You don’t get to do that

The writer for Yahoo! Style seems to think that she gets to decide where to place hyphens in the spelling of Charles de Gaulle Airport. She is mistaken:

charles sty

There are no hyphens there. But there is a capital letter in Airport (it’s part of the airport’s name, after all), and there’s a preferred spelling of cozy, which the writer preferred not to use.

It really wasn’t about unity and dialogue

If you heard the pope’s address to the United States Congress, you might have thought he highlighted unity and dialogue. But you would be wrong. The speech featured something like unity, but isn’t really unity, and something that might be called dialogue, but isn’t really dialogue. At least that’s how I interpret the quotation marks on the Yahoo! front page:

fp popepng

Another interpretation is that the writer really has no idea when to use those pesky little marks.

Hand her a bevvy

What was the Yahoo! Style writer drinking when she wrote this? A bevvy? (That’s a drink. An alcoholic one.)

bevvy sty

There’s practically a bevy of minor mistakes there. Nothing serious, but enough to detract from the writing. Besides the misspelling, there’s the incorrect hyphen after an adverb ending in -LY and the use of a instead of an.

Where did it go?

Where in the world did the question mark go in this headline from Yahoo! Travel?

miss ques tra

Where do you get your information?

When you’re looking for reliable information about investing, finance, or business, what website do you turn to? Yahoo! Finance? If you’re like most people, you’re adversely influenced by the number of mistakes, no matter how minor, you find. Typos, misspellings, and grammar mistakes all erode the credibility of a website or an article.

So, how credible do you find this article, where the writer apparently knew she needed an apostrophe in the first sentence, but couldn’t figure out where? Or that she’s a little skimpy when it comes to her hyphen usage?

bingbing fin 0

(Omitting the hyphens in an age is one of the top 3 hyphen errors you’ll find on Yahoo!.)

I really think that if you’re going to write about finance and business for adults, you need to know the difference between a product (oh, like, say a Barbie doll) and a manufacturer (like Mantel). I’m pretty sure that even though Barbie is a pretty smart, yet plastic cookie, she did not release a doll:

barbie released doll fin

Perhaps to prove that she is completely uninterested in the correct use of punctuation, the writer throws in some random and thoroughly incorrect commas. But I’ll admit to one positive note: The writer has got me interested in seeing those ads where the Chinese actress stares, presumably at the camera:

stared commas fin

Blogger confirms: Hyphens are hard

Using a hyphen correctly is harder than you think. At least it’s too hard for the Yahoo! Style editors:

12 yo boy

If you’re writing an age, use two hyphens (12-year-old boy) unless you’re using the word years (he’s 12 years old).

Newly released hyphen use

I lied. This use of the hyphen on the Yahoo! front page is not new; in fact, this mistake happens every day on Yahoo!:

fp newly-released 2

There’s no reason to put a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word that it modifies. The suffix -LY is the signal to the reader that the adverb modifies the word that follows it.

One day’s worth of errors

I couldn’t possibly address one day’s worth of errors found on the Yahoo! front page. I couldn’t handle just two hours’ worth of typos. There are just too many mistakes on Yahoo!, including this missing apostrophe:

fp 33 years worth

I’m not sure what “33 years’ worth of taxes” is. I guess it’s the same as “33 years of tax returns.” Anyhoo, the writer omitted the apostrophe in what the Associated Press calls a quasi possessive. Other similar constructions that you’re likely to encounter:

  • two weeks’ vacation
  • three years’ experience
  • his money’s worth

Kick off that hyphen!

Here we go: An unnecessary (and wrong) hyphen on the home page of Yahoo! Style:

kick-off sty

If you’re going to kick off an article with a headline, make sure you know the difference between a phrasal verb (such as kick off) and a noun (like kickoff or the alternative, kick-off).

Nice tries, but wrong

This writer for Yahoo! Finance seems a little confused about where to put a hyphen:

nobel prize fin

The writer’s not confused about capitalization, though — just wrong. It’s Nobel Prize, with two capital letters. Oh, that hyphen? It belongs after Nobel Prize: Nobel Prize-winner Stiglitz and Nobel Prize-winning economist.


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