Friday, September 12, 2008

I Think This Battle Is Lost

From yet another of my surveys:

In case it's too small to read, it says In what ways does Hampton Inn/Suites show it's conservation efforts?

Of course, it should say
In what ways does Hampton Inn/Suites show its conservation efforts?It's is a contraction, for it is or it has.

In my various pedagogic undertakings, I have advised students to avoid this silly, third-grade error by mentally--or, if they prefer. physically--rewording the sentence utilizing it is. If the sentence makes sense, then they should use it's. If it doesn't, they should use its.

Apparently, I'm the only one sharing this advice. Or else it's being roundly ignored by the pupils and former pupils of all the others who are sharing similar advice.

It's one thing when a local mom-and-pop operation publishes such a foolish error. It's quite another when a big international market-research firm can't manage grade-school punctuation.

And when that big international market-research firm is part of a gigantic publishing conglomeroid, well, the irony is almost unbearable, no?

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