It belongs to a purple dinosaur

If it’s Barneys (without an apostrophe), it’s a store in New York City. If it’s Barney’s (with an apostrophe), it belongs to the purple dinosaur on PBS.  Or, it’s a misspelling of the store’s name on the Yahoo! front page:

fp barneys

Lo and behold!

Every day Yahoo! brings us a new and amusing spelling, punctuation, factual, or grammatical error. Today, it’s on the Yahoo! front page (as many of them are) and it’s a misspelling of lo and behold that I’ve never seen before:

fp lo apost

Yahoo! staffers have spelled that expression as low and behold here and here. But the inclusion of an apostrophe — as if lo were a contraction — is one I’ve not seen before. The interjection lo is “used to attract attention or to show surprise” (American Heritage Dictionary). It’s not a contraction of a longer word; it is a word.

Where do they go?

There are two hyphens and two apostrophes missing in this paragraph from Yahoo! Finance. Do you know where they go?

target finance

Correct! The hyphens belong in three-month (it’s a compound adjective modifying search) and 55-year-old. The apostrophes belong in what the Associated Press calls quasi possessives: ten years’ and three years’.

Plum’s! Watermelon’s! Smith’s!

Really? Did someone working for Yahoo! Celebrity really think that this is an acceptable plural of the surname Smith?

smiths apost omg

That’s the kind of error you might expect to find on a hand-written sign at a local grocery  (Plum’s! Watermelon’s!), not at one of the busiest sites on the Web.

Nice try, but wrong

I gotta give credit to the writer for Yahoo! Sports who made an effort to use two hyphens in a single sentence:

12-to-18 months sports

Unfortunately, they are both wrong. There’s simply no need for hyphens there; “12 to 18 months” is correct. Now, if the writer had created a compound adjective, then there’s a need for two hyphens, like this: a 12- to 18-month recovery.

Can’t make up your mind?

Can’t make up your mind about the spelling of a word and refuse to check a dictionary? It seems that the answer is “yes” for the writers on yahoo.com when it comes to cease-fire. Somebody thinks it needs a hyphen:

fp cease-fire

and somebody thinks it doesn’t:

fp ceasefire

I guess that solves that dilemma. Spell the word both ways! Or, take a look at the American Heritage Dictionary (which is part of the Yahoo! network) to see that the preferred spelling is with a hyphen, although the single, unhyphenated word is also acceptable.

Holy typos, Batman!

Here’s a look at what you can find in a single day on the home page of Yahoo! TV.

A misspelling of Kit Harington:

harrington tv hp

Incorrect quotation marks around a character’s name:

batman quot tv hp

(If the writer were referring to the movie or TV show, the quotation marks would be okie-dokie, but the reference is to the character.)

I’d like to give a shout-out to the writer of this headline, but I can’t. It’s missing the hyphen that makes shout-out a noun:

shout out tv hp

How on God’s green earth do you explain this one? Did the writer first pound out it’s, decide that it’s wrong, and change it to it is?

it is tv hp

I bet the writer of this headline would like to turn back time and correct this blunder:

turining tv

Finally, another typo (how could anyone miss that?) and a second misspelling of Mr. Harington’s name:

harrington tv hp 2

It’s Opposites Weekend at Yahoo!

What the heck is going on at yahoo.com? Are we the victims of some prank, a case of Opposites Weekend? Yesterday I noticed that yahoo.com lied about Daniel Radcliffe being the only star in a disguise at Comic-Con. Now there’s this headline:

fp godzilla quot

First let’s dispense with the issue of the quotation marks. Unless Godzilla refers to the movie (and it doesn’t), there shouldn’t be quotes around it. The names of characters don’t get that sort of treatment. (Hmmm. Unless that’s not really his name…) Then the writer alleges that Godzilla will be fighting new foes. Baloney!

Here’s the headline from the article, replete with the incorrect quotation marks. Notice the words Old Foes?

fp godzilla quot 2

Is Yahoo! just messin’ with us? Or are the writers there really that incompetent?

Jay Z gets a little more and Justin Bieber gets off a bus

Yahoo! Music is just full of breaking news. It starts with rapper Jay Z, who removed the hyphen from his name a year ago. But if we are to believe the music experts at Yahoo!, he’s put it back in:

jay-z music hp

And in other music news, Justin Bieber gets off a bus:

debus music hp

Check out this

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):

bluetooth answers

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