The real shocker

I was flipping through a slide show on Yahoo! Shine about favorite Thanksgiving fare. It wasn’t until I had seen several photos that I realized that I was looking at the favorite holiday foods of editors. Yes, and not just any editors, but editors who work for Yahoo! Shine.

I was shocked, shocked I tell you! Yahoo! Shine has editors — and not just one editor, but multiple editors. Unfortunately, none of them is competent enough to know where to place an apostrophe in a plural possessive. Here’s a hint: It goes after the S.

Women’s unsuccessful spelling

Any professional writer (and everyone else who attempts to write in English) should know that the possessive of women is women’s — not this mess on Yahoo! Health:

Let’s learn from this

Here are some simple lessons we can all learn (or be reminded of) from the gaffes on Yahoo! TV‘s “Daytime in No Time.”

A misspelling and misplaced commas: A spell-check would have identified the misspelled liaison. It appears on many lists of the Top 100 Misspelled Words. In the U.S. a comma goes before the closing quotation mark:

A misplaced apostrophe: If a plural noun doesn’t end in S (like men, women, children), form the possessive by adding an apostrophe and an S (in that order):

A missing apostrophe: Let’s take a look at the contraction let’s. It’s short for let us. It’s the only common contraction that consists of a verb and a pronoun with a missing letter. But it needs an apostrophe:

Misplaced correlative conjunction: The pair either… or is a correlative conjunction that joins like words, phrases, or clauses. The collection of words on each side of or should be the same part of speech: If there’s a verb before the or, there should be a verb after it. If there’s a clause before it, there should be a clause after it:

This could be corrected by either this rewording:

they either had too much free time or just love to dance

or this rewording:

either they have too much free time or they just love to dance

The real problem with 30-somethings

Well, it’s not really a problem with 30-somethings. It’s just a problem with one anonymous 30-something:

Unless the editor for the Yahoo! front page put the apostrophe in the wrong place. Nah, that would never happen.

How many parents?

Was it Jordy Nelson’s mom or dad who owned the diner the footballer worked in? According to an editor on the Yahoo! front page it was just one parent’s restaurant; according to the facts, it was two parents’ diner:

Is everyone out of the office?

I think the regular editors over at the Yahoo! front page have left the building. Amateurs seem to have taken control of yahoo.com, making more than the usual number of mistakes.

I’m guessin’ that the B-team consisted of third-grade dropouts who left school before the lesson on forming the possessive women’s:

It must have been the same day that the teacher covered the subject of proper nouns (the ones that need a big letter) and common nouns (like caucus):

OK, maybe I shouldn’t expect a third-grade dropout to know the difference between a fiancé (who is male) and a fiancée (who is female), so this is forgivable, right?

You don’t see this every day, thank goodness

This is not the kind of mistake you see every day. It might be because anyone with a fifth-grade education knows how to form the plural of women — everyone except the folks who write for the Yahoo! front page:

It’s a mistake I’ve never seen made by a professional writer or editor. Until now. The correct possessive of the plural women is women’s.

How many storms hit the East Coast?

Was there a second hurricane that hit the East Coast over the weekend? According to the Yahoo! front page, multiple storms caused destruction in the East:

Step away from the keyboard and no one gets hurt

If she won’t go peacefully, someone needs to forcibly remove this writer from her position as senior features editor for Yahoo! Shine. At the very least, her access to a keyboard should be restricted so that she writes nothing more complicated than a grocery list.

This woman’s literary sins are enumerable. For a small sample, consider her inability to use punctuation (dropping apostrophes in random places), committing grammatical errors, and misspelling Ladies’ Home Journal:

In the same article she displays an abysmal ignorance of common English expressions like sister-in-law:

She makes stupid typos:

and ridiculous misspellings of alcohol and marijuana. I don’t even want to think about how one woman’s husband could also be someone’s sister. Perhaps the writer is still learning English and hasn’t mastered the difference between a sister and a brother. She certainly hasn’t mastered the use of the Shift key, using it arbitrarily to capitalize common nouns like  documentary:

Punctuation continues to be a challenge for this writer:

There were three daughters; to misplace the apostrophe, implying there was only one, is an insult to the daughters’ memory.

I think I speak for others when I urge this writer to get help. An editor. A proofreader. An English tutor. Better still, step away from the keyboard.

How many networks does Norah O’Donnell work for?

It seems that Norah O’Donnell works for more than one network — if you believe Yahoo! News.

If you’re a cynic or skeptic, you might think that writer just doesn’t know where to place an apostrophe.

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