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Punctuation Mississippi

Suggest improvements for the highlighted problem areas:

In the debate about the source of the Mississippi, we heard three student's opinions:

Nathan: It isnt any mystery that the source of the Mississippi is the northeast corner of Minnesota. In 1832, Henry Schoolcraft proved that the river began with springs under Lake Itasca.

Hillary: Nathan, your wrong. Actually, the Missouri River is longer than the upper Mississippi and has a larger area from which it collects water. Therefore, the true source of the Mississippi is the Rocky Mountain region of western Montana.

Cecil: Hillary and Nathan's ideas fail to recognize the big picture. The waters of the Mississippi come from rain clouds that float over 22 states and 2 provinces in North America.


- Apostrophe for Contraction -

Three contractions are particularly troublesome for many people: who's, they're, and you're. For example, consider the mistake in our opening paragraph:

    Nathan, your wrong.

The problem is that the contraction you're sounds just like another word, your. These are homonyms -- words that sound alike but have different meanings and different spellings. Because they sound alike, they are easily confounded:

Contraction <Homonym> Possessive
who is = who's <sounds like> whose
they are = they're <sounds like> their
you are = you're <sounds like> your

Because Hillary meant to say, "Nathan, you are wrong," we need to use the contraction:

    Nathan, you're wrong.


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