It’s one of the most common errors careless writers make. And it’s on Yahoo! Style — it a headline:
Does anyone need an explanation of why this is wrong? I didn’t think so.
This headline was my first indication that the article on Yahoo! Style was not going to go well:
The new ’60s-inspired pieces you need now? I think they involve a correctly placed an apostrophe (which shouldn’t be used to form the plural) and a hyphen.
Things only got worse. It’s hard to imagine what went through the writer’s mind when she pounded out this:
It’s pretty clear that makes and reminds should be make and remind (because their subject is surfboards) and that summer isn’t a proper noun. But what could be wrong with wool sweater? The answer lies in the handy caption for the sweater that the writer provided:
WTF? How did the writer screw up that badly? It’s a freakin’ linen sweater, not a wool one!
This writer is just obsessed with wool sweaters, to the point of lying about the actual material of her recommendations:
First, let’s look at the helpful information the writer supplied because the alleged black stripe is actually navy:
And is it mohair? Of course not! It’s nylon and acrylic. The writer just likes to make up her own little facts.
Do you know how difficult it is to find the correct spelling of gray? Luckily you don’t have to. In the U.S., it gets an A; in other English-speaking countries, the preferred spelling is grey:
Again the writer proves that she’s grammatically challenged, unable to identify a plural subject (shape and color) and match it to a verb (which should be are).
When not making up information about sweaters, the writer likes to be creative about pants:
What could possible wrong with that? The pattern is called dogtooth and the pants aren’t cropped, even though the writer just can’t let go of the whole crop pants thing:
Geez. This just keeps getting worse. There’s a missing hyphen in must-have, fall is capitalized erroneously, and this sentence makes no sense:
I don’t know what this means nor what FW means:
Think it can’t get worse? Think again:
The handbag is not made from box leather; it’s a leather box bag.And it was seen from a lot of famous people.
I have to keep reminding myself that this article was written by a professional writer, someone who is actually paid real money to write this crap:
That’s someone who doesn’t know the difference between its and it’s. Who doesn’t know to end a sentence with a period (a comma just won’t do) and stick a hyphen in cat-eye.
It started off with a mistake and just kept piling ‘em on. It went from bad to more bad and more bad.
In spite of the fact that it’s the number 1 error in Terribly Write’s “Commonly Confused Words,” I don’t believe that professional writers don’t know the difference between its and it’s. I think that the writers for yahoo.com are just really careless:
For readers who are just learning English, let’s review: its is the possessive for of it; it’s is a contraction for it is or it has. It’s not hard.
So, how did Yahoo! Answers get its name? Is it the result of consumer research? I really don’t know, but I do know that it’s not the best-written site on Yahoo!. Check out the mistakes in this one little paragraph, which include a contraction (it’s) instead of a possessive pronoun (its) and a noun (checkout) instead of a phrasal verb (check out):
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:
and this one on Yahoo! Movies:
and this possessive pronoun in Yahoo! Shine:
And it’s confusing when they’re forgotten in contractions like this, also from Yahoo! Sports:
and this from Yahoo! Answers:
Apostrophes. Let’s just do away with them entirely.
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:
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?
Probably not. It’s not worse than this:
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 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:
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:
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:
It’s time she learn the difference between a possessive pronoun (like its) and a contraction (like it’s):
If she learned to proofread, she could send an email and post something on a social media site without typos and missing words:
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:
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:
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):
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:
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.
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?