If there were a Hall of Fame for hyphenation errors, this one on the Yahoo! front page would qualify for induction:
To be honest (and why wouldn’t I be?), this has got to be the result of a very ignorant or very lazy Yahoo! Style writer:
Jessica Alba is the founder of The Honest Company. Notice the lack of quotation marks (or are those apostrophes?) around the “company’s” name. Why would anyone put those marks around a company name? Because they work for Yahoo! and anything goes — right or wrong. But mostly wrong.
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.”
Mark Wahlberg’s house is big. Very big. It’s a 30,000 sq. ft. home, which is big, even without the hyphens that someone at yahoo.com inserted:
If you follow the Chicago Manual of Style (and we know that Yahoo! adheres to no known writing style), then don’t put a hyphen between a number and the abbreviation that follows it, even when they make up a compound adjective. If the number is followed by a unit of measurement that is spelled out, then it gets a hyphen: It was a 36 in. ruler, but it was a 36-inch ruler.