Wheat & Weeds – Pardon The Mouth Foam

The confusion of the possessive “its” (no apostrophe) with the contractive “it’s” (with apostrophe) is an unequivocal signal of illiteracy and sets off a simple Pavlovian “kill” response in the average stickler. The rule is: the word “it’s” (with apostrophe) stands for “it is” or “it has.” If the word does not stand for “it is” or “it has” then what you require is “its.” This is extremely easy to grasp. Getting your itses mixed up is the greatest solecism in the world of punctuation. No matter that you have a PhD and have read all of Henry James twice. If you still persist in writing, “Good food at it’s best,” you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave.

There. I feel better. Came across this mistake in print more than five times this morning. I can forgive a lot, but not that. Citation from Lynne Truss, Eats Shoots & Leaves.

Hear, hear (I do it too, but only because I type faster than I can keep up and hitting the apostrophe is kind of a force of habit (I usually catch it) so it isn’t done in ignorance). Another one I hate (verbal, this time) is people saying ek setera instead of et setera when they’re aiming for et cetera. It drives me absolutely up the wall. Apparently everyone in Canada says ek setera, which I was unfortunate enough to learn last week mid-rant.