This intro to an Instagram star on Yahoo Lifestyle just tanked:
This is Tank McNamara, a comic strip character:
George Resch is known as Tank Sinatra.
Didn’t we all learn this in third grade: To form the plural of a word ending in a consonant and Y, change the Y to I and add ES. No, we didn’t. At least the writer and editor for Yahoo Lifestyle didn’t learn that:
Not only did they miss it, their spell-checker missed it, too. Unless they don’t actually have a spell-checker.
Gosh, I feel really stupid. All my life I’ve thought that lyrics were the words of a song. According to Yahoo Lifestyle, word and lyrics are two totally different things:
OK, I’ll also admit I don’t know what the writer meant by the word word. Was the writer referring to Mr. Petty’s promise (as in “he kept his word”) or to actual words (as in “lyrics of a song”)? I’m so confused.
My previous blog post noted a missing apostrophe on the front page of Yahoo News. I think I’ve found it. It turned up in a headline on Yahoo Lifestyle:
The apostrophe simply doesn’t belong there. When faced with a similar situation — a length of time preceding an adjective — don’t include the apostrophe. (But if the time period modifies a noun, it gets an apostrophe: one day’s pay, ten years’ experience.
If that’s too grammar-geeky a rule for you, try this: Replace the length of time with the singular: one month pregnant sounds right; one month’s pregnant doesn’t. So, no apostrophe in the plural. Of course this method requires that you have an “ear” for correct English.
If you’re a writer, editor, blogger, or just someone interested in writing in excruciatingly correct English, you might have occasion to refer to a style guide. A style guide can be an internal company document or a public publication, like the Associated Press Stylebook. Many media companies use the AP guide as the definitive source of spelling, capitalization, word choice, and the like. But not Yahoo News, apparently.
According to AP style, cabinet should be capitalized when referring to the president’s advisers, and not to a piece of furniture. (Other authorities, such as the Government Printing Office and the New York Times, recommend capitalizing the word in that context.) But ultimately it’s a matter of house style. So, I’ll give that one a pass.
Not getting a pass? The use of him instead of the reflexive pronoun himself. (When the subject and the pronoun refer to the same person, use a reflexive pronoun, which ends with self or selves.) And obviously, the doubled and in and and.