Fifty shades of Grey? Is that your question?

No, no, no. Somehow writers and editors at Yahoo! got the idea that terminating punctuation always goes before a closing quotation mark. To prove my assertion (as if one more example is proof), here’s a headline from Yahoo! Movies:

grey apos ques mov

In the U.S., commas and periods go before the closing quote mark. Colons and semicolons go after the quote mark. But exclamation marks and question marks can go before or after the quotation mark, depending on meaning. A question mark goes before the closing quote mark only if the words within the quotation marks are an actual question. That means that the writer thinks “Fifty shades of Grey” is the question. It is not.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we find a missing hyphen or an unnecessary hyphen.

fp plane tracking

Seems like they just can’t agree on much of anything at yahoo.com.

So different from correct

This is different from correct grammar on the Yahoo! front page:

fp different than players

The writer and editor goofed with the different than, but they also screwed up by omitting an apostrophe: different from most veteran players’.

How is that a question?

How could that be a question?

fp how lost

If the brain trust at the Yahoo! front page had written “How is body heat lost?” — that would be a question.

How many mistakes can you make?

How many mistakes can you make in a single sentence? If you’re the writer for Yahoo! Style, at least four. You’d start by claiming that Jennifer Hudson has children. She does not; she has one son. Then you’d omit the hyphen in the noun carry-on. Then you’d screw up identifying the children in the picture and claim that SpongeBob doesn’t need a capital B:

jhud

Here’s the picture. The boy in the plaid shirt is Jennifer Hudson’s only child. The boy not in the “gingham button down” is the one with the SpongeBob “rolling suitcase.”

jhud pic

On the plus side, the writer did spell Jennifer Hudson’s name correctly. There’s that.

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.

Remembering and forgetting wild things

Do you remember the ’60s song “Wild Thing”? This Yahoo! Makers writer remembers the song, but not its real title. She remembers the decade it was popular, but not where an apostrophe goes when writing about it. (The apostrophe is used to indicate the missing number 19, not to indicate a plural: ’60s.) She remembers how to spell valentine, but not that it’s a common noun when referring to a loved one. Oops. She didn’t remember that a question ends in a question mark:

wild thing diy 1

And I don’t remember seeing a misspelling of retailer Michaels this wild:

wild thing diy 2

Use / or or, but not both

When reading this list of materials for a DIY project on Yahoo! Makers, I almost overlooked the redundant use of the slash and the word or. That’s because I was focused on the word velum:

velum diy

I haven’t seen that word outside of biology textbooks. The velum is a thin membrane or the soft palate, which is the back of the roof of the mouth. I’m not sure how you’d use it instead of tracing paper. Perhaps the writer meant vellum. Just takin’ a wild guess.

It’s not Valentine’s Day

What can I say? What can anyone say after reading this on Yahoo! Style?

choose former

Published on February 12, two days before Valentine’s Day, this little article can’t get anything right, even though it was written by Yahoo Style “Editors.” They don’t know it’s not Valentine’s Day; they can’t even spell Valentine’s Day. As if that’s not bad enough, they recommend some outfits (in red, the traditional color for the holiday) for readers who choose to ignore the day. Is it possible that the team of “editors” has confused former and latter? Yup.

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