If there were a Hall of Fame for hyphenation errors, this one on the Yahoo! front page would qualify for induction:
Huh? How do you helpfully build out a brand? What the heck did the writer for Yahoo! Style mean? Did she mean “to hopefully build” (meaning, to build with hope in one’s heart) or “to help build” (meaning, she can’t proofread)?
At least she didn’t write runner-ups, but she did neglect to include the hyphen in what should be runners-up.
When I see expressions like “a piece” I have to wonder what the writer thinks that means. A piece of what? Did she perhaps mean each, in which case she should have used the word apiece.
The editors at yahoo.com made a valiant attempt to use the suspensive hyphen, but the result is really kinda pathetic:
The duchess is due in mid-April to late April. To avoid duplicating the word April, the writer tried using the suspensive hyphen after the prefix mid. Good job! But using a hyphen to join “to-late” makes no sense. But it’s too late to unsee that mistake. This should have been “mid- to late April.”
I don’t often visit Yahoo! Travel. I had the impression that it was a well-written site that wouldn’t provide many examples of errors that would prove instructive to Terribly Write’s readers. Maybe today’s headlines are atypical, but they sure provide some great fodder for a blog post.
It looks like someone ripped off the hyphen in rip-offs, which needs it when it’s used as a noun:
This isn’t a brand-new error; it’s a brand-new error. The hyphen is often missing from the adjective:
And my favorite is this headline about a restaurant called Warren where you have to carry your own tray and serve yourself macaroni and cheese and greasy fried chicken:
The Airbnb home was once the residence of Warren Buffett.
In the continuing saga “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we once again see the results of hyphenation indecision:
How many mistakes can you make in a single sentence? If you’re the writer for Yahoo! Style, at least four. You’d start by claiming that Jennifer Hudson has children. She does not; she has one son. Then you’d omit the hyphen in the noun carry-on. Then you’d screw up identifying the children in the picture and claim that SpongeBob doesn’t need a capital B:
Here’s the picture. The boy in the plaid shirt is Jennifer Hudson’s only child. The boy not in the “gingham button down” is the one with the SpongeBob “rolling suitcase.”
On the plus side, the writer did spell Jennifer Hudson’s name correctly. There’s that.