It’s not an old wives’ tale

It’s not an old wives’ tale: People judge you when you make grammatical, spelling, or other mistakes in your writing. Just look at what the editors at Yahoo! Makers did:

wives tale diy hp

Did the writer actually think that wive was a noun and therefore, its possessive form must be wive’s? Somebody needs to go back to third grade for a refresher: When the plural of a word ends in S (like, say, oh, maybe wives), its possessive just gets an apostrophe.

Totally random, totally wrong

It’s no wonder that the byline for this article is simply “Yahoo! Style staff.” If I wrote that poorly, I wouldn’t want my name attached to the article, either. Among the many, many mistakes is this totally random use of an apostrophe and a couple of apostrophes that go missing:

subjects sty

Why didn’t anyone notice that subjects is missing its apostrophe and the plural of bathroom doesn’t have an apostrophe? Didn’t someone spot the misspelling of Ashley? Doesn’t anyone at Yahoo! know that it’s (and not its) is a contraction for it is? Did it really take the entire “staff” to make that many gaffes in one sentence?

Are layoff rumors affecting staff?

OK, I feel really bad about this. Obviously there’s something seriously wrong with the editors of the Yahoo! front page. Maybe the rumors of layoffs are affecting their ability to do their work. There must be an explanation for the number and seriousness of errors on (besides the fact that no one there bothers to proofread or verify the writing).

It started this morning when I noticed this creative spelling of Instagram:

fp instragram

And the errors kept coming, like this string of words that looks suspiciously like a sentence, but lacks a verb:

fp no verb

Seriously? Have we not been bombarded with Star Wars stories for the last six months? How would you explain the writer’s screw-up of the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” title?

fp a force

Stuffed-crust-pizza lovers are sure to want to sink their teeth into a crust filled with sausage and tomatoes:

fp crust

I can’t imagine how high that crust must be to hold all that filling. As for me, I’m happy with a pizza crust topped with sausage and tomato.

Then, there’s this story about an altercation with details that the editor apparently made up:

fp shoving

The article behind this headline states that Ms. Titus was hurt when she was shoved into a window frame. Nowhere does it state that she was “roughed up” after being shoved. Someone has a vivid imagination.

But wait! There’s more. A misspelling of Stephen Curry’s name isn’t the worst mistake today. Maybe the R key got stuck:

fp currry

And finally (at least I hope it’s the final giant gaffe of the day), there’s this ridiculous contention that airbrushing was used to add children to a photograph:

fp airbrushed

Oh, there’s also the bewildering photos’s, which is beyond ridiculous.

This is all too sad. Sad, sad, sad.

Who eliminated that?

Did a editor play a leading role in eliminating the apostrophe’s place as a sign of a possessive noun?

fp homosex

How many car manufacturers are there?

You probably thought that there was more than one car manufacturer in the world. You would be wrong. Or the editors at would be wrong:

fp manufacturers

If they’re referring to a single manufacturer, then the placement of the apostrophe is correct. If they’re referring to more than one maker — and we know they are — the apostrophe belongs after the S: manufacturers’.

Won followed by another

Here’s one major gaffe from Yahoo! Style, followed by a complete headscratcher:

won sty

Why do Yahoo! writers and editors have so much trouble with forming the possessive of a plural noun? It’s simple: coworkers is the plural; coworkers‘ is the possessive.

Here’s an idea for when you’re bored

Here’s a quick DIY for the Yahoo! Makers editor for when she’s bored at her parents’ house waiting for Thanksgiving Dinner: Let some basic, fourth-grade grammar focusing on the use of the apostrophe to form possessives:

parents diy

It takes a team

It took a team Yahoo! Style staffers to come up with this ridiculously wrong possessive of the plural noun models:

modelss sty

Apparently there was some disagreement in this brain trust as to where the apostrophe goes — before or after the S. So that put it before and after an S. (Just in case someone on the Style staff is reading this, here’s the scoop: the possessive of models is models’.)

Zendaya’s dog goes to heaven…

Zendaya’s dog goes to heaven, and at the keyboard of writers for Yahoo! Celebrity, the English language goes to hell:

teenss diy

What the heck is that? Is the writer hedging his bets, trying to make a possessive out of both a singular and plural noun, because he doesn’t know which to use?

It would still be wrong

Even if the writer for Yahoo! Celebrity had managed to come up with the correct possessive of the plural Cosbys (it’s Cosbys’) this would still be wrong:

cosbyss cel

Why? Because the characters in question aren’t the Cosbys. They’re the Huxtables!


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