What’s your favorite tele vision show?

This is the kind of abbreviation you might expect to find in a hand-written sign in a store window in 1954:

fp tv

I haven’t seen that abbreviation since “Father Knows Best” was debuted. The standard abbreviation has been TV (although some authorities allow tv) for a long, long time. Try to keep up, Yahoo!.

It’s just an estimate

I guess this event will be starting at an estimated time of 2 PM. Or maybe an established time of 2 PM:

est style 2

In my estimation, the writers for Yahoo! Style have no idea what the abbreviation for Eastern Standard Time is. Here’s a hint, it doesn’t include a period.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom” from the Yahoo! front page, it’s apparent that the existence of the United Nations came as a complete surprise. Apparently the writers didn’t have time to decide how to abbreviate the international organization:

fp un

SEALs the deal

It looks like two people wrote this teaser on the Yahoo! front page and they couldn’t agree on the plural of SEAL:

fp seals

A SEAL is a member of the United States Navy’s Sea, Air, and Land team. The plural, according to the U.S. Navy’s website, is SEALs.

You don’t really need to know

Don’t you get insulted when a writer “talks down” to you? I know I do! I hate it when a writer uses a vocabulary that is so unsophisticated that even a rhesus monkey could understand it. I lose patience when the simplest terms are explained in excruciating detail. I can’t stand it when the writer has to torture the language just so it’s grammatically correct.

If you’re like me, then you’ll enjoy reading this article on Yahoo! News! This writer is so sure that you’re a member in good standing of Mensa that he doesn’t bother to insure that pronouns have actual antecedents (even if he knew what an antecedent was):

drunk news 1

He knows you don’t care if he drops the hyphen from the name of a newspaper. (It’s the Press-Citizen, but who really cares?) When you read that 2 AM is in the morning, you know he didn’t include that redundancy for you:

drunk news 2

It’s not often that you read something by a professional writer that contains a grammatical gaffe like the incorrect past tense of a common verb. OK, so it is often, if you’re reading an article by a Yahoo! employee and the article reads like the writer had drunk one too many Bud Lights:

drunk news 3

But that’s OK! It’s just a verb and you knew what he meant, right? And the missing hyphen (again) in Press-Citizen is no biggie. And you don’t have to know what PBT stands for, unless you’re a serious alcoholic, then you already know it’s short for preliminary breath test.

Wouldn’t you want to read about Chad Harvey while enjoying a helpful picture of someone named Matt Harvey? I know I would. Perhaps Matt Harvey is Chad Harvey’s brother. Or father. Or uncle. Or next-door neighbor, who looks enough like Chad to stand in for him in the article:

drunk news 4

The writer has enough confidence in your mental acuity that he doesn’t have to tell you what a BAC is. Heck, he doesn’t even have to form its plural correctly; he’s sure you won’t mind if he throws an apostrophe in there. (By the way, for you Mennonites and others who shun alcohol, BAC stands for blood alcohol content. Or Bank of America Corp.)

Finally, when you think things couldn’t get worse, the writer does not disappoint:

drunk news 5

Imagine not knowing where to put the correlative conjunction not only…but also. Imagine not knowing that the partner of not only is but also. But you know that. You would have written:

to have survived not only driving while intoxicated, but also the punishment they inflicted on their bodies.

or:

to not only survive driving while intoxicated, but also survive the punishment they inflicted on their bodies.

But writing grammatically correct sentences is just patronizing your readers.

This is the news?

It’s amazing what you can find on Yahoo! News. And not in a good way. You’d think that the writers and editors for a site that is allegedly about news would know if socialist is a proper noun or a common one. But noooo:

news 3

You’d think that they’d know how to proofread to find extraneous words. But noooo:

news 1

And you’d think that a site that’s headquartered in the U.S. would employ folks who knew how to spell U.S. And who knew that Key West is the name of an island in Florida. But noooo:

news 2

How do you get a job like that?

Imagine having a job where you can make mistakes in front of millions of people and you still collect a paycheck. If you’re a writer looking for a gig where spelling, grammar, and common sense are not required, you could work for Yahoo! Shine.

Really, could you be any worse than the writer who came up with this bit of hooey?

kard 1

I don’t know what a couple could do “under” a 22-year marriage. They certainly couldn’t sign a prenuptial agreement under a marriage or even during a marriage. A prenup has to be signed before a marriage because that’s what prenuptial means. But you knew that. Maybe you’re overqualified for Shine.

You probably also know that you don’t form the plural of Jenner with an apostrophe, even if it’s followed by an S. And you likely know that there’s no abbreviation a.ka. because that would make NO sense. When you want to abbreviate “also known as” you use aka or AKA or a.k.a. You don’t make up the spelling of celebrity names; you look them up in that new and whacky online resource known as the Web. So, you’d know how to spell Robin Givens. And you wouldn’t bother with the redundant use of a dollar sign and the word dollars:

kard 2

You know that people are wealthy and agreements are not. Agreements are lucrative:

kard 3

You wouldn’t make up a name like “the K-Dash line”; you’d go to the QVC site to see that it’s K-DASH by Kardashian. And you’d be aware that the preferred spelling in the U.S. is jewelry:

kard 4

And since you’re sensitive to the placement of punctuation, you’d put the apostrophe after daughters (because you’re also sensitive to the fact that Ms. Jenner has more than one daughter). You also like to match a verb (like, say, maybe factors) to its subject (oh, maybe self-promotion):

kard 5

If you pay attention to your spell-checker when it indicates that becaue isn’t a word, you may just be overqualified for Yahoo!:

kard 6

The belt and suspenders of writing

Unsure of how to abbreviate a word? Lack the confidence to use an apostrophe or a period? Then use them both! That’s what the writer/editor for the Yahoo! front page did:

fp govt

There are several acceptable ways to shorten the word government, but using both an apostrophe and a period is not one of them.

It doesn’t belong with CEOs

The plural of CEO is CEOs — no apostrophe required. Please ignore what you see on Yahoo! Shine:

ceos apost shine

It’s not tele vision

Perhaps it’s a love of punctuation that drove the editor for Yahoo! Shine to write TV with periods (it’s not an abbreviation of tele vision) and tearjerkers with a hyphen:

tear-jerkers

According to several dictionaries (including the American Heritage Dictionary, which the editor could have found on the Yahoo! network), there’s no hyphen in tearjerker.

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