Lily-Rose Depp, 17 years old

You might have overlooked the missing hyphen in Lily-Rose Depp’s name in this excerpt from Yahoo! Style:

pharrel-2

You might have ignored the misspelling of Métiers d’Arts. But no one could miss 17 years old. It’s just wrong here. It’s OK in “Lily-Rose is 17 years old.” But when used as an adjective, it should be “17-year-old Lily Rose.”

Is that your question?

“Based on a true story?” That’s the question that yahoo.com asks:

fp-ques-quot

Of course, that makes no sense, because the entire headline is actually the question. For some reason the editor made a common mistake (at least it’s common on Yahoo!) by placing the question mark before the closing quotation mark. In the U.S., a comma and period go before a closing quotation mark; a semicolon and colon go after. If you’re looking to place a question mark, put it before the closing quote only if the entire text inside the quotation marks is a question. Otherwise, it goes after the closing quote mark.

Bad Santas

From Yahoo! Style we get bad Santas — spelled with an unnecessary (and incorrect) apostrophe:

santas-apos-sty

Not a New York-born writer?

I’m imagining a Yahoo! Style editor saying to this writer, “You need to put a hyphen in ‘New York born’ because it’s a compound adjective.” And the writer saying “OK, will do!” And this is what happened:

new-york-born-sty

There’s that hyphen! It’s just in the wrong place. There’s no need to hyphenate New York (that’s just wrong); the hyphen belongs after New York.

Your apostrophe

Someday the writers and editors at Yahoo! Style might actually display some knowledge of English grammar. This is not that day:

trump-apos-s-sty

The plural of a name that doesn’t end in S is just the name with an added S, like this: the Clintons, the Obamas. (Adding an apostrophe makes the name a possessive, not a plural.) If the name ends in S, make it plural by adding an ES. But under no circumstances does the plural involve an apostrophe. Unless you’re writing about Mr. and Mrs. Apostrophe; then they’re the Apostrophes.

Hyper hyphenation

Somebody over at yahoo.com must love hyphens enough to throw them around like rice at a wedding:

fp-world-series-starved

It’s a well-known rule that a hyphen can join two words to form a compound modifier before a noun. But if one of those words is actually a name or other proper noun, don’t stuff a hyphen in it. So, the following are all correct: a World Series-starved team, a Donald Trump-inspired wig, a Hillary Clinton-signed book.

Friends’ and families’ faces fall

If well-educated editors overlooked this error on Yahoo! Style, their friends’ and families’ faces would fall to the floor:

friends-and-familys-sty

I’m assuming that the friends and families (there’s probably more than one family involved) have separated faces, so there needs to be an apostrophe after the S on both friends’ and families’.

When in doubt

When in doubt about forming the possessive of a word, just follow the example of this Yahoo! Style writer:

friendss-sty

Does the apostrophe go before the S? After the S? Unsure? Put it before and after! Turn your dilemma into dilemma-ade!

The only publicly misused punctuation

OK, so I lied. There is no single punctuation character that is publicly misused. Every punctuation character is misused in public, especially on Yahoo!. This time the punctuation is a hyphen and the site is Yahoo! Finance:

publicly-traded-fin

The rule: Don’t put a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word it modifies.

‘Crazy punctuation’: Who wrote that?

Somebody at yahoo.com probably misunderstood a punctuation rule when it comes to quotation marks:

fp-colon-quot

In the U.S., commas and periods go before a closing quotation mark. (In other English-speaking countries, they go after the quotation mark.) But, regardless of country, two punctuation marks never go before a closing quotation mark: Colons and semicolons.

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