While browsing through YouTube, I came across a video titled “Getting Over It's IMPOSSIBLE PHYSICS!” which references to a new game titled

“Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy”.

My question is, is the use of the apostrophe in the video title correct? Should it be “Its” or “It’s” and why?

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    @Clare There's only one correct parse, though it's certainly a garden path construction. Getting Over It's impossible physics = The impossible physics of Getting Over It. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 5 '18 at 4:20
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    @EdwinAshworth That's your opinion. Thanks for voicing it. I don't agree with it. Yawn. – Arm the good guys in America Jan 5 '18 at 4:29
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    @Clare You're saying that Getting Over It's impossible physics (note the demarcation of the 3-word proper noun by initial capitals) may be read as 'Getting over the fact that it is impossible physics'? And I'm sorry you feel it necessary to be rude. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 5 '18 at 5:37
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    I'm inclined to agree with Edwin, both in terms of the clearly-intended reading and Clare's apparent rudeness. That said, Edwin, never engage in apologizing for another person's misbehavior--it's a passive-aggressive tactic that actually casts you in a poor light yourself, at least in front of anyone whose opinion you'd care about. Maintain the high ground. – Aiken Drum Jan 5 '18 at 9:38
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    How is what Edwin says an "opinion" that one has to be "inclined to agree with"? What he states is an obvious fact. What Clare says is utter nonsense that beggars belief. Have we entered Bizarro World? I've not gotten the memo, guys. – RegDwigнt Jan 5 '18 at 13:41

Your question has been downvoted and may not end up surviving, but I think it's actually a valid question to raise.

As discussed by others in the comments below your question, the issue here is one of poor choices of formatting or sentence structure, which makes it much more difficult to see the intended reading.

YouTube doesn't allow for italics in the headings/titles over its videos, which means one cannot italicize the game's title. With italics, it becomes somewhat clearer:


It might have been clearer if the person titling the video had resorted to quotes or perhaps re-wording the title to make the game's title more distinct in the absence of italics, e.g.:


In short, though, I would say that I think the "'s" the author chose to use is indeed correct, but they really should have taken steps to make their intentions much clearer.

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  • No need to reword, they could have simply put the title in quotation marks, as is indeed quite customary with all kinds of titles in all kinds of situations in all kinds of languages. These are always available, even when italics are not. But yeah, the basic construction is just that of The queen of England's impossible crown, or That man I saw yesterday's impossible car, or The girl next door's impossible boobs. – RegDwigнt Jan 5 '18 at 13:46
  • Indeed. My thinking is that people might be reluctant use both quotation marks around the noun cluster that is the game title and a possessive apostrophe that follows the quoted cluster, simply because there's an awkwardness in putting the two types of mark together: "Quoted Thing"'s Thing. In American English, one might move the 's inside the quotes, as is a common rule for punctuation in style guides, but I consider that rule wrong-headed to begin with and I'd be very reluctant to suggest it. (An element not present in the quoted text should never be between the quotes.) – Aiken Drum Jan 5 '18 at 15:46

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