Friends’ and families’ faces fall

If well-educated editors overlooked this error on Yahoo! Style, their friends’ and families’ faces would fall to the floor:


I’m assuming that the friends and families (there’s probably more than one family involved) have separated faces, so there needs to be an apostrophe after the S on both friends’ and families’.

When in doubt

When in doubt about forming the possessive of a word, just follow the example of this Yahoo! Style writer:


Does the apostrophe go before the S? After the S? Unsure? Put it before and after! Turn your dilemma into dilemma-ade!

Back to school for you!

The editor for Yahoo! Style should head back to elementary school to learn the importance of the apostrophe:

girls boys no apo sty hp

Without the correct punctuation (and that would be two apostrophes), that headline leaves me scratching my head and dusting the dandruff off my keyboard. Were one girl’s outfits responsible for one boy’s bad grades? Or were many girls’ outfits responsible for many boys’ grades? Or was it one girl’s outfits and many boys’ grades? Or many girls’ outfits and one boy’s grades? Oy, now I’ve got a headache. I think I have to go lay down.

Readers’ favorite writer

If you’re one of those readers who cringes when you encounter a typo or — horrors!— a grammatical error, you’ll want to skip this article on Yahoo! Style. The writer seems to have a problem with a common rule we all learned in third grade:

starss style

Perhaps the writer didn’t know if she was writing about one star (and therefore should use star’s) or more than one (requiring stars’). So, she combined the possessives into misguided mashup.

Was it writers’s block?

Did the Yahoo! Style writer suffer a brain aneurysm or just writer’s block when it came to writing this?

sportss sty

She was probably wondering if she should have used the singular sport’s or the plural sports’ and couldn’t make up her mind, so she did a little melding. Or maybe she just has no idea how to form the possessive of a noun. ‘Cuz she made the same mistake in a photo caption:

winnerss sty

How many can one sentence hold?

How many errors can be squeezed into a single sentence? If it’s on Yahoo! Style, at least four, each of which is completely avoidable:

each of which sty

If you’re writing about people, the preferred pronoun is who or whom, not which. There’s an apostrophe missing in what should be brand’s. And of course there are two misspelled names: Missy Elliott and Cara Delevingne.

This isn’t baseball

Well, at least the editors at Yahoo! Movies managed to get one possessive form right in this headline:

neesons mov

If this were baseball they’d be batting .500.

Chickens’ hit

Why was the Yahoo! Style writer confused about how to form the possessive of a plural noun like chickens?

chickenss prom sty

Maybe she couldn’t decide if the apostrophe went before or after the S. So, she put it before and after the S. That’s actually quite a clever solution. Totally wrong, though.

Readers and English are the victims here

Who are the real victims of the carelessness of the editors at The readers:

fp victims

The victims’ injuries may not be visible, but readers and their language suffer when professional scribes fail to adhere to common rules of grammar and punctuation.

Belt and suspenders. Again

It seems writers at Yahoo! Celebrity still haven’t figured out how to form the possessive of a plural noun:

actorss apos cel

What this writer has managed to do was create the possessive of a noun that is both singular and plural. Very creative.

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