What’s the best-case scenario for the Yahoo! front page? That you’d never find a misspelling, typo, missing word, or ugly grammar ever. What’s the worst-case scenario? That you’d find all that and more on yahoo.com. Those are the best- and worst-case scenarios.
But is that what the writer for yahoo.com meant here?
What the writer actually wrote was: Best scenarios and worst-case scenarios. Without the suspensive hyphen in best-, there’s no way to tell that it is associated with the word case. A suspensive hyphen shows the omission of a repeated word. It’s a way to avoid saying “best-case, worst-case scenarios.”
The use of the suspensive hyphen is a mystery to many Yahoo! scribes. Maybe the writer for yahoo.com was following the lead of the Einstein at Yahoo! Sports who wrote this:
or the person who wrote this headline:
It’s like an epidemic of punctuation omissions over at Yahoo!.