I don’t know that I’ve seen a plural quite like this one from Yahoo! Style:
Is it possible that a professional writer doesn’t know that the plural of actress is actresses? Yes. Yes, it is.
I guess elementary schools don’t teach the same things nowadays that they did when I was a youngster. Of course, that was many, many decades ago, but I thought there were some subjects that were eternal. Like how to form the plural of nouns. Judging from this excerpt from Yahoo! Style, schools are neglecting that bit of knowledge — or the writer was playing hooky that day:
The possessive plural of lady is ladies’. It follows a simple rule: Form the plural of the noun and if it ends in S, add an apostrophe. So, it’s idiots’ and dummies’. If the plural doesn’t end in S, add an apostrophe and S: So women’s, children’s, and alumni’s are correct.
Someday the writers and editors at Yahoo! Style might actually display some knowledge of English grammar. This is not that day:
The plural of a name that doesn’t end in S is just the name with an added S, like this: the Clintons, the Obamas. (Adding an apostrophe makes the name a possessive, not a plural.) If the name ends in S, make it plural by adding an ES. But under no circumstances does the plural involve an apostrophe. Unless you’re writing about Mr. and Mrs. Apostrophe; then they’re the Apostrophes.
Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for the presidency, but you wouldn’t know it if you read this on Yahoo! Style:
As a common noun, democratic refers to a democracy or people in general. But if you’re referring to the political party in the U.S., it’s Democratic, with a big D.
Speaking of a big D, that’s the grade I’d give this writer for coming up with Clintons’s. I’d be appalled if I hadn’t seen that error so often on Yahoo!. It seems Yahoo! writers (and their editors, if they have them) don’t know that the plural of Clinton is Clintons and the possessive of Clintons is Clintons‘.
It’s hard to beat this for the number of errors in a single sentence:
I can’t explain why the Yahoo! Style writer included a registered trademark symbol with a product name, unless she’s under the illusion that she has to protect a trademark. Which brings me to the question: Why didn’t she recognize Velcro as a registered trademark, too? Because that would be as wrong as not capitalizing Velcro.
Don’t you wish we could all be flies on the wall when the writer discusses this with her editor? What would her argument be? Oh, never mind. I forgot: Yahoo! doesn’t believe in editors.
All writing serves a purpose. And the purpose of this article from Yahoo! Style may be to illustrate what not to do. First lesson: If you’re including names in your article, spell them correctly. It’s not enough to just misspell them in the same way. If you’re writing about Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Google her name.
Second, if you’re writing about editors-in-chief, don’t capitalize the title and don’t look like an idiot by forming the plural incorrectly. And make sure you’re confident enough in your English to include the article the in “in the second row” and “in the third row.”
Don’t follow the example of this gal. She’s nothing if not consistent. When she misspells a name like Stella Tennant, she sticks with it. None of this silly Googling a name to check the spelling:
Finally we encounter this gem, a sterling example of what not to do:
The takeaway: Read everything you write before you publish it. Read everything you write before you publish it.
I know that paparazzi can seem to be everywhere, but is it really possible that one photographer took all the pictures for this article on Yahoo! Movies?
It’s possible, but not likely. What is likely: The writer thinks that paparazzo is a plural, meaning photographers. It is not. It is the singular of paparazzi.