If you don;t like this…

If you don’t like the use of a semicolon to form a contraction, you won’t like this caption from Yahoo! Makers. But it doesn’t stop there: Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, the writer (who happens to be the site’s editor in chief) doesn’t know the difference between you’re and your and she omitted the hyphen in the compound adjective store-bought:

dont like youre diy

For lack of a semicolon

Can you tell how many people were leaving LAX from this statement on yahoo.com?

fp olivier

There was Olivier Martinez. There was his wife. There was Halle Berry. And then there were some kids. Or maybe not.

Unless you know that Mr. Martinez’s wife is Halle Berry, it’s hard to tell how many adults were at LAX. Enter the semicolon!

The semicolon has fallen out of favor over the last few decades, but it has it uses. And this is one of them. Using a semicolon, you can distinguish an appositive from an item in a list. Like this:

The actor; his wife, Halle Berry; and their kids

Wondering how you keep your job

This is what I’m wondering: How the heck did this writer get a job with Yahoo! Style? Clearly this guy has a limited grasp of English:

wondering for more

It’s not the use of a comma instead of an em-dash or a semicolon, which is what should be used to join two independent clauses. It’s the whole “wondering for more” that has me wondering if English is his first language. And makes me wonder why there’s no editor to clean up his dribblings before they’re posted.

Not just for car enthusiasts

I don’t usually hang around Yahoo! Autos. It’s not because I don’t like cars; it’s because I’m not really interested in reading about cars. And now that I’ve seen the home page of Autos, I think I may be mousing around there, looking for some gems for Terribly Write.

I didn’t have to look very far to see this mismatch of subject and verb. Nor to find the outdated reference to Czechoslovakia, which hasn’t existed in over 20 years:

makes czech autos

This is one of those typos that defies explanation. Wouldn’t a spell-checker have alerted the writer that parnetship isn’t really a word?

parnetship autos

I guess no one at Yahoo! knows how to use punctuation. You have to wonder why the writer didn’t think to include the apostrophe in harm’s way and why he or she thought a semicolon (and not a comma) was correct here:

harms way no apos autos

Yahoo! Autos: It’s not just for car enthusiasts.

Both are wrong

In this little excerpt from Yahoo! Sports’ “Ball Don’t Lie,” the writer uses both with more than two items (which is both wrong and puzzling) and then follows up with a semicolon where a comma is called for:

both sports

The word both can only be used with two items — no more, no less. A semicolon can be used to join two independent clauses that are not joined by a conjunction. But in this example, the second clause is a dependent clause, meaning that it can’t stand alone as a sentence.

You just have to wonder

You just have to wonder what was going through the Yahoo! Shine writer’s head that made her think that twentysomethings was a proper noun:

mill 1

I wonder what’s so hard about copying the name Center on Education and the Workforce. You don’t have to remember it or know how to spell it. All you have to do is copy it and paste it into the article. I can almost understand not capitalizing mom, though it’s a proper noun in this context. And Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

mill 2

There’s no need to capitalize Mr. Carnevale’s title; there is, however, a need to learn to spell millennial:

mill 3

The number of errors skyrocketed with this excerpt, which includes the split-up skyrocket. The author also confuses a degree with a diploma; a high school graduate has a diploma, not a degree. Again with the capitalized twentysomethings! And then there’s an alleged quote, which I’ll bet you dollars to donuts is really a misquote BECAUSE IT MAKES NO SENSE:

mill 4

Sorry about the ALL CAPS. I get carried away sometimes when I read something that’s so badly written by a person who is actually paid to write. And especially one who can’t be bothered to spell-check:

mill 5

Nice try here with the comma. Unfortunately, it’s wrong. It should be a semicolon because the sentence comprises two independent clauses that are not joined by a conjunction:

mill 6

So, this brings us to the next misspelling of millennials — a spelling that the author clings to like a drowning man clutching an anchor. Perhaps she wouldn’t be so clingy if she bothered to do a spell-check:

mill 7

There’s an attempt here to use hyphens, but they’re wrong. To show a range of ages, the writer needs hyphens and a space and the word to, like this: 18- to 24-year-old. And that other hyphen is no substitute for a real dash:

mill 8

I’m just guessin’, but I don’t think the writer has a bachelor’s degree in English:

mill 9

You just have to wonder how a professional writer can make so many mistakes and still get paid.

Making do with what you have

If you make three boneheaded errors at the beginning of a sentence, perhaps you should stop writing and correct your mistakes, rather than continue with the sentence.

news new have

But the writer for Yahoo! News‘ “The Sideshow” has another idea: He’s happy to make do with the limited skills he has. He doesn’t seem to mind that New Haven got shortchanged, that due isn’t what the police made, and that a semicolon isn’t a substitute for a comma.

Are you kidding!?

Was the writer for Yahoo! Movies having a good laugh when writing about a movie that’s “to risque”? Personally, I think that’s too funny, as are the misspelling of Flintstones and the use of a comma where a semicolon belongs:

spring movies 1

If you’re a phonetic speller, you might think this is how to spell Judy Blume. Oh, there’s that semicolon! Of course, it doesn’t belong here:

spring movies 2

OK, so now I know the writer has a sense of humor. Maybe she meant court marshal? Or court jester, because this is kinda funny:

spring movies 3

Ha-ha! No, it’s not the same “Jurassic Park” we knew and loved, it’s some crazed misspelling:

spring movies 4

Reign of error

This 2-sentence excerpt comprises some common mistakes you’ll see on Yahoo! Movies:

free reign movies

There’s the misuse of comprised of, which should be comprises or consists of or something similar. Then there’s the use of twenty-six, which isn’t a mistake if that’s the house style. But, most style guides recommend using digits for numbers that are 10 or above. What’s not a matter of house style? The use of a semicolon, which should be a comma.

When it comes to language, style and punctuation, it appears that the writer had free rein.

Why would you do that?

Seeing mistakes every day on the Yahoo! front page, I ask myself: How did that happen? How did a mistake like this get past the proofreader?

How did this attempt at mortgage escape the spell-checker?

And why would a writer think you needed to capitalize the word following a semicolon?

And then I think, Oh, yeah. This Yahoo!. Nobody there cares about spelling, grammar, punctuation, or facts. And I go back to doing my Sudoku.

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