If you know to capitalize Democratic once, shouldn’t you know to capitalize it twice? Not if you work for the Yahoo! front page:
Maybe it’s because I remember my first Walkman. Maybe it’s because I come from a generation that values the ability to communicate effectively and accurately in writing. Whatever the reason, reading this on Yahoo! Shine just made be feel old:
I suspect that the writer is from a different, younger generation from mine. That may explain why she doesn’t know that Walkman is a trademark and not a generic term. It might explain the random comma, because rules of punctuation seem to elude the young’ums. But I’d expect her to know how to spell Gangnam and for her to be able to identify the first names of Benny and Rafi Fine. Or is that asking too much?
Yahoo! News is the armpit of online media. That’s not a compliment. It’s just a reaction I had to this made-up word that appears in a very large headline on the site:
Residents of New Jersey are New Jerseyans or New Jerseyites.
So, OK, the writer made up a word. Is that worse than making up rules for the use of the comma, and randomly sprinkling that punctuation in a sentence?
Probably not. It’s not worse than this:
If you’re trying to be sarcastic, you have to be scrupulous in your use of language; otherwise, readers will think your sarcasm is just one more careless or ignorant mistake. This attempt at sarcasm fails because the writer doesn’t know the difference between it’s (for “it is” or “it has”) and the possessive its. If the writer had mentioned that the state is famous for its even-keeled, milquetoast residents, then it might have been seen as an attempt at humor.
It just drives me crazy to see a stupid, totally avoidable mistake like this on the Yahoo! front page:
NASCAR is short for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Why would the writer think that NASCAR is spelled with just one capital letter? Where would one find it spelled Nascar except on Yahoo!? And how long would it have taken the writer to check the spelling? Too long, apparently.
What do these headlines have in common? Everyone of them includes a proper noun that’s improperly spelled — without its capital letter.
From Yahoo! Sports, we get a lowercase version of Ivy League. Perhaps the writer didn’t attend one of these elite universities in the northeastern U.S.:
The writer for Yahoo! Finance may just be too young to qualify for Medicare, but shouldn’t be too young to know it gets a capital M:
With the Sochi Olympics appearing everyone on TV, in print, and on the Web, I don’t understand how the writer for Yahoo! Shine didn’t know that it gets a capital letter, too:
Were the editors at Yahoo! Sports taken by surprise by the Sochi Olympics? Did they not know in advance that it would take place this year and that perhaps, maybe, perchance, they might want to prepare for covering the Games? One thing they might have done: Standardize the spelling of some events so that they could avoid embarrassing inconsistencies like this:
English is a difficult language to learn, what with its many verb tenses, irregular verbs, and puzzling idioms. So, let’s be kind to the writer for Yahoo! News’ “Trending Now” as he attempts to master the language while he’s being paid to write in it.
First, don’t be too hard on him for not knowing there should be two hyphens in 16-year-old. Writing an age without the correct number of hyphens is one of the top three hyphen errors you’ll find on Yahoo!.
Then there’s that “that has had,” which we all know should be “who have had.” Using who is preferred over that when referring to a human being (it’s a matter of politesse).
Finally, there’s the issue of Hodgkin’s lymphoma (the only letter that is capitalized is H). I cannot wrap my head around a diagnosis going into remission, unless it was wrong and the doctor took it back. (“Great news, son. You don’t have Hodgkin’s lymphoma so I retracting my diagnosis and putting it in remission.”)
You just have to admire the tenacity of the writers for Yahoo! Sports and their refusal to use a spell-checker:
They stubbornly refuse to proofread anything, even when it’s on their main page:
They shun the use of the Shift key when tapping out trademarks like Frappuccino.
And while omelet is considered the preferred spelling in the American Heritage Dictionary, they cling to the quaint omelette.
There’s something to be said for tenacity. And it’s not always complimentary.
It seems that the writer for Yahoo! News just loves that Shift key and hits it randomly — except when it should be hit:
There’s no reason to capitalize presidency or president (unless it precedes a name); Oval Office, on the other hand, is a proper noun. It’s in the Oval Office that the president conducts the business of his presidency.