Friday, May 26, 2006

An Environmental Apostrophe

SPOGG awards Judy M. of Texas with its first-ever "Clear Grammar Initiative Award" for catching this apostrophe catastrophe:

This week an All-Employee Memo was sent from our EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC, to all employees nationwide. I am a big fan of the correct usage of "its" vs. "it's," so I was particularly disappointed in the Subject line, "Important Information about Employee Express And It's Replacement, myPay." (Note: "myPay" is the name of a computer program.) This went out to approximately 17,000 people.

The rules on its/it's:

  • Its is a possessive, like his or hers.
  • It's is a contraction of it is or it has.
If you're not sure which to use, think about towels. His, hers (and its, for the dog). No apostrophe required. Likewise, if you can replace the word with it is, then you need the apostrophe.

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