What’s still going on at Yahoo?

Yesterday I did something I seldom do; I published a blog post with multiple boo-boos from the Yahoo! front page. Usually I just cover one, but the errors on yahoo.com were so numerous, that I lumped them all in a single post.

Did I just write “all”? That’s not quite accurate, because after that post went live, the hits misses just kept on comin’. Like this attempt at trying to spell Sprinkler:

fp sprinker

And this pathetic try at Steve Carell’s name:

fp steve carrell

This looks to be an attempt at saying “Johnny Manziel owes his appeal to” or “Johnny Manziel’s appeal is due to”:

fp appeal owes to

Oh, lordie. This so-called headline contains redundant quotation marks. Don’t use quotation marks if you’re using so-called because they mean the same thing:

fp so-called costco

I’m no chemist (in fact, chemistry was my weakest subject in college), but I know something about logic. Here’s the scoop: If everything in the world is made up of chemicals, you really don’t need to tell us that “not all are toxic” because it’s unlikely there would still be a human being alive if everything were toxic:

fp chemicals

Is it chicken or just chicken-like?

Are chicken-fried vegetables anything like “chicken”-fried veggies? I think that one has been fried in a fat that was also used to fry chicken and the other was fried in something that was used to fry faux chicken. According to yahoo.com, you’ll find recipes for both on Yahoo!:

fp chicken-fried

No, thanks. I’m allergic

Nuts? No, thanks.

Maybe you weren’t asking if I wanted some of that salty stuff. Maybe you were trying to ask an entirely different question. But, the truth is, the folks at yahoo.com were asking: Nuts?

fp nuts

Why can’t they remember that if the words inside the quotation marks form a question, then the question mark goes inside, too? It’s a common mistake at Yahoo!, and it just drives me nuts.

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.

Jared Leto wasn’t really best supporting actor

When I read this opening paragraph from Yahoo! Shine, I could almost see the writer doing “air quotes” as she alleges (with a wink) that Jared Leto won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar:

constace shine

It’s odd that the writer would choose to put the Oscar category in quotation marks (they don’t belong there) and not the movie title (they belong there). Also odd is the fact that she got the name of the film wrong (it’s not Buyer’s, but Buyers) and mangled Constance Leto’s first name.

That’s only the first sentence and the article already has three errors. Not bad for Yahoo!.

Is that your question?

Parking ticket? That’s quite a question, and even though it makes no sense, that’s what this headline on Yahoo! News asks:

ticket quest news

It’s a common error on Yahoo!, but I can’t figure out why. It’s so illogical. The only explanation I can think of: In the U.S., commas and periods go before a closing quotation mark. So, maybe Yahoo!’s writers think all punctuation marks go before a closing quote mark. It just ain’t so. If a question mark applies to the words inside the quotation marks, it goes inside the quotation marks, too.  Pretty simple, no?

Oxygen deprived?

Can oxygen deprivation cause grammatical errors? That’s the question on my mind when I read this excerpt from Yahoo! Shine:


There has to be some explanation for that quotation mark without a match. Some reason the writer thinks the possessive of company is companies. (It’s not; it’s company’s.) Some rationale for using the contraction it’s (which means “it is” or “it has”) instead of the correct its. Some clarification for the missing is in what should be “is loaded.” Some justification for not using a spell-checker to catch the obviously misspelled vitamins.

I can’t think of any reason for these gaffes. Can you?

Should you give this writer a ‘performance review’?

If you were reviewing the performance of the writer of this headline on Yahoo! Shine, what grade would you give?

quest mark shine

Knowing where to place punctuation should be a basic requirement of any headline writer. I’d give the writer an F for the placement of the question mark (it belongs after the closing quotation mark). But I’d award some bonus points just for knowing that a question mark is required.

Do you know where the punctuation goes?

… and where the punctuation went? There seems to be a few things wrong here on the Yahoo! front page. Can you spot them?

fp do you watch

First, there are two single quotation marks (looking a lot like apostrophes), the location of which makes no sense. Then there’s that question mark placed to indicate that the question is: The Hunger Games? Does that sound like a question to you? So, there’s that. And there’s only one double quotation mark. Those things always come in pairs, don’t they? So where’s the other one?

So, it’s not really Nirvana?

You only think that Kurt Cobain was the lead singer for Nirvana, but the geniuses at the Yahoo! front page have news for you: The group’s name wasn’t really Nirvana. That’s why they put the name in quotation marks:

fp nirvana

Or… There is an alternate explanation for those punctuation characters: The Einsteins have no idea when to use quotation marks. This is probably the first time in journalistic history they’ve been used to surround the name of a band. Perhaps in some other country, where the writer lives, it’s correct; but it’s not in the U.S.


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