How to write like the pros

If you want to write like the pros, don’t look to Yahoo! Makers for inspiration:

pros apos diy

Are we agree’d?

You don’t write free’d or flee’d or agree’d, do you? So, why on God’s green Earth did the Yahoo! Makers writer think she needed an apostrophe in the past tense of pee?

mom peed diy

And while I’m questioning her knowledge of English, I’ll pose one more query: Why didn’t she capitalize mom?

‘Tis ’tis, not tis’

We all know that an apostrophe is used to create a possessive or a contraction. So, what how is this apostrophe used on Yahoo! Makers?

tis apos diy

It’s not likely that it’s used to form the possessive of tis, is it? So it’s creating a contraction. But a contraction of what? It’s actually a contraction of it is. The first I is omitted and the correct contraction is ’tis.

‘Tis time to consider the writer’s use of the word mom. She should have made that Mom. Here’s a free, no-cost, gratis tip for the writer:

If you’re unsure if you should capitalize a term for a relative, try substituting the person’s name. If it makes a grammatically correct sentence, then capitalize the term. Try it: My mother is the best. (See? No capital M in mother.) But: It’s time to thank Mom.

If that doesn’t work for you, try this other hint: If the noun (mother, father, etc.) is preceded by a possessive pronoun (like my or his), don’t capitalize it. Like this: He thought his mother was the best. It’s time to thank your mom.

So, when the writer isn’t butchering the language, she’s butchering Sarah Michelle Gellar’s name. And to show that she really, really knows nothing of pop culture, she implies that Beyoncé and Solange’ mom has other daughters. Maybe they’re hidden in the walk-in closet, because the rest of the world knows of only those two.

Today?s top typos

Today’s top two typos come to you from the home page of Yahoo! Style here:

sty hp weeks

and here:

sty hp insitute

and here:

daughers

and here’s another one!

instgrams

Dumbest Statement of the Day

Today’s Dumbest Statement comes to you via Yahoo! Style:

james francos progeny

There’s just so many things wrong with this photo caption that maybe it qualifies for the Dumbest Statements of the Day. Or the month.

There’s the creative use of an apostrophe in Mr. Franco’s name, as if his first name is Jame.

There’s the horrendous claim that Jack Kilmer is Mr. Franco’s offspring. (Here’s a little clue to the writer: a progeny is a descendant or offspring. That’s not the same as a prodigy, which is the word a literate person would use.)

Let’s not overlook the parenthetical statement that implies James Franco is a 19-year-old, who starred in his own film, “Palo Alto.”

Finally we learn that James Franco, the 19-year-old, is a fan of Val Kilmer’s son and Saint Laurent, which strikes me as a bit of a non sequitur. Perhaps both James Franco and Saint Laurent are fans of Mr. Kilmer’s son. Who is also Mr. Franco’s son.

I’m so confused.

Mistakes aplenty

There are mistakes aplenty on Yahoo! Style. And this intrusive use of the apostrophe is just one:

aplenty

What the heck did the writer think was the purpose of that apostrophe? Did she think it showed  the omission of a number? Or a letter? To me the only thing it shows is the writer’s ignorance.

This week’s worst punctuation error

OK, so maybe it’s not the worst punctuation error on Yahoo! Style. Maybe it’s just one of this week’s worst errors:

weeks best no apos

Let’s get it right

Let’s get this straight: There’s a time when there should be an apostrophe in let’s, but this from Yahoo! Style isn’t one of them:

lets apos sty

With an apostrophe, it’s an contraction of let us.

Meet the world’s most famous blogger

OK, I lied. You will not meet the world’s most famous blogger in this blog. I don’t even know if the world has a most famous blogger. I was just trying to illustrate the punctuation that the editors for Yahoo! Makers should have used here:

worlds diy

Not going to great lengths

The writer for Yahoo! Style didn’t exactly go to great lengths to come up with the right word for a common idiom and a common abbreviation:

through lengths sty

The abbreviation for identification is ID; its plural is IDs (though the singular is probably correct in this context).

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