Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Writing woes

I am guilty of various grammatical errors, but the singular rule that consistently makes me double-check myself is the difference between 'it's' and 'its'. 

I'm always inclined to use "it's" as a possessive pronoun and have to remind myself that no, it solely signifies a contraction. i.e. "It's walls are covered with paint" seems like the most normal usage to me! Gah!

I know! I know! This seems an elementary problem, especially when you consider that their/there/they're is a non-issue for me most of the time and I (usually) don't have trouble with other contractions!

This whole handicap reminds me of the days when, long after I could proficiently read and write, my littlest sister was learning how with phonics-oriented curriculum (as I did not). I remember looking over her homework, and questioning my own fluency. After concluding that yes, I could still hablo ingles, I decided that it was a very inadvertent way to acquire literacy.

Silly grammar. I tip my hat to anyone learning English. It is a language that often intimidates me, even though it's (got it!) my first.

What are your grammar hang-ups?

4 comments:

austin said...

Oh man, I took *way way way* longer to get its/it's than their/there/they're or any other such weirdness. My guess is because the possessive version of every. other. word. uses the apostrophe (dad's, people's, etc.), so why is "is" so different? WHY??? I don't remember how I finally got it: I think I just sat down one day in college and wikipedia'd it.

Other grammar hang-ups? Those awkward phrasings like "my friend's and my's party"? "My friend's and my party"? "My friend's and mine party"? Basically trying to phrase the possessive when there is more than one party owning the object. Everything sounds wrong.

austin said...

err, why is "it" so different. you know what I meant.

Jg. for FatScribe said...

over usage of the ellipsis (that is the ... right?) i love to use them ... often.

also, i am overly reliant on the sesquipedalian phrase -- never use a short term, when a polysyllabic word will suffice (and make me sound smarter?).

i know ... pathetic.

Alexandra said...

biggins- those awkward phrasings are really frustrating. and i'm always happy to hear about how deep runs your love for wikipedia: you trendy early adopter, you! ha. long live freedom of information.

jg- i've noticed your polysyllabic usage. i'm often guilty of the same "misdemeanor" ;)