Hedging her bets

Not sure how to form the possessive of kids? Not sure if the apostrophe goes before or after the S? Do what the writer for Yahoo! Style did and hedge your bets: Put the apostrophe before and after it:

Isn’t that a good thing?

In an article about racial inequity in public schools, one Yahoo! Style writer claims that students of color have a lower dropout rate than other students:


Isn’t that a good thing? Yes, it would be if it were accurate. The fact-challenged writer was paraphrasing an article that stated that high school graduation rates are lower for minority students. That means that dropout rates are higher, not lower.

I think this writer needs to go back to school and get that GED.

How to avoid plagiarism accusations

To quote or not to quote? That is the question the writer for Yahoo! Style should have asked herself. Then she should have asked: To proofread or not to proofread?


Perhaps if the writer had bothered to read what she wrote, she might have realized that she was being a tad repetitious — and that not all the words she “wrote” were her own.

Numbers are hard

Basic elementary school arithmetic has proven to be beyond the mastery of Yahoo! writers. Now we see that even writing a number is just too hard for one Yahoo! Style writer:

12thousand sty

Who writes like that? Who speaks like that? First, if you have to spell out part of the number (and why would you?), at least use thousand and not thousands. (B) Every style guide I’ve ever seen dictates that numbers that large should be written using numerals, not words.

It’s a really big number

Steve Madden is a popular women’s shoe manufacturer, founded coincidentally by Steve Madden. Last year the company brought in over 1.4 billion dollars in revenue. That’s a really big number. It’s so big that the Yahoo! Style writer just didn’t believe it. So she made up her own big number:

2 mill sty

If I were you…

If I were this Yahoo! Style writer, I’d learn something about English grammar:

were pink bea

I’d learn that a verb must agree with its subject and that it is a singular subject and were is a plural verb. I might also learn that it were can be correct — but only when it’s stating something that is not true. Consider this example: We laughed at the sentence as if it were a joke.

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