How about a job at a mini market?

Writers who insist on creating plural nouns with an apostrophe should be relegated to jobs at the local mini market next to the Rotten Robbie gas station. That’s where you’ll see an error like this, taken from an article by a professional Yahoo! Style writer:

mothers apos style

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.

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 yahoo.com 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

Try to keep your story straight

It must be hard for some people to keep information in their heads. Some people can write a paragraph and just can’t remember what they wrote minutes later. Take this excerpt from Yahoo! Style:

ball 1

We can’t expect a writer to remember that there’s no hyphen in nonprofit. Nor that there’s no “the Barbados.” Nor that amongst is considered a pretentious variation of among to American ears. But she might remember that she wrote about a foundation created in honor of Rihanna’s grandmother.

Dang! If you hadn’t told us this, I would have believed that the foundation was in honor of her grandmother:

ball 2

See? She forgot what she wrote in the preceding paragraph. That’s maybe too much info for anyone to recall.

Perhaps next time she pounds out an article for which she is paid real money to write, she’ll remember that a peak is a top and a peek is a quick look:

ball 3

One day’s worth of errors

This is just one error that showed up on Tuesday on Yahoo! Style:

7 days worth style

One day’s worth of writing errors would reveal a variety of goofs; seven days’ worth would be overwhelming.

I’m not the only one who’s confused

I’m totally confused — but not  as confused as the Yahoo! DIY writer who has an odd way with an apostrophe:

comin diy

She managed to correctly place an apostrophe in treatin’ to indicate the missing G. But she didn’t include one in comin; perhaps she thinks that’s a real word. But there’s no explanation for this: r’. What the heck is that? Is there a letter missing after the R that would make it a word?

And what’s up with that A before trick? Did she mean a-trick? If so, the hyphen seems to be another punctuation mark whose use totally eludes her. If you’re goin’ to be prefixin’ a verb with a-,  then the verb has to end in -ing: a-tricking.

I think that clears up some confusion for me. I have only one question left: Where the heck was the editor for this mess?

No wonder the writing is so bad

If I were lucky enough to be an editor in chief, you can bet I wouldn’t be making the same mistakes made by the head of Yahoo! DIY:

if i was lucky

Anyone wondering why the writing on DIY is so amateurish should consider that this little paragraph was written by the editor in chief of the website. If she doesn’t care about the quality of her own writing, why would she care about the quality of the musings of others?

Just in case someone from Yahoo! DIY is reading this, here’s the scoop: You should use the subjunctive mood for statements that are not factual; hence, were (not was) is the correct verb. In English, we capitalize the pronoun I. And finally, if you’re not asking a question, don’t conclude a sentence with a question mark.

Everyone needs an editor. Even an editor in chief.

You really meant firery, didn’t you?

I was willing to call it a typo. Obviously the writer for Yahoo! DIY knew how to spell fiery. She was just a little clumsy when typing out the headline:

firery diy

Then I noticed that she didn’t know that the thing over a fireplace was a mantel. Then I noticed a repeated firery. This time it had to be intentional. She really thinks that’s a word! Just like she really thinks that an ellipsis is made up of six periods, and not the customary three.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom. Halloween edition

One of these spellings on the Yahoo! front page is probably right. Which one? I don’t know. But I do know that if you can’t be right, at least be consistent: Pick one spelling and go with it. Oh, and let the other person also writing on yahoo.com know what you’ve decided.

fp hall-oween

It took a whole team to write this badly?

Here’s a shocking admission from Yahoo! Style: This article, and all its errors, was written by “Yahoo Style Editors.” Apparently it takes more than one editor to screw up this badly. In general first ladies doesn’t get capital-letter treatment (at least according to most authorities, including the Associated Press). And no authority would OK the use of an apostrophe in the plural houses. (But no article from Style would be complete without at least one apostrophe in a plural):

fl 1

One of those “Yahoo Style Editors” really ought to be able to spell the name of every U.S. president, so one of them should be able to spell every president’s wife’s name, too. Like Nancy Reagan:

fl 2

I kinda think that’s inexcusable. And I’m horrified that the writers think that Hillary Clinton was inaugurated in 1997. She never had her own inauguration. She did, however, attend her husband’s 1997 inauguration.

Those “editors” could use a little tutelage in the use of a spell-checker:

fl 3

Lordie, lordie. Doesn’t anyone in the group of “Yahoo Style Editors” know how to spell? Or use a dictionary? Or a spell-checker?

fl 4

And finally there’s just one more lie they have to tell. (It’s probably not a lie so much as an inability for the combined brains of “Yahoo Style Editors” to understand words of more than two syllables.) Mrs. Clinton did not wear an embellished gown to her husband’s second term ceremony. She wore one to her husband’s second-term Inaugural Ball.

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