How can you miss that?

How did the editor for Yahoo! Shine overlook the missing question mark in this headline?

missing quest shine

Where did it go? Here, at the end of an imperative sentence:

guess quest

Arousing suspicion

I suspect that the writers and/or editors over at Yahoo! Shine haven’t been trained in the wonder that is punctuation. If they had been, they’d know enough not to put the question mark here:

paradise quest

The question mark belongs after the closing quotation mark because the entire sentence is a question.

I suspect the writer didn’t look up the spelling of Lil’ Kim; if she had, she’d know there’s an apostrophe missing here:

lil kim shine

So, when the writers aren’t dropping punctuation marks, they’re adding them where they don’t belong, like here:

post-partum shine

The word is postpartum, without a hyphen.

And my favorite mistake, arousing my suspicion that no one at Yahoo! cares about spelling, is this misspelling:

arrousing shine

Eat clean? No thanks

Yahoo! Shine asks “Eat clean?” But, what does it really mean to “eat clean”?

clean quest shine

It means that the writer didn’t know where to put the question mark. In the U.S., the comma and period go before the closing quotation mark. A question mark or exclamation mark go before the closing quotation mark only if they apply to the words within the quotation marks.

Guess what’s not a question

Are you as confounded by punctuation as the staffers over at Yahoo! Shine are? They seem to just sprinkle those little marks in everything they write, like so much fairy dust, as if they’ll turn the simplest headlines into Pulitzer-worthy gems.

It doesn’t work that way. Adding a colon doesn’t make this headline more striking. It just looks silly:

prince colon

They must think that any sentence or headline that starts with how is a question. That’s not how it works:

quest mark shine

That’s not a question. Guess what else is not a question — this simple imperative sentence:

question mark shine

That’s not the question

Did Ranan Lachman ask himself a question? It’s not clear from this sentence on the Yahoo! front page:

fp quest

Correctly punctuated, the sentence gets a little awkward:

Why not find a way to rent pricey Lego sets for his son and return them when he was done? Ranan Lachman asked.

A better solution is to rewrite the sentence:

Ranan Lachman wondered if he could find a way to rent pricey Lego sets for his son and return them when he was done.

Ranan Lachman asked: Why not find a way to rent pricey Lego sets for his son and return them when he was done?

Put it where?

What kind of a question is that on the Yahoo! front page?

put a ring on it fp

Put a ring on it? That’s a question? Actually, no, it isn’t. The entire headline is the question and the question mark belongs after the ending quotation mark.

Guess what’s not a question

Why would anyone think that this headline on Yahoo! Shine is a question?

guess whos coming quest shine

That’s actually an imperative sentence: An imperative sentence gives an instruction, an order, a command, or a request. In this case, the writer is requesting that you guess who’s coming to the gala.

No, thanks. I’m allergic

Nuts? No, thanks.

Maybe you weren’t asking if I wanted some of that salty stuff. Maybe you were trying to ask an entirely different question. But, the truth is, the folks at yahoo.com were asking: Nuts?

fp nuts

Why can’t they remember that if the words inside the quotation marks form a question, then the question mark goes inside, too? It’s a common mistake at Yahoo!, and it just drives me nuts.

Is that your question?

Parking ticket? That’s quite a question, and even though it makes no sense, that’s what this headline on Yahoo! News asks:

ticket quest news

It’s a common error on Yahoo!, but I can’t figure out why. It’s so illogical. The only explanation I can think of: In the U.S., commas and periods go before a closing quotation mark. So, maybe Yahoo!’s writers think all punctuation marks go before a closing quote mark. It just ain’t so. If a question mark applies to the words inside the quotation marks, it goes inside the quotation marks, too.  Pretty simple, no?

How is that a question?

It seems that whenever a headline starts with the word how, the writers for Yahoo! Shine automatically think it’s a question:

questionmark shine

How is that a question?

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