“Its You’re Guide To Spelling”

…since these days my rare free time is taken up with the minutiae of editing: “THEY’RE, THEIR. ITS YOU’RE GUIDE TO SPELLING.” – by Milton.

About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

    I love this post.

    Is there a chart for “two”, “to”, and “too”? That’s one that just grinds my gears.

    Oh, and re: it’s/its — it’s no help that MS Word can’t tell the difference between the two, either.

  • HP

    Just today, I interrupted a discussion between a tech writer and an engineer in the next cube over about the word “affective,” to say, “Are you a psychologist? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure that the algorithmic variables you’re discussing have nothing to do with someone’s mood.” It is, after all, the middle of winter in the temperate zone of my hemisphere, and I’m particularly attuned to affect right about now.

    Regarding its/it’s, the final word, as always, belongs to Strong Bad: http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail89.html


    If you want to be more empirically based, Language Log hosted a recent discussion regarding English genitives and standard orthography, following the decision by Waterstone’s to change their name to Waterstones.

  • Irreverend Bastard
  • sumdum

    I also like “Bob’s quick guide to the apostrophe, you idiots”

  • P Smith

    Ms. Sturgess is right, poor spelling and poor writing are annoying. But it’s a no-win situation since the uneducated illiterates can simply shout “grammar nazi” and most people will take that person’s side.

    I prefer mockery of those who can’t write properly. They’re not mentally equipped to fight back, and bystanders will tend to take the right side. Those who write poorly deserve no respect for their positions or themselves, and I make it known.

    What really makes me laugh are those who criticize correct spelling. Such idiots take issue with words like “spelt”, “colour”, “cheque” or “haven’t any” (instead of “don’t have any”).

    • Kylie Sturgess
      • P Smith

        I don’t believe you mistook my meaning, but I wasn’t saying that only Canadian and British spellings are correct. Quite the opposite, many words can be spelt more than one way.

        What I was talking about were those who say that only the US spellings are correct. And quite often, those are same people who write “loose” when they mean “lose”, or say “all seriously”.

        They’re often rabidly religious types as well, and can’t figure out what “judge not lest ye be judged” means in the King James buybull. (It’s called the buybull because you have to buy the bull to believe it.)


  • Art

    My pet peeve, it is violated so often it no longer annoys so much as differentiates the learned/caring/graceful from the unlearned/uncaring/graceless, is the misuse of the words “less” and “fewer”. I suspect that in fifty years the word “fewer” will not be in common use.