Grammarians and arbiters of stylistic elegancies devote a great deal of critical attention to the pronoun it. Fowler1 deplores its use "when the reference of the pronoun is obscure or confused, or its use is too previous or incorrect." King2 enjoins us to scrutinize our writing and "look for expression beginning with the indefinite 'it' followed by the word 'is,' various complements, and the word 'that.' " And he suggests that on finding such usages we "take a soft pencil or a broad-nibbed pen, and strike out the entire expression." The use of the indefinite it is definitely outlawed, whereas its other uses remain under surveillance for literary subversion.
But I remember it well when the word was incandescent with meaning. Clara Bow had it. My girl-friends had it. So did yours, if you are of the right vintage. Sexuality, sensuality, personality, charm, and style blended into an ineffable