Blogger’s goal falling on deaf ears

If my goal were to eradicate all writing errors on Yahoo!, I wouldn’t start with Yahoo! Sports because I think my “suggestions” for improvement would be falling on deaf ears. Even if my suggestion is simply to proofread:

rappers goal spo hp


How many models?

Can anyone explain to me why Yahoo! Style writers don’t know how to form the possessive of a common noun?  Why would anyone think models’s could possibly be correct?

modelss bones sty

Maybe the writer didn’t know if she was writing about one model (and the possessive model’s) or more than one (and the possessive models’). So she covered both possibilities with models’s.

But how do you explain her ignorance of using single quotation marks within a quote? Maybe she played hooky the day that was taught in seventh grade.

So, if she was writing about two or more models, she should have written: the models’ “‘bones’ weren’t visible…

One shopper, many bodies?

Can one person have more than one body? And can a department store survive with only one shopper? These are the questions that have plagued me since reading this on Yahoo! Style:

shoppers style

A grammatical goof of theirs

Here’s a grammatical goof of the Yahoo! front page editors’:

fp teammates of

Yes, that’s the editors’ grammatical goof. They should have used a double possessive in that sentence: Teammates of Therese Sjogran’s.

It’s called a double possessive because the preposition of forms a possessive and the apostrophe and S also form a possessive. And there’s an actual rule about its use. According to the Associated Press Stylebook:

“Two conditions must apply for a double possessive: 1. The word after of must refer to an animate object, and 2. The word before of must involve only a portion of the animate objects possessions.”

Here’s how I decide if a possessive is required after of: Substitute a pronoun for the term after of. If a possessive pronoun sounds right, use a possessive form of the term. For example, “teammates of hers” sounds right to me; “teammates of her” does not. Of course, this method only works if you have an accurate “ear” for English.

Another way to avoid making a mistake is to avoid the double possessive entirely. In this case, you would write “Therese Sjogran’s teammates” and be sure you’re not making a grammatical gaffe.

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