Can one person have more than one body? And can a department store survive with only one shopper? These are the questions that have plagued me since reading this on Yahoo! Style:
If you know that ’tis is a contraction of it is, then you understand the need for the apostrophe. If you have no idea what ’tis means, you’ll omit the apostrophe, like the writer for Yahoo! Style did:
If you’re a grown woman, you should appreciate the utility of the apostrophe. You should also appreciate the difference between woman and women.
It looks like the elementary school crowd has taken over the writing of this article on Yahoo! DIY. How else would you explain the verb gets with an apostrophe? Or the use of it’s instead of its? Did we all master that by the time we were 12? And I’m still trying to figure out how an editor would fix the last sentence here:
Is it “Warm gatherings … call for” or “A warm gathering… calls for”? Anyone?
Sometimes when you’re trying to write something creative, you have to think out of the box. But not this far out of the box:
There’s that apostrophe again, used to form a plural this time. And for the third time in a single article, it’s wrong. Never has a little punctuation mark done so much and been so wrong.
Could the writer of this module on the Yahoo! front page be a college graduate? I’m not sure. I’d expect a college graduate to know that an apostrophe is required in “Parents‘ college debt nightmare”:
I’d expect that a college graduate could read an article and summarize it accurately. And that’s when I realized that perhaps this writer is still in high school, struggling with understanding text written for a tenth grader. That’s how I’d explain the allegation that these parents owe a huge sum “nearly a decade after the graduation.” Since the parents have more than one daughter, I wanted to know whose graduation was a decade ago. So I read the article and learned that these folks borrowed the money a decade ago — not that their daughters graduated a decade ago.
To the writer, I’d say, stay in school and get that high school diploma. To readers of yahoo.com, I say don’t believe what you read.
That seems to be the editorial mantra at Yahoo! Style: Any word that ends in an S, even a name, must include an apostrophe before the S:
There is no other way to explain something like that. Unless it’s an acute case of carelessness, ignorance, and/or idiocy. While I’m at it, maybe someone will explain to me what “Love, Rosie” is doing in the middle of that sentence. Is it the title of a movie? If so, it needs quotation marks or italics — something to make it distinct from the rest of the text. It’s not a showstopping error, but spelling showstopping as two words is.
You’d expect to find something like this at a small, local market: avocado’s, banana’s, and more product signs all sporting an apostrophe as if it were part of forming a plural noun. It isn’t. It’s wrong, and you know that. But I didn’t expect to find it on a presumably professionally written site like Yahoo! Style. But I should have:
How does something like that happen? Is it ignorance? Carelessness? Or an arrogant disregard for language?
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.
If this was meant to honor Stevie Nicks and I were the singer, I’d say “no thanks, Yahoo! Style.”
I’m not impressed by a writer who doesn’t know how to hyphenate 66-year-old. Who doesn’t care about repeated words. And who is too lazy to look up the actual name of Ms. Nicks’ song. (It’s “Rhiannon.”) Apparently the writer thinks flapper and goth are worthy of capital letters, but honor isn’t worth a spell-check.
This is not an honor. It’s an insult to the subject and to the readers.