Everyone who knows me also knows I am one of the world’s worst typists and probably semi-legendary for minor typos. But that doesn’t mean I can’t spot one, and one that constantly annoys me is the misuse of its and it’s.
I’ve been guilty of it myself, to the extent that in exasperation, the difference was drummed into me by Sheila Cranna and Louise Cassell at Marvel UK. (They even pinned a large note to my wall about “Its NOT It’s!” above my desk while editor of Doctor Who Magazine).
It’s is a contraction of two words: it is. Its is possessive, like whose and his and hers. But so many people get it wrong…
Does it really matter? After all, English is an evolving language. We don’t use English the same way as Chaucer or Shakespeare, or Dickens.
Well yes, because this isn’t a spelling error. It’s a basic grammatical error that big companies cannot seem to get their head around, and my feeling is always that if they can make such a basic error as this, then what other basic mistakes are they making?
You can buy a poster noting other misuses of the apostrophe from the Angry Flower web site.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.