GOVERNOR GETS A GRILLING FROM THE GRAMMAR POLICE
We’ve had some fun in the past when it comes to S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s poor spelling (which extends to official releases about dyslexia, believe it or not), but we generally give her a hall pass regarding her persistent grammar problems.
Why? Because everybody makes these sorts of mistakes … and because there are clearly much more substantive criticisms to be leveled at Haley.
Still, we couldn’t help but enjoy The (Charleston, S.C.) City Paper‘s recent story on Haley’s perpetual muffing of “Its” and “It’s,” which is pretty funny when you consider that her slogan for state government is “It’s a great day in South Carolina.”
Anyway, the City Paper post features excerpts from numerous Haley Facebook updates – including one from last week responding to the dust-up over her 14-year-old daughter receiving a job at the S.C. State House gift shop (which is run by one of Haley’s cabinet agencies). All of the updates include muffed uses of “its” and “it’s” – with Haley sometimes confusing the two in the same paragraph.
“The governor (or whoever manages her page) apparently gets ‘its’ and ‘it’s’ mixed up,” the paper concludes. “A lot.”
How do you decide whether “its” or “it’s” is appropriate to use? Well, for those of you educated in South Carolina public schools (or serving as our state’s chief executive), here’s a simple rule …
If the “its” in your sentence can be replaced with the words “it is” or “it has,” then you need to use “it’s.” Otherwise, go with “its.”
Why? Because “it’s” is contraction, whereas “its” is a plural possessive.
Now go, governor … and sin (grammatically) no more.