Should you share with colleagues?

Nothing makes a newsroom look more dysfunctional than the inability to spell a simple word the same way twice. Case in point: This headline from the home page of Yahoo Finance:

Was this just a simple typo? In an effort to sleuth out the truth, I looked at the article itself. The headline and text in the video are equally confused:

Maybe Yahoo writers should start sharing the same dictionary. Or maybe they should just refer to people you work with as colleagues.

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Can’t make a decision?

Can’t decide how to spell a word? Can’t figure out if it should be hyphenated or not? Don’t consult a dictionary. Just do what the folks at Yahoo News do: Spell it both ways!

Is this a case of fake news?

If a major Internet news site like Yahoo! News writes a headline about someone it calls Greg Allman, is it fake news?

The editors haven’t just misspelled Gregg Allman’s name; they’ve overcapitalized or undercapitalized the name of his band. It seems they just can’t decide if it was the Allman Brothers Band of The Allman Brothers Band.

If you can’t be right…

If you can’t be right, at least be consistent. That’s advice that the folks at yahoo.com could use:

It looks like they couldn’t agree on how to abbreviate United Kingdom. Legitimate news outlets use a little something called a style (or editorial) guide so they avoid embarrassments like this.

Plus-size errors

What to do? What to do? What does one do if one can’t decide if a compound adjective needs a hyphen? Well, if one works at Yahoo! Style, one hyphenates it once, and leaves it unhyphenated once. Problem solved!

That solution is neither appropriate nor correct, just as the use of the word or, instead of nor, with neither is wrong.

Hedging your bets?

Not sure if a word should be capitalized? Just do what the editors at Yahoo! Finance do, and capitalize it half the time:

cabinet-new-hp

Maybe your readers won’t notice that you’re inconsistent or unable to make up your mind. Maybe your readers know that if you’re following the Associated Press style, you’d write Cabinet when referring to the U.S. president’s team of department heads and advisers.

Time warped

When you create a feature for your website, you really need to decide how you’re going to refer to it. Don’t make the mistake that the editors at Yahoo! Style did. They can’t seem to agree on the spelling of this feature:

timewarp-sty-hp

Are emoji plural? These writers certainly don’t know

What’s the plural of emoji? According to the folks at Yahoo! Style, it’s emojis. And emoji.

emojis sty

It looks like they can’t figure out which plural is correct (and heaven forbid they should consult a dictionary), so they used both plurals.

Is it news to you?

Did the writers and editors at yahoo.com overlook the fact that someday they might have to write about New York City and that they might want to abbreviate the city’s name? Yup. I know that because they can’t agree on how to do it. Somebody thought it needed periods:

fp nyc p

and somebody else thought, uh, no. No periods:

fp nyc no p

That’s kinda embarrassing. Or at least it would be embarrassing to a real news outlet that carried about things like consistency and that had and followed a style guide.

Stuck on stupid

Sometimes I think the editors at yahoo.com are just stuck on stupid. They keep repeating the same mistakes. A few days ago, they couldn’t agree on how to refer to a Mexican drug lord. And today, they’re faced with the same issue. Is his name simply El Chapo?

fp el chapo no quo

Or is it Chapo and does it require quotation marks?

fp chapo quo

I’m thinkin’ that maybe the editors don’t know that they’re in disagreement because even they don’t read yahoo.com.

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