Today’s word is “their”.
If you had to write about “their”, what would you write? At first glance, “their” is such a generic word. Their what? “Their” unto itself is meaningless. “Their” really wants something to come after it.
The most popular words to come after “their”:
- their own
- their lives
- their way
- their children
- their work
- their families
- their respective
(this pulls from the contents of all the books Google has on file. I limited it to 1997-2019 to get a more contemporary list)
Ok, so now we have all these phrases. “their lives what? What do their lives do? More importantly, WHOSE lives? I dunno. This list does not feel very inspiring.
How about we look up how I’ve used the word “their” on my blog:
- Idea: each country in the Olympics to have their own mascot [link]
- 1st century Ancient Romans held their personal belongings in cute containers [link]
- Did the Jawas get their design inspiration from Peru? [link]
- Youtube kicked me out of their partner program [link]
“Their” seems to have a definite order:
- The owner is declared first.
- “their” comes in the middle .
- The object belonging to the owner is last.
- The country’s mascot
- Romans’s belongings
- Jawa’s design inspiration
- Youtube’s partner program
I wish I had something else to say about this.
Etymonline’s entry for the word “their”: plural possessive pronoun, c. 1200, from Old Norse þierra “of them,”
“Of them.” That’s an interesting thought. In this case, it sounds so divisive. Like saying “Oh, that’s their problem.”