It’s No Big Thing

Really.  Whether it’s no big thing or its no big thing, no one cares.  Who cares about an apostrophe?  What difference does it make if it’s unsure whether its plurality or contraction or ownership is at stake here; who gives a damn about its proper use?

It’s raining.  Huge torrents of confused its. Even the most erudite often misspell its intended meaning.

We’re unwittingly returning to a literate culture in our growing attachment to the web; if you want to communicate online, you’ll be writing and reading quite a bit.  The trend has brought to light a massive ignorance suffered by the English-speaking world at large: how to spell its correctly in context.

Perhaps unfortunately, there are some people whose sensibilities cringe at its misuse.  Because the logic of its proper use is simple, and to ignore it is, well, ignorant. And confusing to the reader.

Here it is, everyone, please make note:  the contraction includes the apostrophe; plural or possessive does not. 

The rat lives in a hole.  Its home is cozy.  It’s dark and its air smells sour.  The rat’s family lives with it Its wellbeing is dependent on the rat’s nightly forages when it’s quiet.

Probably the confusion on this issue stems from the fact that the possessive of all other words does include the apostrophe.  Susie’s purse is pink; we have pink ladies’ purses.  But, its pinkness does not require the additional mark.

However, people do often unnecessarily include the apostrophe with nouns or pronouns:  in my profession, for instance, it’s often mis-written as VA’s, when the meaning is simply the plural of VA.

Why does it matter?  Why does correct application of anything matter?  In what areas do you think precision counts?  Does it matter that your readers thoroughly understand your content, or is it okay if they just scan it?  Do you want them to notice and forgive your mistakes, or would you rather they go straight to fascination with your message?

It’s no big deal, but the right spelling of its sure would make it easier to hear what you’re trying to say, and believe it!