What could possibly be wrong with this headline on Yahoo! Parenting?
The punctuation. Two punctuation marks never go before a closing quotation mark: a colon and a semicolon.
Here’s a use for quotation marks on Yahoo! Makers that indicates in spite of the fact these are ugly holiday sweaters, they are not actually ugly holiday sweaters:
Quotation marks can be used to indicate direct speech, a title, or irony. So what’s their purpose in this headline? I think it’s to indicate that the editor has no idea when to use punctuation.
It’s not enough to be capitalization crazy, putting capital letters at the front of common nouns like holiday. No, that’s not enough for this Yahoo! Makers writer. She’s also idiom idiotic, with some crazy idiom stepping out, which makes no sense:
No, that’s not enough. She also happens to be hyphen happy, adding them indiscriminately in what should be seven-day lead-up. Two hyphens. That’s enough.
Why is it so hard for Yahoo! Style writers to arrive at the correct word? Why do they think that the verb arrive can be followed by any preposition other than at, in, or on? Doesn’t everyone know that a wedding ceremony is most commonly called nuptials, with an S at the end?
The writer also manages to include some dicey punctuation. The commas around Sonya Benson tell readers that Rihanna has only one close friend. How did the writer arrive at that conclusion?
Guess where the mistake is on the home page of Yahoo! Movies.
It’s that question mark at the end of an imperative sentence.
There are four kinds of sentences: One is the declarative sentence. Do you know what an interrogative sentence is? Tell me what an imperative sentence is. That’s not an exclamatory sentence!
Why is there a question mark at the end of this sentence on Yahoo! Makers? And how can a dimmer reduce overall energy output?
Great questions! The answers lie with a basic misunderstanding of English by the writer. The first has to do with a question embedded in a declarative sentence. The question is: Why is this so crucial? And some style experts would allow a question mark mid-sentence, like this: Why is this so crucial? you might ask. Looks weird to me. A better solution in my mind would be to recast the sentence: You might ask why this is so crucial.
On the second issue, the writer confused the word output with consumption or usage. At least, that’s my charitable view.