Reader asks: ‘Where is the question mark?’

Did Trump really rail about money for the WALL? That’s the question Yahoo News asks:

Did he rail or didn’t he rail? Perhaps he just asked the question, “Where is the money for … the WALL?” And perhaps the editors at Yahoo don’t know where a question mark goes when quoting an actual question. Here’s a hint: Before the closing quotation mark.

Advertisements

Quote unquote

Whose back did Lola Openg want scratched? That’s the question I’m left with when I read this on Yahoo Lifestyle:

The writer alleges that Ms. Openg said, “Scratch her back.” Whose back would that be? In fact Ms. Openg asked Alexa, “Scratch my back.” That’s a bit different, isn’t it? And that illustrates what happens when a writer and editor have no idea what a direct quote is.

Did you really ‘go bonkers’?

When writing this headline, did the Yahoo! Finance editors really “go bonkers”?

Did  they forget that a question mark goes before a closing quotation mark only when the quoted matter is a question?

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:

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.

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.

‘Crazy punctuation’: Who wrote that?

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

fp-colon-quot

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.

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.

Editors are mum

When asked why they put quotation marks around a character’s name and why they thought “details are mum” made sense, the editors at yahoo.com are mum:

fp mum

If the name of the movie Mr. Affleck will direct is “Batman,” then it deserves quotation marks. But it’s not. That’s the name of the character that will be central to a movie. Character names don’t get special treatment. You wouldn’t write about “Romeo” and “Juliet” would you? (Well, if you’re a Yahoo! editor you might, but the rest of the English-speaking world wouldn’t.) And why tell us that “details are mum”? Because aren’t details always silent? Perhaps it was the producer who is mum and details are missing or nonexistent.

%d bloggers like this: