No standards need apply

Apparently the use of airstrikes in combat has come as a complete surprise to the staff at the Yahoo! front page. They simply can’t decide if it’s one word or two, so they try it both ways. They also can’t decide if staff is a collective noun that should be treated as singular or if it’s a plural noun. What the heck! Let’s use it both ways:

fp staff flees

and here’s an alternative spelling of airstrikes:

fp staff flee

Legitimate news sources have a little thing called a style guide that settles such issues. And if the style guide doesn’t address the issue, a competent editor does. But this is Yahoo! … no standards need apply.

How many grooms were there?

If you read the story that accompanies these photo captions on Yahoo! Style (but really, why would you?) you’d learn that there was only one groom at this wedding. So, it looks like the writer had no idea where to put the apostrophe to show a possessive. It ain’t here:

grooms sty

and it ain’t here:

grooms sty 2

At least she was consistent, which is more than I can say when in comes to spelling the groom’s party attire — somehow it’s both bow ties and bowties.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we see the results of a failure to agree on the title of a TV program:

fp x factor

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In the continuing saga “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we once again see the results of hyphenation indecision:

fp walk-of-shame

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we find a missing hyphen or an unnecessary hyphen.

fp plane tracking

Seems like they just can’t agree on much of anything at yahoo.com.

How many can you find?

Here’s a fun game brought to you by Yahoo! Makers. How many homophonic errors can you find in a single article on the site? It’s really not hard to spot the pales instead of pails:

palettes diy 0

Searching for homophones, you’ll pass a totally random comma, followed by a totally random capitalized Chief. The split backyard isn’t the worst mistake you’ll come across on the way to the palettes that should be pallets.

palettes diy 1

You might not notice this (but I did): That paragraph claims the article was written by someone working for Katie Brown. But one look at the article’s byline says otherwise:

palettes brown

Oopsie. Don’t you love it when you catch a writer in a lie?

Back to our homophone hunt: Passing the now one-word backyard, you’re bound to find an error that even your kids can spot:

palettes diy 11

Overlooking the incorrectly capitalized plywood, you’ll find another palettes:

palettes 22

This is where you’ll find the next homophonic horror, a confusion of where for wear:

palettes diy 3

Holy moley, there’s another palettes and a comma where a semicolon belongs:

palettes diy 4

One more palettes? This has got to be the last:

palettes diy 5

Nope. There’s one more and a little advice, which I take to mean “pallets that are the same height”:

palettes diy 6

How many did you find? I found these four: Pales/pails. Palettes/pallets. You’re/your. Where/wear. What about you?

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we’re treated to the indecision of Yahoo! editors as to the correct spelling of air strike (or is it airstrike?):

fp airstrikes air strikes

The American Heritage Dictionary prefers airstrike, although air strike is also acceptable. So just pick one and go with it.

Did you not see it coming?

Were the editors at the Yahoo! front page caught totally off-guard? Did they not know about the combine, the National Football League’s showcase of college players? It seems that way. Surely if they knew it was coming, they would have agreed to treat it as a proper noun:

fp combine uc

Or maybe as a common noun:

fp combine lc

Time to call a cease-fire

It’s a cease-fire on the Yahoo! front page:

fp cease-fire

Except when it’s a ceasefire:

fp ceasefire

What do you do when you work for a media company with no standards for spelling and style? Do you use cease-fire or ceasefire? Or do you use both?

fp ceasefire cease-fire

Both spellings are acceptable, although the American Heritage Dictionary prefers cease-fire.

What do you do when there are alternative spellings for a word? You pick one.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In today’s installment of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we encounter a case of dueling cases:

fp skymall

Should the name of  the in-flight catalog be written with a single capital letter, or should it be written in “camel case,” with a capital letter in the middle? Obviously the folks at yahoo.com have no idea. So they did it both ways!

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