Saturday, May 19, 2012

Another Grammar Rant, This Didn't Take Long

It's been only ten days since I ran my last "quarterly" grammar rant on "it's vs. its," but I've already collected six new examples, here they are:

1. The U.S. is one of the few countries that has not nationalized the oil industry and yet it gets hammered for it's "anti-energy" policies.

2. It is said that China manipulates it's currency to benefit itself.

3. Looks like Alaska is now down to about a 1/3 of it's peak.

4. How "big" is ND compared to how big Alaska was at it's PEAK?

5. Experts put max output at 1.0 - 1.2 mpd when it reaches it's peak.

6. Their market share continues it's decades-long slide.

Remember: It's = it is, and if you can't substitute "it is" for "it's" in a sentence, they you should use "its" and not "it's."  For example, it wouldn't make sense to say "China manipulates it is currency," so you can't use it's, it should be "its currency."  

Sorry for the hectoring, I guess I am just somehow perplexed and fascinated why such a simple grammar rule is apparently so difficult for so many intelligent people to follow, just like I have a fascination with why men wear shorts now year-round, and why cheap, flimsy "footwear" that is readily available at your local drug store is now the footwear of choice for so many people (flip-flops)?


At 5/19/2012 10:41 AM, Blogger BlogDog said...

Whoever wrote the first example is stupid beyond words for the idea contained in the sentence with the grammatical error aside.

At 5/19/2012 10:54 AM, Blogger Murph said...

It's v. its drives me crazy, as does "reign [in]" v. "rein [in]" for slow down or control. You see that one also used incorrectly just about everywhere....

At 5/19/2012 12:13 PM, Blogger Mitch said...

I have a major problem with people wearing flip-flops everywhere. The mall, restaurants, the grocery store, everywhere! As far as I'm concerned, If you aren't going to the pool or the beach, put on regular shoes. What is even worse is when the same person goes to the movie theater, plops down in their seat, kicks off the flip-flops and puts their bare feet on the seat back in front of them! Ugh!

At 5/19/2012 1:21 PM, Blogger AhhhWhoCares said...

Flip-flops and sandals are very comfortable. I like them because my feet don't get hot and sweaty when I wear them. Who cares what kind of shoes people wear in public? You guys sound like a bunch of ol' fuddy-duddies... "Back in my day, the kids all had short hair, spoke proper English, respected their elders, everything was perfect, only the choices I make are reasonable, blah blah blah..."

One interesting thing to note is that this shoe stigma you guys have is probably cultural. In the town I live in, I see a lot of Indian immigrants wearing sandals year around (and if you look at their feet you can tell they've been wearing them for years!) And, from what I can tell, they all seem like pretty decent citizens, so what's the problem?

Seriously, who cares?

At 5/19/2012 1:40 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

The difference between wearing flimsy, disposable flip-flops that can be purchased in a CVS store as "footwear" and going barefoot is statistically insignificant IMO, so I would suggest that flip-flop wearers instead just go barefoot everywhere, there's really no difference, is there?

It used to be the case that flip-flops were only used for the beach, washing your car, or in a locker room. The fact that they are now everyday footwear for every occasion (even attending events at the White House and for working in offices) shows that we've succumbed to the "soft bigotry of low fashion expectations" as we have "defined fashion deviancy down" over time.

General rule of thumb: If you wouldn't go barefoot when you attend an event at the White House, go to a nice restaurant, go shopping, or go work, you shouldn't wear flip-flops for those occasions.

At 5/19/2012 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian Caplan answered your question about shorts seven years ago.

At 5/19/2012 10:36 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Interesting, Dr. Perry. I never pictured you as an anti-flip-flop-ist :-P

Of course, I am a little biased. I do wear my flip-flops all the time during the warm weather (if I've nowhere to go. If I am going shopping or otherwise leaving my immediate area, I'll put on shoes. Unless I'm feeling lazy).

At 5/19/2012 11:54 PM, Blogger Bret said...

I guess I'm somehow fascinated and perplexed that anyone really cares if someone writes its or it's or what they have on their feet. :-)

At 5/20/2012 8:10 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

At 5/20/2012 6:52 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


while you have a point on the grammar, you're right, you do sound like a fuddy duddy on flip flops.

1. they are incredibly comfortable.

2. you have to wear some shoes most places, it's required. barefoot is not an option.

3. unlike barefoot, they protect your feet from sharp things and from getting filthy or from frying off on summer pavement.

4. i don't think anyone is wearing them to white house dinners. sure, it's a very informal look, but styles change. you sound like my grandfather ranting about women wearing (gasp) pants! and in professional settings no less!

style is always arbitrary. are flip flops really any more ridiculous than clocked stockings, knee britches, and heeled shoes with buckles on our founding fathers?

try wearing that once quite formal ensemble to a business meeting. i suspect you'd get far more strange looks than if you wore flip flops.

ironically, flip flops and shabby clothes have become a big part of reverse snobbery in technology and finance. the richest guy in the room is the one dressed like a flood victim. being able to address your annual meeting in a black turtleneck or a hoodie is the new armani.

sales guys have to wear suits. fund managers wear jeans.

At 5/20/2012 6:59 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Yes, there was a group of college women from Northwestern University who wore flip-flops to the White House in 2005, and it created a well-deserved controversy, that is what I was referring to:


At 5/20/2012 9:45 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Just hard to imagine that "footwear" purchased at Walgreens or CVS can really be that comfortable, especially for long distances.

Do a Google search for "foot problems from wearing flip-flops" and you'll find almost two million hits.

At 5/21/2012 10:58 AM, Blogger morganovich said...


1. had not seen the whitehouse issue. i agree, that's bad taste, (but then, look at how the obama daughters dress, even on state visits. the wh sort of invites this right now. it's not a formal crowd.) but i think trying to extend that to flip flops as a whole goes too far. wearing them to a cafe for lunch is, in most cases, fine.

2. that's true of any cheap shoes. a crap pair of loafers is just as bad if not worse. get a good pair of flip flops from someone like reef or bonsai and you get much better arch support than most dress shoes. if i had to stand all day in either my reef flip flops or my bally cap toes, i'd go flip flops every time if i could. your feet would hurt less.

sure, there are lots of cheap all plastic flip flops that are incredibly uncomfortable, but there are many makes that are not as well.


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