Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: your.

your. “Your,” the possessive form of the second person, is sometimes misused for “you’re,” the contraction of “you are.” Often, as in the second example below, the error is that of the journalist who reports speech: o “Just saying your [read ‘you’re’] going to get fit this year doesn’t mean you will unless you define what you mean by the term ‘fit’ and establish some step-by-step goals to help you accomplish your fitness resolution.” Lareta M. Tabor, “Have You Already Given Up Your New Year’s Resolutions?” Kansas City Star, 15 Jan. 1994, at 19. o “Gallagher said: ‘They can accept it if your [read ‘you’re’] older and time goes by.'” Malcolm Moran, “Some Final Goodbyes for a Fallen Fordham Player,” N.Y. Times, 18 Oct. 1996, at B24. The opposite error also occurs, somewhat less commonly, but again most often in recorded speech — e.g.: “‘In boxing you don’t have that kind of luxury or time. If you mess up in a fight or two, you’re [read ‘your’] career could be over.'” Maureen Landis, “Arroyo Wins Gold Gloves Title,” Lancaster New Era, 29 May 1996, at 9 (quoting Ernie Arroyo). Language-Change Index — (1) “your” misused for “you’re”: Stage 1; (2) “you’re” misused for “your”: Stage 1. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. Quotation of the Day: “Of the language of art, it has been said, two things, apparently contradictory, are plainly true: first, that there is no single way of responding to its meaning; what one finds depends on what one brings. And equally, what one finds is there already; the meaning is there in the language.” Hilda M. Hulme, Explorations in Shakespeare’s Language 2 (1962).
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