Homophones: Its and It’s – by Melissa Donovan…

on Writing Forward:

Homophones confuse some people and annoy others. I often see people online complaining about other people who can’t differentiate between the spellings of homophones like your and you’re; they’re, their, and there, and of course, its and it’s.

While I find these mistakes mildly annoying, I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call them pet peeves, and I don’t feel any particular urge to vent or publicly complain about other people’s ability to spell (unless I’m discussing the quality of education in my country).

Just because the confusion of its and it’s makes me crinkle my nose a little does not mean that if I see this mistake I’m going to stop reading your blog or throw your novel into the recycling bin. It’s really not that big of a deal and is exactly the kind of typo that’s outweighed by good, strong writing.

However, I feel that writers need to take a little pride in their work. That means learning how to spell small, three-letter words correctly.

But I get it. Its and it’s are among the most difficult homophones to learn. I remember back in high school, I avoided using them altogether — simply because I was too lazy to look them up. To make matters even more confusing, these two rebellious homophones thwart the standard rules of good grammar and proper English.

Continue reading HERE

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