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:
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?
Let’s relegate the use of a hyphen after an adverb ending in -LY to the Grammar Slammer. While we’re at it, let’s make a citizen’s arrest and haul in the Yahoo! Shine writer who also thinks that delegating is the right word:
I had never heard (or read) anyone use delegate when relegate was the word that was called for — until I started reading Yahoo!. Relegate means “to assign to an obscure place, position, or condition.” Delegate means “to commit or entrust to another.”
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?
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.
This is one of those articles from Yahoo! News that actually makes me feel sorry for the writer. Clearly, English is not his first language, and he’s being asked to write as if it were and as if he were a trained professional. It can’t be easy. So, that may be why he thinks sing-a-long makes sense as a verb. It does not:
Of course, he meant sing along.
He may have thought that the adverb completely was called for here, but he’s wrong again. The correct word is complete:
This is clearly just a typo (I hope), so he gets a bye with this:
But “first soiree with Internet stardom” makes no sense whatsoever. I can hardly imagine what he thought he was writing:
Could it be “first foray into Internet stardom”? Anyhoo, the writer also omitted an apostrophe after Keys (or perhaps it should be Keys’s, one never knows what Yahoo!’s standard is), but helpfully dropped an unnecessary (and incorrect) comma after called.
English is a difficult language to master. Maybe this writer could use a little help — from a competent editor.
What’s the best-case scenario for the Yahoo! front page? That you’d never find a misspelling, typo, missing word, or ugly grammar ever. What’s the worst-case scenario? That you’d find all that and more on yahoo.com. Those are the best- and worst-case scenarios.
But is that what the writer for yahoo.com meant here?
What the writer actually wrote was: Best scenarios and worst-case scenarios. Without the suspensive hyphen in best-, there’s no way to tell that it is associated with the word case. A suspensive hyphen shows the omission of a repeated word. It’s a way to avoid saying “best-case, worst-case scenarios.”
The use of the suspensive hyphen is a mystery to many Yahoo! scribes. Maybe the writer for yahoo.com was following the lead of the Einstein at Yahoo! Sports who wrote this:
or the person who wrote this headline:
It’s like an epidemic of punctuation omissions over at Yahoo!.
If you’re unsure how to use an apostrophe, just don’t use it. If you’re wrong, you’ll look as ill-educated as the folks at Yahoo!.
You wouldn’t want to make the mistake of putting the apostrophe in the wrong place (as it is here on yahoo.com), would you?
If you don’t know that the apostrophe goes first (in ’80s) to show the omission of the 19, then don’t use one.
You’ll just embarrass yourself if you think you can form the plural of a noun with an apostrophe like this gaffe from Yahoo! News:
and this one from Yahoo! Movies:
And I would be embarrassed for you if you used an apostrophe in a verb that isn’t a contraction:
Unsure about your punctuation abilities? Get some help. Just don’t ask anyone who works for Yahoo! for advice.
Why can’t the writers and editors for the Yahoo! front page get this right? It’s not that hard:
In the U.S., the period and the comma go before the closing quotation mark; in other English-speaking countries, it goes after. But two punctuation marks always go after the closing quote, regardless of where you’re writing: the semicolon and the colon.