Here’s one major gaffe from Yahoo! Style, followed by a complete headscratcher:
Why do Yahoo! writers and editors have so much trouble with forming the possessive of a plural noun? It’s simple: coworkers is the plural; coworkers‘ is the possessive.
It took a team Yahoo! Style staffers to come up with this ridiculously wrong possessive of the plural noun models:
Apparently there was some disagreement in this brain trust as to where the apostrophe goes — before or after the S. So that put it before and after an S. (Just in case someone on the Style staff is reading this, here’s the scoop: the possessive of models is models’.)
Some words have simple plurals: Just add an S. But when two or more words combine to form a single entity, how do you form the plural? If you’re a writer for Yahoo! Style, the answer is “poorly.”
The plural of sister-in-law is sisters-in-law. Other plurals where the S doesn’t go on the end: courts-martial, attorneys general, passersby, and editors-in-chief.
Do you ever get confused about forming the possessive of a plural noun? Where does that apostrophe go? Before or after the S? If you find yourself in a quandary over possessives, just do what the writer for Yahoo! Celebrity did: Put in an extra S so that you can place that apostrophe before and after an S:
Writers’ mistakes like this happen all the time on Yahoo!.
Hang on! I gotta check something on Yahoo! Style:
Did I really read that? Does the writer really think that is the correct plural of hanger-on (notice the hyphen?) The plural is hangers-on, and it’s similar to plural of other hyphenated nouns: mothers-in-law, editors-in-chief, runners-up, and presidents-elect.
Does the writer for Yahoo! Style think that alumnus is the plural of alumnu, or is she just grammatically challenged?
Alumnus refers to one male graduate, although some writers use it to refer to a graduate regardless of gender. Its plural is alumni, which refers to male graduates or a group of male and female graduates. (A female grad is an alumna; its plural is alumnae.)
If all that is too much for this writer, she should have used alums, graduates, or grads.