Steve Holden steve at
Mon Dec 15 16:50:58 CET 2008

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.

>>> 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.

Steve Holden        +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC    

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