Who you calling a “good writer”?

Based solely on this sentence from Yahoo! Style, would you call the author a “good writer“? Would it matter to you that she doesn’t know where to place a question mark? Because this blogger isn’t feeling so good right about now. And neither are the readers of this sentence:

You know the old saying?

You know the old saying “it’s better to write fast than to write well”? No? That’s because I made it up after reading this on Yahoo! Style:

sleeves-sweater

I’m trying to come up with a reason for so many errors, like the missing punctuation in what should be ’70s, and the use of its for the  contraction it’s. And more missing punctuation and the misspelling of granddad. And why the writer would call this sweater a “sleeves sweater”:

sleeveless

It’s a sleeveless sweater or a vest or even a sweater vest.

But why so many errors? I can only surmise that the writer was under an incredible time crunch, that she’s not a great typist and that she hasn’t completely mastered English. And the company she works for has very, very low standards for content. Maybe even no standards.

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.

Guess what’s not a question

Guess what’s not a question. It’s this headline on the home page of Yahoo! TV:

guess ques tv

That’s an imperative sentence starting with guess, which is a command to the reader, not a question.

Prom? Is that your question?

It’s a short question, and it may mean something to a Yahoo! Style reader, but to me it’s nonsense:

prom ques sty hp

Prom? That’s the question? Uh, no. The question is: Are these kids too young to be dressing up for ‘prom’? The entire headline is a question, not just the word in the quotation marks.

Guess what’s not a question

Guess what’s not a question on the home page of Yahoo! Style. This:

guess who sty

It’s not a question, it’s a imperative sentence.

Is this the end?

Is this the end of the “Stupid Punctuation Placements”? Probably not. It’s on the home page of Yahoo! Parenting, where the editor thinks “Post-Baby Bikini Body” is an actual question:

body quest quot par

Surprise! Guess what’s wrong here

No surprise here: Yahoo! Makers makes a mistake. Shocking, no?

guess quest diy

Guess what the mistake is. It’s that question mark at the end of an imperative sentence.

Where did it go?

Where in the world did the question mark go in this headline from Yahoo! Travel?

miss ques tra

Guess where the mistake is

Guess where the mistake is on the home page of Yahoo! Movies.

guess where quest mov

It’s that question mark at the end of an imperative sentence.

There are four kinds of sentences: One is the declarative sentence. Do you know what an interrogative sentence is? Tell me what an imperative sentence is. That’s not an exclamatory sentence!

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