Writing about DVDs and Blu-ray

It’s ironic that someone at Yahoo! would be writing about writing mistakes. Not that we all don’t make a typo or two when we sit down at the keyboard. But the reporter for Yahoo! News‘ “The Ticket” makes a rookie mistake by adding an apostrophe to the plural DVDs:

… and makes up a spelling of Blu-ray, which is a trademark:

Apostrophes: Not for plurals

Some writers are just apostrophe-happy, sticking them in all sorts of places where they don’t belong. The writer for Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time” is one of those people. He likes to use them for forming plurals. There are few times when an apostrophe is needed to form the plural of an abbreviation, and this isn’t one of them:

The plural of DVD is DVDs. (Oops, I almost forgot to mention the misplaced comma; if you’re in the U.S., it belongs before that closing quotation mark.)

This sentence isn’t so bad, but I would’ve liked it a lot more if the writer had included all the words in this sentence:

It’d  also be nice if he knew how to form the plural of favorites (hint: it doesn’t involve an apostrophe). At least there’s an apostrophe in ’60s and ’90s, though it’s  in the wrong place: For decades it’s not used to show a plural, but to indicate that the numerals 19 are missing. Finally, where the heck was the spell-checker? Did it just step out for a latte? Anyone who writes should have a spell-checker. And should use it. It would have found the misspelling of Lincoln.

Hot mess: The new standard for writing?

It’s just a hot mess of random punctuation, homophonic errors, missing words, and other weirdness. And this is by a professional writer for Yahoo! Shine.

It starts with some missing punctuation: A hyphen in clear-view would make sense of the two words, as would two hyphens in out-of-season. But out of site? It’s out of sight, man!

Maybe the random comma is a result of a fat-fingered error. But what’s the excuse for including not only without its partner but also?

More random punctuation: A hyphen slipped out of hand-woven, a comma popped in where something else belongs, but I have no idea what. And an apostrophe that the writer wrongly thought was necessary to form the plural of DVD drops in:

More hot messness: A missing hyphen in over-door. More random punctuation: I don’t know what the comma should be since the words following it aren’t a clause and it seems to be referring to organizers. And again with the out of site:

This isn’t a brand-new mistake; it’s actually quite common on Yahoo!:

Does Yahoo! have any standards for hiring writers? Or is the ability to produce a hot mess the standard?

Get ahold of a dictionary

Well, I knew the writer didn’t get ahold of a dictionary when I read this on Yahoo! Shine:

And I suspected she didn’t proofread the article when I stumbled here:

Clearly the writer doesn’t hold the apostrophe in high regard, because it’s used incorrectly around famous (it should be quotation marks) and to form the plural of DVD (which should be just DVDs). Some sort of punctuation around the title of a TV program would also be helpful:

More evidence that the writer isn’t apostrophe-aware: It’s used to form the plural of a noun (ouch!) and dropped in the wrong place in a plural noun (double ouch!):

Maybe if the writer had gotten ahold of an editor, these misdemeanors against the language would have been avoided.

DVDSs or DVDs?

There’s a mistake here on Yahoo! Shine:


It could be DVDS (for Digital Video Distribution System) or DVDs. I vote for the latter. To make an initialism like DVD plural, just add a lowercase S.

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