You know what’s even better than this sentence on the Yahoo! front page? The contraction it’s with an apostrophe:
When you’re looking for reliable information about investing, finance, or business, what website do you turn to? Yahoo! Finance? If you’re like most people, you’re adversely influenced by the number of mistakes, no matter how minor, you find. Typos, misspellings, and grammar mistakes all erode the credibility of a website or an article.
So, how credible do you find this article, where the writer apparently knew she needed an apostrophe in the first sentence, but couldn’t figure out where? Or that she’s a little skimpy when it comes to her hyphen usage?
(Omitting the hyphens in an age is one of the top 3 hyphen errors you’ll find on Yahoo!.)
I really think that if you’re going to write about finance and business for adults, you need to know the difference between a product (oh, like, say a Barbie doll) and a manufacturer (like Mantel). I’m pretty sure that even though Barbie is a pretty smart, yet plastic cookie, she did not release a doll:
Perhaps to prove that she is completely uninterested in the correct use of punctuation, the writer throws in some random and thoroughly incorrect commas. But I’ll admit to one positive note: The writer has got me interested in seeing those ads where the Chinese actress stares, presumably at the camera:
It’s hard to believe that a professional writer (even one who works for Yahoo! Makers) can make this mistake:
Using the contraction it’s (which means it is or it has), instead of the correct possessive pronoun its is one of the most common mistakes anywhere, but especially at Yahoo!.
In the same article the writer makes another homophonic error. This is too funny:
I was thinking of taking the gloves off when writing about the mistakes in a recent article on Yahoo! Style. But then I took pity on the writer, who is probably just tired and overworked and still learning English. That’s the only explanation I could come up with when I read the very first paragraph:
Who doesn’t know that who is used exclusively for human beings? Oh, this writer. The correct word is which. And who doesn’t know that it’s is short for it is or it has. This tired, overworked writer.
But the blunder that had me feeling really, really sorry for the writer was this:
That’s gotta be the result of a muddled head, unable to think clearly due to stress, long hours, and short deadlines. Yeah, that’s the reason.
Take a peek at this capitalization (or rather, lack of capitalization) of Christmas on Yahoo! DIY:
Who doesn’t know to capitalize the holiday? The same person who doesn’t know that using that to refer to human beings is considered impolite. The pronoun who would be more to Emily Post’s liking.
Just one peek into this paragraph reminds us that the writer isn’t fond of capitalizing holidays like Valentine’s Day:
Or Mother Nature:
Reading that, you feel like you are really peeking into the mind of the writer, who has trouble picking the right homophone and who forgets to use an apostrophe to show that it’s kids’ art.
If you’ve never seen than mistaken for then, or haven’t seen the compound adjective 30-second without its hyphen, then you haven’t been reading Yahoo! DIY.
What would Yahoo! DIY be without its very own misuse of it’s for its?
Somehow in that same article, this got past the eagle-eyed editors:
I think it has something to do with wearing a pattern to keep your head warm. Frankly, I think a hat would be warmer than a pattern.
Of course there are more typos, like this one below:
Call me old-fashioned, but I appreciate the well-placed hyphen and the beauty of a real dash (like this: —) and not a puny hyphen:
Also, I think pronouns (like them) should refer to a noun that’s actually present in the same sentence. Or paragraph. Or article.
It’s not unusual for a writer to use the possessive pronoun its when the contraction it’s is called for. So, I wasn’t surprised to see this goof on Yahoo! DIY:
What did surprise me was that the writer uses it’s instead of the correct its:
She’s really, really confused. But she can clear up this problem by writing it’s every time she thinks its is correct — and vice versa.