If it ends in S, give it an apostrophe

The basic rule of punctuation over at Yahoo! Style seems to be: If a word or name ends in S, add an apostrophe.

rivers apos passed sty

It may not be the worst mistake they’ll make and maybe there are people reading right past that error. But most people won’t get past the passed, which passes for past.

Once you get past that…

Once you get past the misused word on Yahoo! Finance, things like kinda OK:

passed fin

Heck, it could be worse. She could have misspelled athletes. Oops. Looks like someone writing for the accompanying video did:

atheletes fin

Don’t try so hard

If I were the editor for this Yahoo! Style writer, I’d take her aside and whisper, “Honey, don’t try so hard. You’re just not good enough with the big words. Keep it simple.”

permeated passed

Even if the writer had used past (instead of what I think is the incorrect passed) that clause makes no sense. None. The writer was trying too hard to be clever. The reader would be trying too hard to decipher her message. Or, like me, would just give up and click on the next article.

It’s like a Spoonerism, but different

When I first read “par tine” on Yahoo! Sports, I thought the writer was attempting to be humorous. See, it’s like a Spoonerism for “pine tar,” except a Spoonerism would be “tine par.” So, maybe it’s like a Spoonerism followed by a transposition:

par 1

Then I read a bit more and decided that the writer was just careless. Like putting an apostrophe on Mets. After all, “Mets teammates” makes more sense. And then I saw that the writer didn’t know that afterall isn’t a word, but past is (and it’s the word he should have used):

par 2

After analyzing these excerpts I concluded that the writer heeds nelp.

In the past, this might have passed

In the past, before I became obsessed with documenting some of the mistakes on Yahoo! (no one, not even me, could address all of them), I might have dashed past this error from Yahoo! Shine:

passed shine

The word passed is the past tense of the verb pass; the adverb the writer should have used is past.

This passed by the writer, who looked past the error

I’ve read that there are people who confuse the past tense of pass with past. But I didn’t believe it until I encountered this from Yahoo! Finance‘s “The Daily Ticker”:

The writer should have used past, which means, among other things, “beyond in position, farther than.”

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