One fascinating fact about Jr.

There was a time when putting a comma between a last name and an abbreviation like Jr. and Sr. was mandatory. But that’s no longer the standard, except on the Yahoo! front page where it sometimes appears in names:

fp jr comma

Since 1993 The Chicago Manual of Style  recommends that no comma be used in names like Martin Luther King Jr. It also notes that  if you use the comma before Jr. or Sr.,  the comma sets off these abbreviations, so an additional comma is needed after the abbreviation.

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”?

What’s missing from this face-off?

Two people might face off in a face-off. What’s missing on the Yahoo! front page is a hyphen in the noun face-off:

fp face off

Was the Ice Bucket Challenge a surprise?

Did the Ice Bucket Challenge sneak up on the writers at so quickly that they were caught unprepared? Could that be the reason that someone thought it didn’t need any special treatment:

fp ibc no quot

and someone else thought it needed quotation marks?

fp ibc quot

Maybe the people who write and edit should communicate with each other. I hear Gmail is fast and reliable.

Lo and behold!

Every day Yahoo! brings us a new and amusing spelling, punctuation, factual, or grammatical error. Today, it’s on the Yahoo! front page (as many of them are) and it’s a misspelling of lo and behold that I’ve never seen before:

fp lo apost

Yahoo! staffers have spelled that expression as low and behold here and here. But the inclusion of an apostrophe — as if lo were a contraction — is one I’ve not seen before. The interjection lo is “used to attract attention or to show surprise” (American Heritage Dictionary). It’s not a contraction of a longer word; it is a word.

Where do they go?

There are two hyphens and two apostrophes missing in this paragraph from Yahoo! Finance. Do you know where they go?

target finance

Correct! The hyphens belong in three-month (it’s a compound adjective modifying search) and 55-year-old. The apostrophes belong in what the Associated Press calls quasi possessives: ten years’ and three years’.

Plum’s! Watermelon’s! Smith’s!

Really? Did someone working for Yahoo! Celebrity really think that this is an acceptable plural of the surname Smith?

smiths apost omg

That’s the kind of error you might expect to find on a hand-written sign at a local grocery  (Plum’s! Watermelon’s!), not at one of the busiest sites on the Web.

Nice try, but wrong

I gotta give credit to the writer for Yahoo! Sports who made an effort to use two hyphens in a single sentence:

12-to-18 months sports

Unfortunately, they are both wrong. There’s simply no need for hyphens there; “12 to 18 months” is correct. Now, if the writer had created a compound adjective, then there’s a need for two hyphens, like this: a 12- to 18-month recovery.

Can’t make up your mind?

Can’t make up your mind about the spelling of a word and refuse to check a dictionary? It seems that the answer is “yes” for the writers on when it comes to cease-fire. Somebody thinks it needs a hyphen:

fp cease-fire

and somebody thinks it doesn’t:

fp ceasefire

I guess that solves that dilemma. Spell the word both ways! Or, take a look at the American Heritage Dictionary (which is part of the Yahoo! network) to see that the preferred spelling is with a hyphen, although the single, unhyphenated word is also acceptable.

Holy typos, Batman!

Here’s a look at what you can find in a single day on the home page of Yahoo! TV.

A misspelling of Kit Harington:

harrington tv hp

Incorrect quotation marks around a character’s name:

batman quot tv hp

(If the writer were referring to the movie or TV show, the quotation marks would be okie-dokie, but the reference is to the character.)

I’d like to give a shout-out to the writer of this headline, but I can’t. It’s missing the hyphen that makes shout-out a noun:

shout out tv hp

How on God’s green earth do you explain this one? Did the writer first pound out it’s, decide that it’s wrong, and change it to it is?

it is tv hp

I bet the writer of this headline would like to turn back time and correct this blunder:

turining tv

Finally, another typo (how could anyone miss that?) and a second misspelling of Mr. Harington’s name:

harrington tv hp 2


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