Were you comma-tose at the time?

Here’s a relatively unimportant fact: In the United States, a comma is placed before closing quotation marks; in the rest of the English-speaking world, it goes after.

commas-yr-end

Where do you think the person who wrote this for Yahoo! hails from? England? Canada? Australia?

That’s altogether different

This Yahoo! Style writer should get a jump-start on her high school diploma and head over to a dictionary. She might learn that jump-start has a hyphen, workout is one word when it’s a noun and this sentence is altogether different from correct:

jumpstart-work-out-altogether-sty

Let’s say this all together: If you mean “totally, entirely, completely,” use altogether. Use all together when you mean “together, as a unit or whole.”

This is a shoo-in for worst mistake of the day

From Yahoo! Style:

shoe-in-style

The noun meaning a sure winner is shoo-in.

What was the character’s real name?

And you thought that William Christopher’s character on M*A*S*H was Father Mulcahy? That really was not the character’s name, according to the Einsteins at yahoo.com:

fp-father-mulcahy

Why did the editors think that the name required quotation marks except to indicate it was the character’s so-called name? I guess if they were writing about characters in a Shakespearean play they’d refer to “Romeo” and “Juliet.” And they’d be wrong about that, too.

How one dreadful headline led to a headache

Oy. Does my head ache! And I blame it on this headline from Yahoo! Movies:

lead-4-led-cel

It led to my throbbing temples. What made the editor think that lead was the past tense of lead? When lead is pronounced led, it’s the stuff that’s in a pencil. The past tense of the verb lead (which is pronounced leed) is led. Which leads me to another source of my pain: That crazy hyphen before Detour. What led the editor to believe that was correct?

Let’s run through that again

Let’s run through this one more time for the folks at Yahoo! Style: If you’re unsure of the spelling of a word, consult a dictionary. If a word looks funny (like, oh, say, maybe throughs), consult a dictionary:

run-throughs-sty

If the writer had done that, she might have seen that run-throughs is a noun requiring a hyphen. Just in case incidents like this happen to arise, editors can cut them out and replace them with the correct word. Editors can also be sure pronouns (like them, not it) match their antecedents (which in this case is incidents).

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.

%d bloggers like this: