That’s not where it goes

Where does the question mark go? Not where they put it on the Yahoo! front page:

fp interview quest quot

Unless the question is Interview?, then the question mark belongs after the closing quotation mark.

Do bottle cops enforce recycling?

What is the role of bottle cops in today’s society? Do they make sure you’re recycling that Diet Snapple bottle? Do they monitor the number of ounces in a 12-ounce bottle of Aquafina? Perhaps the answer is locked away in the mind of the Yahoo! DIY editor responsible for this little excerpt:

bottle cops

She might also be able to explain why she put the period after the closing quotation mark, when the standard in the U.S. is before it. And perhaps she’ll tell us if “the humans” is different from “humans” or just plain people. The humans seem to be dumping waste into something that resembles the environment. Maybe we should report them to the bottle cops

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we find that writers for can’t agree of computer body is an unfamiliar term, an ironic term, or maybe a nickname. Couldn’t they at least agree on whether it needed to be in quotation marks? No.

fp computer body

If it end’s in S, it need’s an apostrophe

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:

lily collins style

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 write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In our continuing saga of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” it’s a battle of the need for quotation marks on

fp quot contact tracing

It seems that the so-called contact tracing needs quotation marks. Or not. Or maybe the person who wrote the text for the bottom module had a faulty quotation mark key on his or her keyboard. Or not.

A style all its own

Those wacky editors at Yahoo! Style are at it again! Mashing up two words to create a new, totally unnecessary word, like coffeetable:

coffeetable style

Not restrained by the conventions of correct punctuation, they place a question mark wherever they like, as if “The Fault in Our Stars” were a question:

quest quot style

Don’t like Justin Bieber? Neither do they! That’s why they refer to him as Beiber:

beiber style

And the noun must-have doesn’t have to have a hyphen:

must have style

Wow! Wouldn’t it be great to work for a site where you can do whatever you want?

I just have to say it

I just have to say it: This is horrible. Atrocious. An embarrassment to the writer, Yahoo! Style, and all of Yahoo!:


It’s amazing the number and severity of errors one writer can make in a single sentence. First let me warn anyone who might be tempted to click on the first link. Don’t bother. It doesn’t have an actual URL behind it; you’ll just get an error.

Then let’s just say that apostrophes (especially when they face the wrong direction) are no substitute for actual quotation marks, which is what I think Yahoo! uses to delineate titles of TV shows.

How lazy a writer do you have to be to neglect to look up the name of the dancer in a YouTube video? Her name is Maddie Ziegler.

If by “empty rooms” the writer means rooms containing furniture, pictures on the wall, and curtains at the windows, then yes, the rooms are empty.

If these jaw-dropping errors are what we can expect to see in the future on the new Yahoo! Style, then I’ll be hanging out somewhere else — at a site that employs real writers with some measure of integrity and pride in their work.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom” from the Yahoo! front page, it’s apparent that the writer of the top module didn’t really think the U.S. is officially at war, but the writer of the bottom module thought it was:

fp at war

Is that your question?

Bachelor? Yup, that’s a question. And it’s the question asked on the Yahoo! front page:

fp bachelor quot ques

I don’t know what’s so hard about this: If the words inside quotation marks form a question, the question mark goes before the closing quotation mark.

Would you call that rule “gnarly”?

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.


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