Unfortunately, it’s not rarely seen

On the Yahoo! front page, the hyphen is overused, as it is in this recently published teaser:

fp recently-deceased 2

Perhaps if the writers were closely watched they wouldn’t throw a hyphen in after an adverb ending in -LY:

fp closely-watched 2

This mistake isn’t rarely seen; it occurs quite often on yahoo.com:

fp rarely-seen 2

Here’s what these writers don’t understand: An adverb ending in -LY is a signal to the reader that it modifies the word that follows it. There’s no need to join those two words with a hyphen.

Keep the kids away from the keyboard

This is what happens when you let the kiddies take over the keyboard and write for a site like Yahoo! Style: You get amateurish writing, juvenile vocabulary, and sloppy errors. I don’t know if the writer is a teen or a tween, just that she writes like one.

A professional writer covering New York Fashion Week should know how many capital letters to use. But that’s not all; the errors are nonstop (which is one word, not two). She seems like a writer I typically wouldn’t chat with:

adderall style 1

It’s Groundhog Day, not this thing the writer made up:

adderall style 2

If you’re writing about Adderall, don’t you think you should know when to hit the Shift key? It’s common to refer to a certain period as the mid-90s and it’s more common to include all words, even the in “as the wonder drug”:

adderall style 3

Is this the kind of writing they’re featuring on Yahoo! now? Does the writer have such a paucity of words that she can’t come up with a better way to express this?

adderall style 4

Clearly she has no idea what a proper noun is, like Instagram and Tumblr:

adderall style 5

(Since Yahoo! also owns Tumblr, she might want to learn how to spell it.)

The writing is so bad that I’m practically dozing off.  But I perk up when I see a quote this bad. (It should be “said, ‘You’re welcome.’) And again with the undercapitalized Adderall!

adderall style 6

I don’t know how this went off the rails so badly:

adderall style 7

There’s at least one way to correct that: “At every dinner, cocktail party, and even shows.”

Lordie, I guess we can’t expect kids these days to know about the use of a hyphen in a compound adjective like “four-hour” or to know how to proofread so that no words are missing:

adderall style 8

This wouldn’t be complete without one more lowercased Adderall:

adderall style 9

So, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Not if the writer’s a 10-year-old.

Take a critical look these errors

Behold the errors from Yahoo! Movies:

ic truck movies

There’s no shortage of creativity when it comes to hyphen usage. These folks can’t decide if it’s “ice cream truck” or “ice-cream truck” or the truly original “ice cream-truck.”

Not confined by the rules of grammar, the writer seems to think it’s okie-dokie to use the plural pronouns them and they to refer to the singular truck. It’s not.

And if you take a critical look at this paragraph you might spot another goof: A missing word.

Gigantic, frantic transatlantic antic

So maybe I lied. It’s not frantic. Or antic. It’s not a gigantic transatlantic, it’s just a slightly larger one made by the erroneous addition of a hyphen by someone at Yahoo! Travel:

trans-atlantic travel

It’s true that when adding a prefix to a proper noun, you usually use a hyphen: un-American, mid-June, pre-Columbian, post-Vietnam, trans-American. But, it’s transatlantic, without a hyphen.

What’s missing from this face-off?

Two people might face off in a face-off. What’s missing on the Yahoo! front page is a hyphen in the noun face-off:

fp face off

It would still be wrong

Even if the writer for Yahoo! Movies had remembered to put the hyphen in run-in, the word would still be wrong:

run in omg 1

A run-in is a quarrel or argument; it’s not a casual meeting.

But aside from that, what mistakes did the writer make? There’s some problem with familiar faces, because the writer implies that Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey share the same face:

run in omg 2

This writer really has issues with punctuation. She puts an erroneous apostrophe is Wednesdays and puts a semicolon within quotation marks. In U.S. English, two punctuation characters never, ever go before a closing quotation mark: a colon and a semicolon.

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’.

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


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