A dollar’s worth of punctuation

If you’re going to make a mistake in your writing, don’t make it in a headline. It just makes things worse, like this omission on Yahoo! News:

dollars worth news 2

What’s missing? An apostrophe in what should be “thousands of dollars’ worth.”

Is there more than one Batman?

Just how many Batmans (or is it Batmen?) return? That’s the question I’m left with after reading this on the Yahoo! front page:

fp batmans return

Actually, there’s only one Batman, and the film is about Batman’s return.

Think punctuation doesn’t matter?

And bad days sit around doing nothing

Good days work. Bad days don’t. What does that have to do with the talks surrounding the situation in Ukraine? You’d have to ask the writer for Yahoo! News responsible for this:

good days work news

OK, so we all know that the writer meant: Good day’s work. That’s what the Associated Press calls a quasi possessive. Other examples include: three years’ experience, two weeks’ pay, and a good night’s rest.

Editor’s quick thinking saves headline

If only it were true. If only an editor had read this headline on Yahoo! Shine before it was published it might have included an apostrophe (for teens’) and the correct verb:

teens quick thinking shine

The writers’ age factor

Just what is the writers’ age factor (besides being an extremely awkward phrase)? Does a writer’s age have an influence on the quality of his or her writing? There’s lots of anecdotal evidence that those who graduated from high school in the last twenty years don’t have the same writing skills as their parents.  Is the writer for the Yahoo! front page — who forgot about a little apostrophe — one of those recent high school grads?

fp enrollees age

Just don’t use it

If you’re unsure how to use an apostrophe, just don’t use it. If you’re wrong, you’ll look as ill-educated as the folks at Yahoo!.

You wouldn’t want to make the mistake of putting the apostrophe in the wrong place (as it is here on yahoo.com), would you?

fp 80s apost

If you don’t know that the apostrophe goes first (in ’80s) to show the omission of the 19, then don’t use one.

You’ll just embarrass yourself if you think you can form the plural of a noun with an apostrophe like this gaffe from Yahoo! News:

indians apost news

and this one from Yahoo! Movies:

coens apost movies

And I would be embarrassed for you if you used an apostrophe in a verb that isn’t a contraction:

celebrates apost news

Unsure about your punctuation abilities? Get some help. Just don’t ask anyone who works for Yahoo! for advice.

Jared Leto wasn’t really best supporting actor

When I read this opening paragraph from Yahoo! Shine, I could almost see the writer doing “air quotes” as she alleges (with a wink) that Jared Leto won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar:

constace shine

It’s odd that the writer would choose to put the Oscar category in quotation marks (they don’t belong there) and not the movie title (they belong there). Also odd is the fact that she got the name of the film wrong (it’s not Buyer’s, but Buyers) and mangled Constance Leto’s first name.

That’s only the first sentence and the article already has three errors. Not bad for Yahoo!.

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

One minute of work

It only takes one minute (or less) of proofreading to find this mistake on the Yahoo! front page:

fp decades apos

Obviously the writer hasn’t spent four consecutive (or even nonconsecutive) decades of work learning to proofread or mastering the art of the apostrophe.

Y’all are kidding yourself

When quoting someone, the folks at Yahoo! News’ “Trending Now” never fail to make the speaker look like an idiot by misspelling something. This time the writers seem to feel that ya’ll (which would be slang for “you will”) adequately expresses the speakers comments here:

yall 1

and here:

yall 2

The correct spelling for that Southern regionalism is y’all, a shortened form of “you all.”

Others who read that article noticed the misspelling, too, and commented:

Come on people! It’s “y’all”!

It’s “y’all”, not “ya’ll”. And don’t waste your time telling me any different.

If you don’t think readers don’t notice your mistakes, y’all are kidding yourself.


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