Apostrophes: Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em

Apostrophes. No one knows what the heck to do with them. They get thrown in where they don’t belong, like this plural on Yahoo! Sports:

governors apost sports

and this one on Yahoo! Movies:

1980s apost movies

and this possessive pronoun in Yahoo! Shine:

its own apost shine hp

And it’s confusing when they’re  forgotten in contractions like this, also from Yahoo! Sports:

its built no apost sports pr

and this from Yahoo! Answers:

lets no apos ans

Apostrophes. Let’s just do away with them entirely.

It’s hard to do worse than this

When it comes to its treatment of the English language, it’s hard to do worse than Yahoo! Shine. In just seven words the writer manages to omit two words and misspell one:

when it comes its shine

I wish I could call it a compliment

Yahoo! News is the armpit of online media. That’s not a compliment. It’s just a reaction I had to this made-up word that appears in a very large headline on the site:

nj 1

Residents of New Jersey are New Jerseyans or New Jerseyites.

So, OK, the writer made up a word. Is that worse than making up rules for the use of the comma, and randomly sprinkling that punctuation in a sentence?

nj 2

Probably not. It’s not worse than this:

nj 3

If you’re trying to be sarcastic, you have to be scrupulous in your use of language; otherwise, readers will think your sarcasm is just one more careless or ignorant mistake. This attempt at sarcasm fails because the writer doesn’t know the difference between it’s (for “it is” or “it has”) and the possessive its. If the writer had mentioned that the state is famous for its even-keeled, milquetoast residents, then it might have been seen as an attempt at humor.

It’s hard not to cringe

It’s hard not to cringe when you read something as poorly written as this article on Yahoo! Shine. From the typos and the writer’s imaginative spelling of Rutgers, it has a lot to offer the discerning reader:

email 1

She writes about an author whose most recent book is “The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet…” using who’s (which means “who is” or “who has”) and getting the title wrong:

email 2

I’d tell the writer to learn to proofread, or if you don’t have time, get someone to do it for you. It would be helpful to you for your career:

email 3

It’s time she learn the difference between a possessive pronoun (like its) and a contraction (like it’s):

email 4

If she learned to proofread, she could send an email and post something on a social media site without typos and missing words:

email 5

She might also learn to check her articles after they’ve been published to ensure she hasn’t omitted vital information, like the text of a tweet:

email 6

If only there were a way…

If only there were a way for writers to see the exact spelling of a product they’re writing about. Something like oh, maybe a picture of the product. If the writer for Yahoo! Shine had a picture, perhaps she could see how to spell Sandler and Watercolour:

sadler 1

Oopsie. There’s a picture, but she still got the product name wrong. Maybe that’s just an anomaly.

Except that it’s not. Here she manages to miss O2M, too. And not content with messin’ with the product name, she messes with punctuation (with an extraneous period and mysterious comma), grammar (it’s should be its), and spelling of techie (she makes up her own spelling because the one in dictionaries is just too ordinary, and she needs to flex her creative muscle):

sadler 2

I thought there was an actual photo of a product by Ginvera, but noooo. I am wrong. It is a pgoto of something from Ginevra:

sadler 3

If only this writer could actually copy words that are right in front of her, perhaps we might be willing to overlook her other literary shortcomings.

Oxygen deprived?

Can oxygen deprivation cause grammatical errors? That’s the question on my mind when I read this excerpt from Yahoo! Shine:


There has to be some explanation for that quotation mark without a match. Some reason the writer thinks the possessive of company is companies. (It’s not; it’s company’s.) Some rationale for using the contraction it’s (which means “it is” or “it has”) instead of the correct its. Some clarification for the missing is in what should be “is loaded.” Some justification for not using a spell-checker to catch the obviously misspelled vitamins.

I can’t think of any reason for these gaffes. Can you?

How many ways can you spell it?

It’s clear that the folks at Yahoo! can’t agree on a lot of things, like is it Batkid or BatKid? They can’t decide if it’s healthcare or health care. And don’t get me started on the whole website, Web site, or web site mess.

Here’s one of the latest inconsistencies from Yahoo!. What’s different is that all the variations of the company called KlearGear.com are made by the same Yahoo! News writer:

news kleargear

Oh, and let’s not overlook this writer’s ignorance of the difference between it’s (which means it is or it has) and its (which is a possessive pronoun).

It’s it’s but it should be its

If you’re going to make a mistake, you probably don’t want to do it on a page as popular as the home page of Yahoo! Sports. It’s a bad place to use the contraction it’s when you should be using the possessive pronoun its:

its sports hp

Writer shows what it’s like to be grammatically impaired

The writer for Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally” shows what it’s like to be so grammatically impaired that you don’t know a possessive pronoun (like its) from a contraction (like it’s):

its no apost sports pr

It’s its, but it should be it’s

It’s probably the most common homophonic mistake on Yahoo!. And today it’s on the Yahoo! front page:

fp its ready

I can’t believe that this is anything other than the result of carelessness or a brain fart. Surely professional writers know that the contraction for it is is it’s.


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