I was reading this AP story about Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s apology for her role in a recent incident involving her and a Capitol polic officer when I stumbled upon one of the “cardinal sins” of journalism/grammar in the 10th paragraph:
Rep. Mel Watt, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, has had no statement on the incident. The caucus’ silence stands in stark contrast to it’s investigations of past scuffles between the U.S. Capitol Police and members.
Now, I would expect any AP writer and/or copy editor NOT to get caught in the ol’ “its/it’s” trap, but apparently that’s asking too much these days.
Hence, a grammar lesson…
its = the possessive form of the pronoun it (ex: The team lost its second straight game.)
it’s = the contraction for the term “it is” (ex: It’s cold outside.)