‘Crazy punctuation’: Who wrote that?

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


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.

“Swappable”: Where to put that colon

It’s not a huge mistake, but it’s worth mentioning: The Yahoo! Tech writer should swap the location of that colon and quotation mark:

colon quo tek

In the U.S., only two punctuation marks always go after a closing quotation mark: the colon and the semicolon.

‘You don’t know me’: Reader reacts

What could possibly be wrong with this headline on Yahoo! Parenting?

colon quot parent

The punctuation. Two punctuation marks never go before a closing quotation mark: a colon and a semicolon.

Back off the punctuation!

Here’s something you don’t see often, three consecutive punctuation marks:

colon parent

I don’t know the thinking behind all those little symbols on Yahoo! Parenting, but at least one of them is in the wrong place. If the writer insists on using both quotation marks and a colon, then the colon should go after the closing quotation mark. It is one of two punctuation characters that always go after a closing quotation mark in the U.S.; the other is the semicolon.

It would still be wrong

Even if the writer for Yahoo! Movies had remembered to put the hyphen in run-in, the word would still be wrong:

run in omg 1

A run-in is a quarrel or argument; it’s not a casual meeting.

But aside from that, what mistakes did the writer make? There’s some problem with familiar faces, because the writer implies that Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey share the same face:

run in omg 2

This writer really has issues with punctuation. She puts an erroneous apostrophe is Wednesdays and puts a semicolon within quotation marks. In U.S. English, two punctuation characters never, ever go before a closing quotation mark: a colon and a semicolon.

Guess what’s not a question

Are you as confounded by punctuation as the staffers over at Yahoo! Shine are? They seem to just sprinkle those little marks in everything they write, like so much fairy dust, as if they’ll turn the simplest headlines into Pulitzer-worthy gems.

It doesn’t work that way. Adding a colon doesn’t make this headline more striking. It just looks silly:

prince colon

They must think that any sentence or headline that starts with how is a question. That’s not how it works:

quest mark shine

That’s not a question. Guess what else is not a question — this simple imperative sentence:

question mark shine

Yahoo’s ‘colonapocalypse’: Blogger reacts

Why can’t the writers and editors for the Yahoo! front page get this right? It’s not that hard:

fp colon quot

In the U.S., the period and the comma go before the closing quotation mark; in other English-speaking countries, it goes after. But two punctuation marks always go after the closing quote, regardless of where you’re writing: the semicolon and the colon.

Let’s hope we never read this again

As Christmas draws to an end (at least where I live), let’s hope we don’t see a Santa Clause ever again:

santa clause in movies

I know it’s too much to hope that we never see a random colon again; it’s bound to show up on Yahoo! where it doesn’t belong.

‘Oops’: That’s not right

In the U.S., two punctuation marks always go after a closing quotation mark: the colon and semicolon. Except on the Yahoo! front page, where the rules of punctuation are optional:

fp colon quo

Yahoo ‘sucks at punctuation’: blogger

We Americans just like to do things differently. One of those things is where we place some punctuation marks relative to quotation marks. In the U.S., periods and commas go inside quotation marks, like this:

I said, “Periods go inside quotation marks.”

“Commas do too,” I added.

The rest of the English-speaking world tends to disagree with us Yanks. But there is one rule of punctuation we all agree on — everyone except the writers and editors at Yahoo! News: Colons and semicolons always go outside quotation marks.

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