It’s the kind of treasure hunt that can be popular only with grammar and editing geeks. You’re reading along and then–all of a sudden–there it is! An unexpected reward.
That’s what happened one day when my daughter caught a glimpse of the baby powder label. (Why was she reading it? Another day, another blog.) When I shuffled into the bathroom, bleary-eyed, to brush my teeth, I couldn’t help but notice the big black arrow pointing out the errant apostrophe. I could only beam into the medicine cabinet mirror with pride.
The rules for the apostrophe have left even the best of us confused. Yes, the apostrophe can be used to indicate possession (“Joe’s shoes”). In the case of the pronoun “it”, however, there is a different set of rules. The apostrophe in “it’s” is used to show a contraction, replacing the “i” in “it is”. The possessive form is “its”.
If read without the contraction, this label would say: “. . .with it is soft texture. . .”. Expanding this and any other contraction is a great way to make sure you’re using them properly.