It’s vs Its…time to give up?

bad grammar

I have been a grammar bully all my life. I am not suggesting that *I* have perfect grammar (not even close!) but I do expect to see good writing habits from people who call it their profession. That’s the one thing I can really say about my high school education: they really honed in on the rules of writing. I can still remember Mrs Jackson forbidding sentences that end with prepositions, or start with “because”. And although I have relaxed both rules, the it’s vs its battle is a tough one to let go.

I’ve learnt to ignore its misuse by others on random posts on social media, but I draw the line with my kids (they roll their eyes at me), and I don’t tolerate it from people who I feel have a responsibility to do better ie professional writers, or those with a large audience.

I once, many many years ago, wrote a letter to the editor of an independent newspaper/magazine in South Africa, and reprimanded him for messing up his its and it’s in the editorial. He wrote back saying English wasn’t his first language, he thought he was doing well by having the guts to lead an award winning magazine anyway, but said it was “noted”. We became very good friends after that! Shout out to Branko!

More recently, I received an emailed newsletter from a literal billionaire, who also got his its and it’s mixed up. And we know he can afford editors 😆 So of course I wrote to him to tell him of his mistake (in my defense, he did ask for feedback and full disclosure …my kids would be dying of shame for me at this point). Anyway… this billionaire wrote back, and said he too caught the mistake but only in the nanosecond after he sent it (been there, done that 😆). I feel somewhat bad about writing to him, but I was very polite and kind.

So it was with horror….horror🫢!!!…that I realised I messed up myself in a recent newsletter. I used an its instead of an it’s. And since the universe wasn’t done laughing at me, in last weeks newsletter I ..wait for it … used “write” instead or “right”. Now, that last one, I cannot explain. I proofread my newsletter at least 5 times (I send it to myself and read it on my phone, then make corrections on my computer) and this error missed me each and every time! My only excuse is that I was fighting a recurring infection on Saturday morning and was in mild agony. Still, absolutely no real excuse.

On the other hand: the world kept on turning. My kids laughed at me (karma) but that’s about it. Nobody emailed me 🤣🤣. Doesn’t mean I’m going to drop the standard though. But it is a lesson in humility. Mistakes happen, I shouldn’t be so quick to judge others.

I have a newsletter!
It lands in your inbox on Saturdays, and is filled with fun links, stories, book and movie recommendations, my wild thoughts, a bit of pop psychology, a bit of inspo lifestyle, and a whole lot of “so this is midlife!” kind of stuff :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join me in my musings and adventures as I live and love my second (and best!) chapter, together with my 2 kids and beloved dog! ❤️


I’ve started a newsletter

I will be the first one to say that there are too many newsletters in the world. My inbox is filled with emails, and I ignore most of them. Still, I am in love with the idea of writing directly to people who voluntarily signed up to receive my musings, and so … here we go: I’ve added another newsletter to the world.

read more...»
Sneakers (2)

Rare day out

Honestly, it’s near impossible to get this child to find some free time to spend with us. And then to get her to pose for a photo! Miracle of miracles.

Catching the rays

It’s hardly winter, but the air is getting crispier and cooler, and so Lisa looks for any ray of sunlight …and then hogs it. I’m just here to take the photos!

A Mother’s Day treat

Took myself out for a custard slice and a whipped cream cappuccino. Kids were at home, so had some peace and quiet. A win-win!

Another notebook

Maybe one day I will have enough notebooks, but to day is not the day. Isn’t this one gorgeous? It also has a glossy finish, which makes it even better. And its a blank. Perfection!