Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: yours.

yours. “Yours,” an absolute possessive, is sometimes wrongly written *”your’s” — e.g.: o “‘So, when’s this big party of your’s [read ‘yours’] happening?’ asks the salesman.” Peter Goddard, “Imperial Esso Man Still Slick as Ever,” Toronto Star, 5 Aug. 2000, Entertainment §, at 9. o “I believe all men have consciences that guide them; let your’s [read ‘yours’] guide you this election.” Letter of Dorothy Jean Paxton-Butler, “GOP Has Right Stance on Morals, Decency, Life,” Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.), 14 Aug. 2000, at A11. Sometimes, too, it displaces the simple possessive “your” — e.g.: o “With the many attractions now calling for your’s [read ‘your’] and your family’s attention, chances are you may have very little time left to visit the park.” Cathy Summerlin, “The Mountains’ Wild Side,” Tennessean, 27 Aug. 2000, at G1. o “Thanks, Dad . . . . It was through your’s [read ‘your’] and Mom’s hard work and guidance that I have come this far.” Ginny Rudy, “Traveling in Memory of Dad,” Pitt. Post-Gaz., 26 Dec. 2000, at E3. Language-Change Index — (1) *”your’s” for “yours”: Stage 1; (2) *”your’s” for “your”: Stage 1. *Invariably inferior form. For more information about the Language-Change Index click here. Quotation of the Day: “It is not always realized how fundamentally language is a defining characteristic of man. Even among students of man it is probably more common to define him as ‘the tool-making animal’ than as ‘the talking animal.'” Archibald A. Hill, Introduction to Linguistic Structures 9 (1958).
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