A Grammatical Aside



just wrote in a comment to my previous entry, "The ability to rate one's knowledge
of a subject accurately is strongly correlated with one's knowledge."

a minute. "One's"??? Word's
grammar checker didn't blink at that. But
nor does it blink at "ones". Well, according
to the OED, "one's" is the genitive declension
of "one". Let's sum up:

Pronoun Genitive


Me My

You Your

Us Our

Him His

Her Hers

Them Their

Thou Thine

It Its

One One's

always thought that the reason that "its" doesn't take an apostrophe-s was because
the rule "add an apostrophe-s to form a possessive" applied
only to noun phrases
, not to pronouns (And of course, we all know that apostrophe-s
does not itself form a genitive noun --
otherwise, in the sentence "The First Lady is the President of America's wife," Laura
Bush would be associated with America, not President Bush.)

the heck is going on here? Surely there
is some grammar pedant out there who can justify this. My
faith in English grammar has been sorely tried.