I’ve heard it said that you don’t miss something until it’s gone. I suppose the same thing is said about people too. I’ve found that the exact same principle applies to pen and paper.
I wanted to write something yesterday; just a quick note about the difference between the usage of ‘its’ and ‘it’s’, but I couldn’t. I didn’t have a pen. I suppose I could have typed it here, in a text file, or better I could have used Google Keep so that I could retrieve it on any of the devices I use. In the end I did neither. I just memorised it.
There’s something nice about making marks on paper, even if the paper gets lost afterwards. For me, it’s the act itself that appeals. In addition, its use as a device to enable memory cannot be underestimated. It’s like writing lines at school. The very act of writing ‘I shall not spit on people’ one hundred times reinforces the concept and embeds it in memory and, subsequently, behaviour. Turns out that them teachers knew a thing or two about teaching after all.
If you’re interested, ‘its’ is used when something possesses something else (as in the demon possessed its victim with a smirk of triumph) and ‘it’s’ is used when a contraction is in evidence (as in it’s going to be fine, puuuusshhhhh!). Here’s how I think about it: in ‘its’ the s is close to the it, which means that it possesses the s, whereas in ‘it’s’ (which is a contraction of ‘it is’ or ‘it has’) a contraction has pushed the s out away from the it as if it has given birth to the s. Yeah, I know, it’s a very convoluted mnemonic, but I like its style and admire its panache and so that’s that. Plus, bonus: it means that I don’t have to go out into the rain and buy a pen and paper, so it’s all good, right?