrong.
I've just remembered a pronoun that does take an apostrophe: the
indefinite pronoun "one". Not that one uses it that often. :-)

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