Jump to content
rajo

not important, but oh so present in this community: its vs. it's

Recommended Posts

As a speaker of English as a second language, I really notice this quirky error.  I notice it a lot in this community, in the blogs and forum entries, but also on official pages (the latest: The PW Directory, front and centre).

"its" means the thing belongs to the thing.  "it's" means "it is".  The simplest test would be:

assertTrue(  "it is" == meaning_of( $phrase ) );

IOW, if you can write "it is" right there, it's OK to write "it's".  Otherwise, always always write "its".

Sorta grumpy today.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting this, at least somebody who cares.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @Mont.  The corrected the unit test to:

assertTrue(  in_array( meaning_of( $phrase ), array( "it is", "it has") ) );

I had had it wrong, now I have it right right?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other one I see surprisingly often is peak instead of peek. You climb peak. You take peek at a website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know a dutch forum where people correct spelling almost all the time. Those "you spelled this wrong" posts can take over whole threads, making the subject inferior to the tiny spelling mistakes. The place has become a childish playground for spelling purists in my opinion. 

Non-native English people participating here in the forum will upgrade their language skills, that's both code and language. What ever language boundaries there are, I hope people still post questions & answers.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that was the point rajo was trying to make. We should try to write correct english

the same as we try to write correct code.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Martijn, I totally agree, meaning and communication trumps grammar, and processwire stuff trumps anything else in this forum. Which is why I took this to the pub, not to actual work threads.

And just in case this conversation takes a turn "to the right", as it were, i.e. with "shoulds" and flags flying for purity, I'll just state my intention clearly:  Correct use of language is essential for computers to work, but not for people to work. I like that people correct my grammar in either case, because I like to learn, but I do get ticked off when they do so at the wrong time, distracting from the point I try to make.

Peace and love.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My intension is not to dislike your post, actually the opposite is true. This conversion is just an opening for me to tell people "don't let language be the factor not to post". Personally I'm not good with words and will never be, but the ProcessWire forum has learned me a lot. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And, just sayin', you yourself, Martijn, have taught a lot to the community w/ your generosity and code contribution.  Have a drink on me. 

And SteveB, peak at this:  Its only fare!

[ deobscurifying left as a time-waster for the reader  :^]

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally agree with Martijn when he says that the grammar/spelling correction shouldn't distract the reader from the actual topic of the thread.

But if this was a german forum I would probably also get grumpy if the users would constantly spell the words wrong.

So -as a consequence- I've decided to add a new forum-signature that first of all states that I'm a german speaker but also that I'm eager to learn and improve my english.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but the ProcessWire forum has learned me a lot. 

We all learn with each other. Even the forum itself learns with each one of us  ;)

ps: Sorry Martijn, I couldn't resist :P

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice pseudocode, and nice of you to actually consider the proper grammar of English as your second language while so many native speakers disregard it. I'm learning Spanish and am coming across the same thing... Many native speakers don't tend to pay much mind to their grammar or spelling, etc., the technicalities, so when I ask questions they won't know because they had never thought about it. Turns out I can at least write Spanish more accurately now than some native speakers. I enjoy learning the forms and irregularities.

But the real simpler way to tell the difference, in my opinion -- being that it is the real difference -- is that "it's" is a contraction, meaning it's the word "it" with "is" or "has", connected to make it shorter, and the apostrophe is there in place of whatever is eliminated in between. This should be obvious... I would think... Then "its" is possessive. It's like "Sam's" means like "belonging to Sam". But since "it's" is already another word, a contraction, we can't use that, so as to be able to distinguish one from the other, grammatically; additionally, all third-party pronouns in English lack the apostrophe: "his", "hers", and "theirs".

Another bad one is then and than. They're just two different words -- homonyms, indeed, but different nonetheless, like "so" and "sew". Completely irrelevant, yet both totally common words that everyone should know how to spell...

Yeah... grammar's my passion...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...