Uniquely unprepared to edit

The editors at the Yahoo! front page seem uniquely unqualified to perform their jobs. They just can’t remember that there’s no hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY (like, oh, say, maybe uniquely) and the word that follows it:

fp uniquely-shaped

Not discreetly placed

This hyphen from Yahoo! Style is not discreetly placed; it’s as clear as day:

discretely-placed sty

If you care about writing that is scrupulously correct, you wouldn’t put a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word that follows it. If you care about being understood and not looking like an undereducated dilettante, you’d use discreet when you’re referring to something that was designed to attract little attention.

Newly released hyphen use

I lied. This use of the hyphen on the Yahoo! front page is not new; in fact, this mistake happens every day on Yahoo!:

fp newly-released 2

There’s no reason to put a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word that it modifies. The suffix -LY is the signal to the reader that the adverb modifies the word that follows it.

It could’ve easily been correct

With a little help from a competent editor, this could’ve easily been correct. But it’s on Yahoo! Style, a site that’s in its own grammatically incorrect world:

could've easy sty

Look closely at this

You don’t have to read closely to spot this grammatical gaffe on the Yahoo! front page:

fp to read close

Unfortunately, it’s not rarely seen

On the Yahoo! front page, the hyphen is overused, as it is in this recently published teaser:

fp recently-deceased 2

Perhaps if the writers were closely watched they wouldn’t throw a hyphen in after an adverb ending in -LY:

fp closely-watched 2

This mistake isn’t rarely seen; it occurs quite often on yahoo.com:

fp rarely-seen 2

Here’s what these writers don’t understand: An adverb ending in -LY is a signal to the reader that it modifies the word that follows it. There’s no need to join those two words with a hyphen.

What you encounter on Yahoo

Here are two things you might encounter on yahoo.com: an apparent typo and an incorrect punctuation mark:

fp enounter

Just don’t use it, part deux

Last week I urged the writers at Yahoo! to just give up on the apostrophe. They have no idea when to use it, and their sad attempts at punctuation just make them look like amateurs. Well, I’m here to urge at least one writer for yahoo.com to give the hyphen the boot. Someone has no idea when to use it, sprinkling it willy-nilly about, as if it were rice at a wedding:

fp recently-deceased clarissa

The common mistake (common throughout Yahoo!, that is) of putting a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word it modifies is almost forgivable (almost, but not completely). What’s unforgivable is throwing that horizon character in someone’s name, especially someone as well-known as Clarissa Dickson Wright. Why on God’s green earth would anyone arbitrarily hyphenate someone’s name?

Unfortunately this isn’t rarely seen

It’s a common error on yahoo.com — and throughout Yahoo! where its writers and editors lurk — but I wish it were rarely seen:

fp rarely-seen pix

That hyphen joining the adverb rarely and the adjective that follows it is a problem. It’s just unnecessary and wrong.  Just as it is here, too:

fp newly-engaged

When an adverb ending in -LY is followed by an adjective, there’s no need for the hyphen; the -LY is the signal to the reader that the adverb modifies the word that follows it.

Let’s try redefining environmentally friendly

Yeah, let’s redefine it! And let’s do it without the hyphen that appears on the Yahoo! front page:

fp environmentally-friendly

Lots of people want to put a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word that follows it. Most of those people probably work for Yahoo! and all of those people are wrong.

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