If you don;t like this…

If you don’t like the use of a semicolon to form a contraction, you won’t like this caption from Yahoo! Makers. But it doesn’t stop there: Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, the writer (who happens to be the site’s editor in chief) doesn’t know the difference between you’re and your and she omitted the hyphen in the compound adjective store-bought:

dont like youre diy

New stork Fashion Week

Try to keep in mind as you read this article from Yahoo! Style that it was written by paid professionals and not third graders:

new stork

It’s not about a new (or even old) stork. It’s about New York Fashion Week. The writers can’t “get it off the brain,” by which I think they mean get it out their mind, because I’m not sure about their having actual brains.

They can’t punctuate a common contraction like can’t. Although New “stork” Fashion Week is over, they’ve posted their favorite looks “so far,” implying that there are more fashions coming, which is impossible since the fashion week “just wrapped.”

In related news, they seem to love adding an apostrophe and an S to names — both first and last names. I think I’ve seen an 8-year-old do that once.

Not to be confused with Uptown Abbey

Everyone I know is a fan of the PBS series “Downton Abbey.”  I thought it was a universally loved show, until I read this on Yahoo! Style:

downtown abbey sty

One thing’s for sure, this is a writer who’s unfamiliar the series and with contractions and their need for an apostrophe.

You’re going to enjoy this

I think you’re going to enjoy this. It’s a card that you can make following the instructions on Yahoo! Makers:

youre maker

When it comes to the step to add your handwritten message, you’re going to want to spell it correctly. Don’t embarrass yourself in front of the card’s recipient — or like this writer, in front of millions of readers.

Let’s pretend you know what it means

Let’s change this word on Yahoo! Parenting so that it’s correct:

lets parent

It needs an apostrophe to indicate the omission of a letter. Few people (especially those under the age of a dinosaur) know that let’s is a contraction of let us.

As you are wont to do

It may be a simple case of a missing apostrophe or it may be a case of mistaken word. The writers at Yahoo! Sports are wont to make both types of error:

wont sports

The word should be won’t, a contraction of will not. The verb wont means “accustomed, used to, or likely.”

‘Tis a mystery

The apostrophe is a useful little mark. It’s often used to indicate where a letter is missin’ in a contraction. So, what letter did the writer think was missing in this opening paragraph on Yahoo! Travel?

tis apost travel

Is tis’ a contraction for tisk? tisp? ‘Tis a mystery, it is.

That isn’t isn’t

You don’t need a close-up of this caption on Yahoo! News to see that one word isn’t spelled correctly and another is missing its hyphen:

inst news

I’m wont to complain and I won’t stop

Does a single little punctuation mark make a difference in a sentence? Sometimes, yes. Consider the missing apostrophe in what should be won’t on Yahoo! Sports:

wont sports hp

The word wont as a verb means “to make accustomed to” or “to be in the habit of.” The writer meant won’t, a contraction of will not.

‘Tis ’tis, ’tain’t tis’

Most people know a little something about the apostrophe. They know the apostrophe’s uses include showing possession. They know it’s also used in something called contractions — not the kind involving birthin’ babies. The kind that involves removing a letter or two from a word or words, like isn’t, we’ve, and they’re. The apostrophe shows where there’s a letter or two gone missin’. It’s helpful to your readers, except if you put it in the wrong place:

tis apost sports pr

I gotta give the writer for Yahoo! Sports’ “Prep Rally” credit for at least tryin’. But the contraction he’s looking for is ’tis — a contraction for it is.

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