October 06, 2005

Dear Mr. Pogue

Many of us can only wish we had David Pogue's job. Companies that make cool new gadgets send him said gadgets, he plays around with them, and then he discusses them in the New York Times and other venues. I'm sure that in many cases he gets to keep the gadgets -- and please don't correct me if I'm wrong about this; illusions are often all that I have. In any event, not a bad gig if you can swing it.

Mr. Pogue also maintains a blog (well, sort of -- it looks like any other page of the NYT online, but it's a blog): Pogue's Posts. Today, he posted this short entry, where he asks about the misuse of it's for its:

Are the people who can't figure this out unique to computers? Or is it that NOBODY knows when to use the apostrophe, and it only SEEMS like it's computer people because they're the ones whose stuff I see all the time?

I suddenly see my opportunity to speak directly to David Pogue, and to help him by answering his question! But what do I say? Do I recommend Lynne Truss, or do I refer him to Mark's two posts that comment on Menand's scathing New Yorker review thereof?

In the end, I decided to just refer Mr. Pogue directly to the experts here at Language Log Plaza, where we have not only cared enough to take Time magazine to task for a misplaced apostrophe, but also took the time to correct a random blogger's misperceptions about the popular use of d'oh and even discussed the apostrophe as typographical evidence that the infamous Texas Air National Guard memos were forgeries. Not a bad place to turn for your questions about language, eh, Mr. Pogue? (Oh, and about orthographic conventions, too.)

[ Comments? ]

Posted by Eric Bakovic at October 6, 2005 10:35 PM