Today is Friday, August 22, 2014

Correct use of apostrophes too much to ask?

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By ANNE DONNELL

Please explain the difference between “it’s” and “its.” There’s money on this. Thanks. -Ex-Student (Guy)

And that guy’s mom thought he wasn’t listening! OK, she was correct 95% of the time.  Note these hard times have people reduced to earning money by betting on grammar and usage.  I need to hurry over where it’s happening and earn a buck or two.

I’ll certainly answer this after a little break, especially with Captain Kangaroo’s magic words included in the inquiry. 

ONLINE DEPARTMENT  “More Blonde Jokes” (Thanks, CG) • HELLOOOO Two blondes living in Oklahoma were sitting on a bench talking, and one blonde says to the other, "Which do you think is farther away, Florida or the moon?"  The other blonde turns and says “Helloooo, can you see Florida ?” •   SPEEDING TICKET A police officer stops a blonde for speeding and asks to see her license. She replied in a huff, “I wish you guys would get your act together. Just yesterday you take away my license and then today you expect me to show it to you!” • RIVER WALK A blonde out walking comes to a river and sees another blonde on the opposite bank. “Yoo-hoo!” she shouts, “How can I get to the other side?”  The second blonde looks up and down the river and shouts back, “You ARE on the other side.”  • AT THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE A gorgeous young redhead went into the doctor's office complaining her body hurt wherever she touched it. “Impossible!” says the doctor. “Show me.” The redhead took her finger, pushed on her left shoulder and screamed, then she pushed her elbow and screamed even more. She pushed her knee and screamed; she pushed her ankle and screamed. The doctor said, “You're not really a redhead, are you?” And she answered, “Well, no, I'm actually a blonde.” The doctor said, “I thought so. Your finger is broken.” • KNITTING A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway. Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting! Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled, “PULL OVER!” “NO!” the blonde yelled back, “IT'S A SCARF!” • BLONDE ON THE SUN  A Russian, an American, and a blonde were talking one day. The Russian said, “We were the first in space!” The American said, “We were the first on the moon!” The blonde said, “So what? We're going to be the first on the sun!” The Russian and the American looked at each other and shook their heads. “You can't land on the sun, you idiot! You'll burn up!” said the Russian. To which the blonde replied, “We're not stupid, you know. We're going at night!” • IN A VACUUM A blonde was playing Trivial Pursuit one night. She rolled the dice and landed on Science & Nature. Her question was, “If you are in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear it?” She thought for a time and then asked, “Is it on or off?” • FINALLY A girl was visiting her blonde friend, who had acquired two new dogs, and asked her what their names were. The blonde responded by saying that one was named Rolex and one was named Timex. Her friend said, “Whoever heard of someone naming dogs like that?” “HELLLOOOO” answered the blond... “They're watch dogs!”

The answer for our QP of T (Question Person of Today) is, first, a prompt to remember that possessive personal pronouns (sometimes called pronominal adjectives) never require an apostrophe. Let’s accompany this information with a bolt of lightning to get the attention of the hardheaded many who like to use apostrophes incorrectly. 

I just received an organization’s meeting notice reading, “…announces it’s next meeting FOUNDERS OF THE CUMBERLAND SETTLEMENTS…”  That brought a full cringe because it means, “…announces it is meeting FOUNDERS…”  The only way they’re meeting is six feet under.  That should have read, “…announces its next meeting…”

EXAMPLES OF POSSESSIVE PERSONAL PRONOUNS, NONE (NO, NOT ONE) OF WHICH REQUIRE APOSTROPES.  his, her, hers, their, theirs, its, our, ours, your, yours.

So what about it’s?  That’s a contraction for it is. The apostrophe is necessary to signal a missing letter and space. 

***TO REVIEW: its – the possessive form of it; it’s – the contraction for it is.*** 

BW (Bigtime Word) irrefragable – can’t be denied or refuted. That apostrophes are misused around here is irrefragable.    

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