Sunday, 31 July 2011

Apostrophes - it's and its

Statistics Canada released it's annual survey of police-reported crime on Tuesday (Globe and Mail, 22/07/11).

I'm sure that the writer knows the difference between "it's", the contraction of "it is", and "its", the possessive. Probably, the above error is a slip that should have been picked up by a proofreader. In the past it would have been, but in the newspaper industry today, proofreaders have likely been replaced by Spellcheck, which has its obvious failings.

Occasionally, one sees its', which is not correct in any circumstances.

The correct version of the Globe extract would read:

Statistics Canada released its annual survey of police-reported crime on Tuesday.

By the way, in case you were wondering, I don't search the Globe and Mail for errors like a fundamentalist looking in the scriptures for a line to justify his prejudices. I simply notice the mistakes in the sections I read. And I'm sure I miss many.

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