Here’s one major gaffe from Yahoo! Style, followed by a complete headscratcher:
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.
It took a team Yahoo! Style staffers to come up with this ridiculously wrong possessive of the plural noun models:
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’.)
Do you ever get confused about forming the possessive of a plural noun? Where does that apostrophe go? Before or after the S? If you find yourself in a quandary over possessives, just do what the writer for Yahoo! Celebrity did: Put in an extra S so that you can place that apostrophe before and after an S:
Writers’ mistakes like this happen all the time on Yahoo!.
There were some peoples at New York Fashion Week, according to Yahoo! Style:
That got me wondering: What peoples were they? The peoples of the United States? The peoples of Southeast Asia? Or some other group of human beings sharing a common culture or language?
Hmmm. Could it be that the writer misplaced that apostrophe? People is already a plural noun; its possessive is people’s.
English is funny. And challenging. It provides lots of words for lots of circumstances. But it’s also missing a few words that would be of benefit to writers and readers. One of those missing words is a possessive form of the word that. (Make that two missing words; which doesn’t have a possessive form either.) But that didn’t stop the writer for Yahoo! Autos from trying to come up with one — and failing:
The writer might have used whose: a car whose value is beginning to soar. But that might have set off alarm bells among grammarians who feel who and whose cannot be applied to non-humans. What’s a writer to do? Recast the sentence. One of these might have worked:
Each of those options is slightly longer, slightly different in meaning, or slightly awkward. But none of those would have appeared in Terribly Write.