When playing games of Tag, one person is `it' and has to catch or `tag' someone else. The person caught generally becomes `it'. In some games, the original `it' may not be tagged again until someone else has been tagged, or at least until a short time period has passed. In other games, `it' must tag on the run to avoid being re-tagged immediately.

Its all around you but can never quite tell if its there or not, it wants to comfort you and be a friend to you. It is as slient has the soft breeze that blows across your face on the cold winter nights. You want to meet it but it knows thats impossible, so you walk trying to keep control of your emotions as they try hard not to think about it.

Its a mother a girlfriend and a child in one, although you will never truly feel it. you can sense it even make a guess at where it is standing but you can never be certain. As you walk down the quite empty dangerous streets you feel no danger because it protects you, the bad dreams that you have are no longer there becasue it is there guarding your sleep making sure that you never wake from a bad dream.

For all these things you want to thank it, but it never ever shows its self, and it makes you wonder if it was you that made it this way. And then one day you cant feel it, you no its not there, but there is something else that you feel, you no longer feel tense and afraid of the big world that is outside the frosted window. You know its gone becasue you have made peace with yourself, it helped to make choices that were very important to your life.

And so it moves to the next person that is troubled and has lost there way in the road of life untill its but them back on track, its keeps going and going in the cold dreamless night.....

It is also the name of the most annoying monster in the game Gauntlet 2. It appears as a little spark zeroing in on the player. When It touches you It disappears and the game tells you "Red wizard is now It!" and all the other monsters come running after you.

It's first appearance is on on of the earliest levels, and there's always a player close enough to be caught by It. From memory, when you are It a little spark circles your character - my memory is hazy due to having to slaughter millions of monsters while trying to tag someone else.

With one player this is not a big issue, as all the monsters come after you anyway, but when there's two or more people playing you get all the monsters and your friends get to laugh at you. The clever part is if you can tag someone. They become It, turning an ordinary computer game into a more destructive and bitter version of the playground game.

I call the It Monster annoying, but the game wouldn't have been as hilarious without him - I miss It.

Novel written by horror writer Stephen King. Published by Viking Press, the book was released in 1986.

It is the story of a group of childhood friends who return to their home town of Derry, Maine to fight an ancient evil that they battled years earlier. The evil which resides under the streets of Derry has been preying on the children of the town for years. Its main form is that of Pennywise the Clown, but the evil has the ability to take the form of that which you most fear.

The book is about King's warped nostalgic trip into those long summer afternoons that seemed to last forever and childhood friendships that we never believed would end. The group of friends that return are stereotypical of the outcast group of kids that existed in most neighborhoods:

Bill Denbrough, the all-American kid who talks funny (in this case a stutter)
Richie Tozier, the smart-mouth kid who hides his insecurity behind humor
Ben Hanscom, the fat kid
Mike Hanlon, the black kid
Stan Uris, the ethnic kid (in this case, Jewish)
Eddie Kaspbrak, the small and weak kid
Beverly Marsh, the girl

This rag-tag group fights an evil that threatens their very lives during a summer in the late 1950's. Once they drive the evil away, they promise to come back if it should ever return.

Like many of King's stories, It was adapted into a television mini-series. The mini-series, though respectable, did not possess the ability to draw the audience into the situation the way the book did. The cast included:

Richard Thomas as Bill Denbrough
Harry Anderson as Richie Tozier
John Ritter as Ben Hanscom
Tim Reid as Mike Hanlon
Richard Masur as Stan Uris
Dennis Christopher as Eddie Kaspbrak
Annette O'Toole as Beverly Marsh
Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown

The mini-series also included a cast of younger actors playing the friends as children. Most of them were relative unknowns with two notable exceptions. Seth Green of Austin Powers and Buffy fame, played the young Richie Tozier and Jonathan Bradis of Seaquest DSV played the young Bill Denbrough.

A distinctive use of the word "it", mentioned above, is in sentences such as:

It is raining.

It is cold outside.

In these sentences, "it" does not have the usual role of a pronoun: referring to a previously-mentioned thing. Rather, in these cases "it" is being used as what grammarians call prop it.

This usage arises because in English a sentence must have a subject. (There are exceptions, principally imperatives and when the subject has been ellipted.) In order to fit in with the standard sentence structure, the pronoun "it" is added to the start of the sentence. This perhaps illustrates the principle that the human brain naturally forms sentences according to predefined patterns or rules that are held very deeply; as has been suggested by Noam Chomsky and others. This also means that it is nonsensical to ask what "it" refers to in "it is raining"; the word "it" is not being used to refer to anything.

Reference: Edmund Weiner (ed.). The Oxford Reference Grammar. Oxford. 2000.

1920s euphemism for sex appeal, popularized by British writer Elinor Glyn in her 1926 novel of the same name (Rudyard Kipling used the word in print as early as 1904). "It is that quality possessed by some that draws all others with its magnetic force. "It" can be a quality of mind as well as a physical attraction (...) You either have it or you don't", quoth Glyn. When asked who possesses It in Hollywood, Glyn replied the only ones are actors Clara Bow and Antonio Moreno and the doorman at the Ambassador Hotel. Bow and Moreno were immediately cast for the 1927 film version, which transformed Bow into what Glyn called the "it" girl, and incidentally one of the biggest icons of the late 1920s and the epitome of flapperness.

The Marx Brothers's take on It (from 1931's Monkey Business):

Chico: Hey, you're a nice lookin'a girl, alright. You got 'it'!
Manicurist: Thank you.
Chico: And you can keep 'it'!

IT: a two day festival with Phish August 2 & 3, 2003 at the Loring Commerce Center (formerly Loring Air Force Base) in Limestone, Maine

This is Phish's 6th major festival and it took place in Limestone, Maine the site of the festival Lemonwheel. The festival was attended by an estimated 60,000 people. Tickets cost 137.50$ and included camping.

In addition to featuring 6 sets of Phish, there was also a special midnight set on the first night where the band played a completely improvisational ambient jam from the top of the former Limestone Airfield's Control Tower.

There was a radio station set up for the show broadcasting on 96.1 FM called The Bunny. The station simulcast the show, played tunes before and after and had information pertaining to traffic and other useful topics for people coming to the show. The Bunny aired 24 hours a day from Friday, August 1 at 6 AM through Monday, August 4 at 2 PM.

(from Phish.com)"If you tune in before or after these times and you hear Jewel, don't freak out, you're hearing WQHR, a lovely adult contemporary radio station that we're hijacking for the weekend."

There was also a "THE RUNAWAY JIM MEMORIAL 5K ROAD RACE staged at the festival. The winners were brought up on stage and feted during the show.

The Phish organization also set up a multimedia pop art area known as Sunk City (which reportedly really did sink due to an intense rainstorm that hit the site the day before the festival started) where there were art installations set up. One included a man who handed out roughly 10,000 rolls of masking tape.

Set Lists for the shows:


Set 1: Daniel (Saw the Stone), Saw It Again, Punch You in the Eye, Army of One, Chalkdust Torture, Wilson*, Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

Set 2: Mellow Mood, Ghost** > Mist, Pebbles and Marbles, You Enjoy Myself > Chariots of Fire^, Loving Cup

Set 3: 46 Days, Julius, Lizards, Secret Smile, Run Like an Antelope^^

Encore: Good Times Bad Times#

* - Trey said something to the effect of: "Hey, Kevin, there's a post-able version of 'Wilson.' Ladies and gentlemen, the Shortest 'Wilson' Ever! I'd like to dedicated that to our archivist, Kevin Shapiro... And now: the longest 'Bittersweet Motel' ever - I'm kidding!" Then the crowd started an enormous chant for 'Fluffhead.' After conferring with the band, Trey said, "Mike says no" - and the band launched into 'Mike's Song'
** - with massive glowstick war
^ - Phish played the song in the background as the winners from the '100th Running of the First Annual Runaway Jim 5K' were brought up on stage and announced by Trey with photos on the video screen (the women's second-place finisher was actually Trey's neighbor "from right down the road" and the men's winner, from nearby Presque Isle, had a time of 15min for the 5k)
^^ - after the "downshift," Trey thanks the crew and the crowd; when the band returns to the song, they skip the "Rye rye rocco/Marco/Spike" lyrics section
# - with fireworks behind the stage during the close of the song


Set 1: AC/DC Bag, Ya Mar > Runaway Jim, Reba*, Birds of a Feather, Meatstick**, Two Versions of Me, Vultures, Limb By Limb, Cavern

Set 2: Down With Disease > NICU -> Brother, Lawn Boy, Discern, Waves^, David Bowie

Set 3: Rock & Roll -> Seven Below -> Scents & Subtle Sounds^^ > Spread It Round, Bug

Encore: Dog Log, The Mango Song

"Set 4": The Tower Jam#

* with whistling
**Trey: "we'd like to honor that request" (referring to loud crowd chant for the song), and sung with Japanese lyrics
^ with ambient jam
^^ with Seven Below teases

#An all-improvised (and unannounced, though heavily rumored) set from the roof of the old air-traffic control tower, taking place about 2-3am, with special lighting by Chris Kuroda. Featured many teases, accompanied by dancers on rappel lines down the tower's sides.

Dave Gardener was the first to get there, and although he arrived only forty-five seconds after the first scream, George Denbrough was already dead. Gardener grabbed him by the back of the slicker, pulled him into the street...and began to scream himself as George's body turned over in his hands. The left side of George's slicker was now bright red. Blood flowed into the stormdrain from the tattered hole where his left arm had been. A knob of bone, horribly bright, peeked through the torn cloth.

Stephen King established himself as a storyteller in the 1970s. His writing style was uneven, but he understood the place of horror in the broader culture and, if his characters were often stock, they spouted snappy dialogue and inhabited credible locales. Above all, he could spin stories with a rapidity most self-styled literary writers had to envy. The apotheosis of King's early work may be Different Seasons, which indicated his considerable talent for writing something other than horror.

Hollywood courted King, quickly adapting his first two novels. Carrie became an acclaimed motion picture and Salem's Lot, a mediocre but successful TV production. A lot of productions would follow. I suspect King could sell the film rights to the margin doodles in his middle school notebooks.

In the 1980s, the celebrity author drank heavily and used cocaine; he claims he has no memory of writing Cujo. He still had good ideas and a knack for narration, but his books became bloated, uneven, and in desperate need of a really good collaborative editor. King persevered, gave up his drugs, and demonstrated maturity and scope in his post-1990 writing. It, a product of his excessive 1980s period, has sold millions of copies, and been adapted twice to film. The first was a 1990 television miniseries; the second, a 2017 feature film with a built-in sequel.

The Novel (1983)

We're in a Stephen King horror novel, so our setting is a cursed small town in Maine. Something haunts Derry, Maine. An eldritch horror sleeps for approximately twenty-seven years and then awakens to feed, apparently needing to paralyze It's1 human prey with fear before killing. The creature shape-shifts or, perhaps, can create the illusion of shape-shifting. It tends to stalk children, though it will kill anyone, and also encourages others to kill. It can assume the shape of whatever It's victim fears, permitting King to depict both common fears and also decades' worth of pop-horror creations. Mostly, however, It wears the form of a clown named Pennywise (who occasionally calls himself Robert Gray, Esquire2).

We know none of this, initially. Only gradually do the main characters learn the truth, and try to stop something that shouldn't exist.

The 1000+ page novel moves about in time and space, but its main settings are 1958, when the protagonists are eleven, and 1984, when they return to their home town because they realize the danger still exists. We have seven children who (like the boys in Something Wicked This Way Comes, an obvious influence on King) realize the horrible truth that the adults refuse to see.

Our would-be demon-slayers are all outcasts. Bill Denbrough, the leader and a nascent writer, is the most adjusted and courageous. He has a stutter, for which he becomes a target of bullies, and he has lost a brother, Georgie, to It. Richie Tozier, group joker, wears thick glasses, has an impressive command of blue language, and occasionally gets targeted for violence because his insults are too good, and too apt. Mike Hanlon, one of the few African-American kids in town, finds himself on the receiving end of racist insults. An exceptional student, his research helps uncover the truth about Derry. Eddie Kaspbrak suffers from a domineering mother who gives him placebo medication for an illness he doesn't have. Beverly Marsh, the group's lone female member, is both tough and attractive, and draws attention from her male friends on both counts. She has an abusive father, but she's learning to fight back, a fact which could save everyone. Ben Hanscom is an overweight child whose father died in the Korean War; Beverly recognizes his sensitivity. Stanley Uris is Jewish; in 1958 Derry, his religion draws some negative attention. The most skeptical of the friends, Stan experiences the greatest difficulty accepting the presence of a supernatural force. They call themselves "the Losers' Club." Like many of King's characters, they come from central casting, but he develops them in plausible ways.

The adult Losers have forgotten, for years, what happened, and their town never accepts the presence of a monster in their midst. It, like nostalgia, has the ability to make us overlook the things about our individual childhoods and our culture's past that give the lie to our notions of the Good Old Days. We see the echoes between past and present, between It's supernatural evil and the banal, everyday kind, and between the protagonists' experiences and Derry's histories. Beverly had an abusive father. She now must escape an abusive husband. Henry Bowers, the psychopathic bully who terrorized the protagonists when they were young, has been imprisoned for years. It releases him, and uses him as a kind of soldier whom the losers must confront. Our fears return, if we do not address them. Meanwhile, the adults of Derry, in the past and present, see evil ascendant and ignore it, dismiss it. It's just life; how would one escape that? We're in a dark pop version of Buddhism and Hinduism, with cycles that must be escaped or they will be repeated, endlessly.

It reflects the best and worst of King's 80s oeuvre. It features a memorable villain and an incredible sense of fictional history. It also features many passages that could be trimmed, an absurdly over-the-top finale, and a few peculiar missteps. Children see themselves murdered in a photo that comes to life, confirm that they both saw this, and then casually head to a horror movie. An old man retells the tale of a massacre from his youth, and only then finds it odd that the mysterious clown who took part cast no shadow. I can accept the demonic killer clown, but the human psychology, responses, and perceptions need to make real-world sense. When they do, the novel really does work.

Speaking of human responses, every review of It must address King's inclusion of a kiddie sex scene, involving multiple consensual eleven-year-olds. While many people have proffered artistic and thematic reasons for why that scene appears in the novel, many more have shaken their heads, and cited King's 1980s cocaine abuse issues as a possible explanation. Although much of the novel's excesses might be blamed on a drug-addicted King and laissez-faire editing, the scene's role in the book, simultaneously crucial and completely unnecessary, will always present a problem for many readers.

Fortunately, no film adaptation has attempted to include the Pre-teen Sewer Orgy. The book's success meant, of course, that It would be dramatized, despite the difficulties presented by a fragmented structure, complex history, garish horror imagery, and twisted psychology.

Stephen King's It (1990)

It hit television in 1990, shifting the main time-periods to 1960 and 1990, toning down the violence and creepiness for period broadcast standards, and casting some familiar sitcom and family show actors-- and a few future stars.

Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
Written by Tommy Lee Wallace and Lawrence D. Cohen, from the novel by Stephen King.

Tim Curry as Pennywise
Richard Thomas as Bill Denbrough
Jonathan Brandis as Bill Denbrough (age 12)
Harry Anderson as Richie Tozier
Seth Green as Richie Tozier (age 12)
John Ritter as Ben Hanscom
Brandon Crane Ben Hanscom (age 12)
Dennis Christopher as Eddie Kaspbrak
Adam Faraizl as Eddie Kaspbrak (age 12)
Annette O'Toole as Beverly Marsh
Emily Perkins as Beverly Marsh (age 12)
Tim Reid as Mike Hanlon
Marlon Taylor as Mike Hanlon (age 12)
Richard Masur as Stanley Uris
Ben Heller as Stanley Uris (age 12)
Michael Cole as Henry Bowers
Jarred Blancard as Henry Bowers (age 14)
Tony Dakota as Georgie Denbrough
Olivia Hussey as Audra Denbrough
Chelan Simmons as Laurie Anne Winterbarger
Gabe Khouth as Victor Criss
Sheila Moore as Mrs. Kaspbrak
Florence Paterson as Mrs. Kersh
Chris Eastman as Belch
Michael Ryan as Tom Rogan
Charles Siegel as Nat
Frank C. Turner as Al Marsh

Tim Curry's performance as Pennywise the Dancing Clown / It set a standard. Curry almost passes as an ordinary clown, before veering into full-fanged demonic. I am convinced that people who remember this film as classic horror base the memory principally on Curry's clown-- or they were ten years old when they watched It.

It's not just that the supernatural frights and small town scandal have been stifled for period television. Three larger issues present problems:

Firstly, the two-part adaptation dispenses with the fragmented time-structure. The first part establishes the adult characters, and then flashes back to the entire child plot. The second half returns to the story's present and presents the adult storyline. The change makes perfect sense for the medium, but sacrifices much of what made the book interesting.

Secondly, King's central casting tends towards stereotype. He relies on his considerable gifts as a storyteller to make the characters real in ways that don't translate into this screenplay. The TV versions feel too much like stock, and the depth created by seeing them in two eras (and many recollections of the life they led between those times) cannot exist in this abridged adaptation.

An uneven cast must try to make these simplified characters work. TV miniseries of the time tended to include well-known TV actors. This one features such small-screen luminaries as John Ritter, Harry Anderson, and Richard Thomas, all of whom had hit shows in the 70s and 80s. Ritter does the best at making us forget Three's Company3, and developing his character into someone entirely unlike Jack Tripper. Richard Thomas, alas, cannot live down the ghost of John-Boy Walton. In Battle Beyond the Stars, it felt like John-Boy had gone into space. Here, Mr. Walton has become a horror writer with a tortured past.

The kids put in credible performances. Brandon Crane is the strongest, though Emily Perkins, whose future credits would include a central character in the Ginger Snaps films, a handful of Supernatural episodes, and the demented receptionist in Juno, does very well as young Beverly. Future star Seth Green plays little Richie Tozier.

The third problem: King makes places into characters, and few of his novels succeed in this area like It. Derry has a plausible geography and a developed, creepy history, and these elements contribute significantly to the effect of the novel. They are almost entirely absent from the mini-series. Without them, we have a fairly conventional and occasionally cheesy horror-story.

The production itself is competent, though not outstanding, meeting expectations for a highly-advertised mini-series of the day.4 The quality of the effects varies quite a bit. The horror make-up is genuinely creepy. The skeletal figure works, especially for an era that never imagined The Walking Dead would one day shamble regularly across the small screen. The stop-motion, however, evokes chuckles rather than shudders. In the fortune cookie scene, the main cast appears to be under attack by a mail-order novelty company.

It remains, in the end, a mediocre adaptation, elevated by a few good moments and a memorable, disturbing performance by Tim Curry. His Pennywise remains iconic, unmatched even by Bill Skarsgård's monster-clown in the superior 2017 film.

It aka It: Chapter One aka It Chapter One: The Losers' Club (2017)

It made it to the big screen in 2017, with the story updated to 1989. We don't see the adult protagonists. The film focuses on the children, and ends with a prophetic dream and a vow to return if the creature they have either killed or, at least, stopped prematurely, awakens to threaten Derry again.

Directed by Andy Muschietti
Written by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman, from the novel by Stephen King.

Jaeden Lieberher as Bill Denbrough
Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh
Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben Hanscom
Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier
Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon
Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie Kaspbrak
Wyatt Oleff as Stanley Uris
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise
Nicholas Hamilton as Henry Bowers
Jake Sim as Belch Huggins
Logan Thompson as Victor Criss
Owen Teague as Patrick Hockstetter
Jackson Robert Scott as Georgie Denbrough
Stephen Bogaert as Marsh
Stuart Hughes as Bowers
Geoffrey Pounsett as Zach Denbrough
Pip Dwyer as Sharon Denbrough
Molly Atkinson as Sonia Kasprak
Steven Williams as Leroy Hanlon
Elizabeth Saunders as Mrs. Starret
Megan Charpentier as Gretta

Once again, then, the adaptation shortchanges the novel's depth, though It manages a better sense of cursed town and troubled history than It's predecessor. Without that depth, we never entirely feel the fear we're supposed to, despite the film's best efforts.

The child actors, playing characters a couple of years older than their counterparts in the novel, give natural and credible performances. Jaeden Lieberher leads the pack as Bill. Sophia Lillis plays a very strong Beverly. Finn Wolfhard, best known for Stranger Things, gets frequent laughs as Richie, and the adolescent banter and jokes nicely counterpoint the horror. I could have watched an entire film about these characters doofing around.

Changes, both in time and script, shortchange some of the characters. Wyatt Oleff as Stanley Uris has too little to do. Mike Hanlon, self-appointed Derry historian and key player in the novel, loses most of that role to Ben. The racism he faces in the novel, meanwhile, almost entirely disappears. Part of the story's subtext disappears as a result. In its place, Mike has to deal with parents who died in a fire, a memory which permits some disturbing and frightening scenes.

The film features a handful of impressive horror-scenes, mostly drawn from the source. It begins with a faithful adaptation of the novel's introduction, milking the parallels between actual childhood fears and Derry's supernatural ones. Beverly's first encounter with It, in her washroom, illustrates nastily the fears associated with becoming an adult, physically and psychologically. We also get a haunted house sequence that proves entertainingly spooky, as the monster dips into pop-culture terrors. The house is excessive and deliberately clichéd, but strangely plausible.

The film's clever visual design alas, ultimately, undercuts the titular It.

Bill Skarsgård's performance, his creepy use of voice and movement, make for an effective and disturbing Pennywise. But whereas Curry's creation had some subtlety-- such that clowns, especially killer clowns, can be subtle-- the dramatic make-up turns Skarsgård into an obvious monster from first appearance. He's a great actor, but he's really got nowhere to develop from there.

The fun and frights must, of course, end, and that brings us to It's weakest point. The ending feels cheesy. It turns the otherwise strong Bev, briefly, into a damsel-in-distress, and it cheats us of any broader consequences. Collective amnesia aside, the town actively investigated the disappearance and death of multiple children. How did they explain these events? Bully Henry Bowers' critical role in the novel's epilogue, and his relevance to the town's perception of events, get ignored for no reason I can see. That could have been included easily, would have answered some questions, and helped set up the sequel.

That sequel will handle the adult plot. Viewers in 2017 are left with a curious, though frequently entertaining, film. At times, It feels like an old-school Disney family movie gone horrifically awry. R-rating notwithstanding, the kid-focus makes It more of a Halloween movie than a disturbing horror. It plays like a really good fairground haunted house, with some excellent performances, some good laughs, and a number of quickly forgotten scares.

Update: Review of It Chapter Two.


In a peculiar portion of the novel, college-age Bill gets upbraided by his creative writing professor for wanting to write popular, entertaining stories. The class applauds. Of course, Bill goes on to become a famous writer. I never really liked that portion. Bill's proff and classmates feel like Straw Creations designed to receive the brunt of King's feelings regarding people who say he's not, you know, literary. Read as a Mary Sue moment, it feels beneath the dignity of the often affable author.

The best revenge is living well. Stephen King will be able to buy himself yet another house, if he desires, on the profits of the new film and the sales It generates for the original novel. Or he can travel, give to charitable causes, buy cool stuff or do, really, anything he wants.5 I don't begrudge him his success. He may not be the most literary writer in history, and his film adaptations are uneven at best, but he has entertained the hell out of me more times than I care to count.


1. Shout out to Grammar Nazis: In this one instance, the correct form for the possessive is It's.

2. One of those bizarre King flourishes that I don't believe ever gets explained, or needs to be. King loves to craft uncertain, broader mythologies underlying his works. When Pennywise/Bob Gray drops the disguises, It looks like a giant spider-thing, but only because that's the closest we can perceive to It's true form. Also, Bob Gray, the Dancing Clown Spider-Thing battles eternally with the Turtle. It can be defeated by the Ritual of Chüd, a rite so badass it contains an umläut.

Look, just go with it.

3. Without question, a noble endeavor.

4. It takes place in small-town Maine, but both adaptations were filmed mainly in Canada. Shooting for the '90 version took place in British Columbia. In the scene where the adult Beverly leaves her dilapidated childhood home, a Canada Post box appears clearly in the background. The 2017 version does an excellent job of transforming Port Hope, Ontario and the Riverdale neighbourhood of Toronto into a small New England town from thirty years earlier. It is neither the first nor the last time Port Hope has capitalized on its iconic North American appearance.

5. He has done all of the above; in particular, King donates crazy amounts of cash to worthwhile causes.

It (?), pron. [OE. it, hit, AS. hit; cf. D. het. &root;181. See He.]

The neuter pronoun of the third person, corresponding to the masculine pronoun he and the feminine she, and having the same plural (they, their of theirs, them).

⇒ The possessive form its is modern, being rarely found in the writings of Shakespeare and Milton, and not at all in the original King James's version of the Bible. During the transition from the regular his to the anomalous its, it was to some extent employed in the possessive without the case ending. See His, and He. In Dryden's time its had become quite established as the regular form.

The day present hath ever inough to do with it owne grief. Genevan Test.

Do, child, go to it grandam, child. Shak.

It knighthood shall do worse. It shall fright all it friends with borrowing letters. B. Jonson.

⇒ In the course of time, the nature of the neuter sign i in it, the form being found in but a few words, became misunderstood. Instead of being looked upon as an affix, it passed for part of the original word. Hence was formed from it the anomalous genitive it, superseding the Saxon his.


The fruit tree yielding fruit after his (its) kind. Gen. i. 11.

It is used, --


As a substance for any noun of the neuter gender; as, here is the book, take it home.


As a demonstrative, especially at the beginning of a sentence, pointing to that which is about to be stated, named, or mentioned, or referring to that which apparent or well known; as, I saw it was John.

It is I; be not afraid. Matt. xiv. 27.

Peter heard that it was the Lord. John xxi. 7.

Often, in such cases, as a substitute for a sentence or clause; as, it is thought he will come; it is wrong to do this.


As an indefinite nominative for a impersonal verb; as, it snows; it rains.


As a substitute for such general terms as, the state of affairs, the condition of things, and the like; as, how is it with the sick man?

Think on me when it shall be well with thee. Gen. xl. 14.


As an indefinite object after some intransitive verbs, or after a substantive used humorously as a verb; as, to foot it (i. e., to walk).

The Lacedemonians, at the Straits of Thermopylae, when their arms failed them, fought it out with nails and teeth. Dryden.

Whether the charmer sinner it, or saint it, If folly grows romantic, I must paint it. Pope.

Its self. See Itself.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.