‘Tis wrong

Why are apostrophes so difficult for some people? I don’t get it, ’cause I think they’re pretty simple to use. You know that an apostrophe can be used in contractions to signal the omission of a letter, such as isn’t (for is not) and don’t (for do not). They’re sometimes used at the beginning or end of a word to indicate a letter that’s been dropped off, if you’re followin’ me. So what letter did the writer for Yahoo! News think was omitted from tis’?

tis apos news

‘Tis clear to me that the writer doesn’t know that ’tis is a contraction of it is and that tis’ makes no sense.

Lily Rose-Depp drives readers crazy

This hyphenation on the Yahoo! Style home page is driving me crazy:

lily rose-depp sty hp

Did the writer really think her last name is Rose-Depp, as if she were the child of Pete Rose and Johnny Depp? Her name is Lily-Rose Depp and Johnny Depp is her father.

What’s on the chopping block?

If I made as many mistakes in my job as this writer for Yahoo! Style, I’d be afraid my job would be on the chopping block:

chopping block sty

At least I know the difference between a chopping block and an auction block, which is what she meant, but didn’t write. I also know not to put a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word following it.

What a waist!

Fashion shows are becoming more and more inclusive as women with less-than-perfect bodies take to the runways. As noted by a Yahoo! Style writer, one model’s body is unique: Her waist is just a tad higher than most women’s. In fact, it’s just under her armpits:

pink rope pic pink rope

I think it’s great! Not so great? The writer’s inability to match a verb (which should be suggest) with its plural subject and neglecting to hyphenate the adjective modern-day. But at least she spelled waist correctly, even if she can’t identify it.

You don’t get to do that

The writer for Yahoo! Style seems to think that she gets to decide where to place hyphens in the spelling of Charles de Gaulle Airport. She is mistaken:

charles sty

There are no hyphens there. But there is a capital letter in Airport (it’s part of the airport’s name, after all), and there’s a preferred spelling of cozy, which the writer preferred not to use.

It really wasn’t about unity and dialogue

If you heard the pope’s address to the United States Congress, you might have thought he highlighted unity and dialogue. But you would be wrong. The speech featured something like unity, but isn’t really unity, and something that might be called dialogue, but isn’t really dialogue. At least that’s how I interpret the quotation marks on the Yahoo! front page:

fp popepng

Another interpretation is that the writer really has no idea when to use those pesky little marks.

Hang on!

Hang on! I gotta check something on Yahoo! Style:

hanger ons sty

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.

Phoning it in

Nothing says “I don’t give a crap” about readers than sloppy writing. Perhaps the writer for Yahoo! Makers wrote these instructions on an iPhone and didn’t bother with capital letters or punctuation to end a sentence:

cheese cloth mak

I didn’t bother circling all the mistakes because I was afraid I’d run out of red ink. But you can see for yourself that she didn’t bother with the Shift key. She didn’t bother to end each sentence with a period, or spell cheesecloth correctly, or use the correct idiom if need be.

This is simply some of the sloppiest writing ever to appear on Yahoo!, and that saying a lot. If this were a third-grade writing assignment, she’d fail. She just phoned it in.

How many peoples were there?

There were some peoples at New York Fashion Week, according to Yahoo! Style:

peoples heads apos sty

That got me wondering: What peoples were they? The peoples of the United States? The peoples of Southeast Asia? Or some other group of human beings sharing a common culture or language?

Hmmm. Could it be that the writer misplaced that apostrophe? People is already a plural noun; its possessive is people’s.

Hand her a bevvy

What was the Yahoo! Style writer drinking when she wrote this? A bevvy? (That’s a drink. An alcoholic one.)

bevvy sty

There’s practically a bevy of minor mistakes there. Nothing serious, but enough to detract from the writing. Besides the misspelling, there’s the incorrect hyphen after an adverb ending in -LY and the use of a instead of an.


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