You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In today’s installment of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we witness the results of two people who write for yahoo.com and can’t figure out if it’s a children magazine or a children’s magazine:

fp children mag

You write the top, I’ll screw up the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we see the results of two writers for the Yahoo! front page who can’t agree on the spelling of a rather important word to a headline:

fp eyeshadow

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, eye shadow is correct (although some dictionaries also allow eyeshadow). But that’s not all! There’s an apostrophe missing in pros: Depending on the number of pros involved, it should be either pro’s tips or pros’ tips.

Back to school for you!

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”:

fp college debt

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.

Sill, you can’t help noticing

Sometimes, when I read something on Yahoo! Celebrity, I can’t help wondering if the writer is familiar with basic English idioms, like this:

rent 1

Actually, the Kardashians have been renting a home; the owner of the home has been renting out the home.

There are some mistakes I can overlook. Still, I can’t help noticing the typos:

rent 2

and the missing apostrophe in what should be Kardashians’:

rent 3

and at least one word too many here:

rent 4

Can you overlook errors like these?

Demonic possession

The writers at Yahoo! are having a devil of a time figuring out where to stick the apostrophe when forming a possessive.

At Yahoo! News, the writers seem to think there was more than one bomber whose friends are about to go on trial:

bombers apost news

They’re wrong. It was one bomber’s friends who requested a change of venue.

Ya’ gotta give the writer for Yahoo! Finance  credit for at least including an apostrophe, even if it’s in the wrong place:

20 years worth fin

That’s more than I can say for the writer at Yahoo! Shine, who missed the apostrophe in what should be people’s

peoples post no apost shine

and others’:

others posts no apost shine

Is there more than one Batman?

Just how many Batmans (or is it Batmen?) return? That’s the question I’m left with after reading this on the Yahoo! front page:

fp batmans return

Actually, there’s only one Batman, and the film is about Batman’s return.

Think punctuation doesn’t matter?

Authoress’s claim

I don’t know what happened to the S that supposed to be on the Yahoo! front page. Maybe it slipped out when no one was looking. If someone had seen it, I wonder what the witness’s claim would be:

fp witness claim

I bet the writer thinks that’s correct: That you form the possessive of a singular, common noun ending in S by adding just an apostrophe. A lot of authorities, including the Associated Press and the Chicago Manual of Style, would disagree. They say that the plural of a singular, common noun ending in S requires an apostrophe and an S. The only exception AP makes is when the possessive is followed by a word that starts with S, because the would be just too many S’s (so, it’s witness’s claim, but witness’ story).

Editor’s quick thinking saves headline

If only it were true. If only an editor had read this headline on Yahoo! Shine before it was published it might have included an apostrophe (for teens’) and the correct verb:

teens quick thinking shine

The writers’ age factor

Just what is the writers’ age factor (besides being an extremely awkward phrase)? Does a writer’s age have an influence on the quality of his or her writing? There’s lots of anecdotal evidence that those who graduated from high school in the last twenty years don’t have the same writing skills as their parents.  Is the writer for the Yahoo! front page — who forgot about a little apostrophe — one of those recent high school grads?

fp enrollees age

Grammar police mocks missing letter

Oh, dear. It looks like the writers or editors or interns for Yahoo! Shine still don’t know how to form the possessive of a common noun ending in S:

actress apos poss shine

It’s pretty simple: For a singular common noun ending in S (like, oh, say, maybe actress), add an apostrophe and an S.

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