Common Errors: Possessives of Nouns and Pronouns

Common Errors
In everyday practice, most writers make a limited number of errors in the basics, but repeat those errors often. Below is a list of frequently occurring errors and corrections with techniques to prevent them.

You can see problems with possessives everywhere. One of the most famous is the Lands End trademark (original form): After years of embarrassment, the company produced the dubious correction of Lands’ End (more than one land?). This type of error occurs often in major periodicals, both military and civilian.

Example of incorrect possessives: Our Deans List is shorter than your’s.

Corrected: Our Dean’s List is shorter than yours.

ProTip: Noun possessives always use an apostrophe. Pronoun possessives never do. One of the most telling indicators of sloppy editing in printed materials is the incorrect use of its and it’s. The orca opened it’s jaws and Its time to go are examples of this error.


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