This headline’s apostrophe goes missing on Yahoo! Travel:
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.
The home page of a website is like a Welcome mat, but at Yahoo! Makers it’s more like a Go Away mat. You’ll look, see a mistake or two or three or four, and just want to click somewhere else.
I don’t know why anyone would hang around this site after reading this. This is absolutely not absolutely:
This headline is missing the hyphens that would make it a 20-year-old:
If I were reading a site created in the UK, this wouldn’t be a problem. But this is definitely not the preferred spelling in my neighborhood:
Didn’t we all read something by Ernest Hemingway when we were in high school? And didn’t we all learn to spell his name?
Maybe the writer didn’t attend high school in the U.S. Or anywhere.
I’m really curious about the writers at Yahoo! Style. How did they get they job writing for a site that’s viewed by millions of people, and yet know so little about English? I’ve been wondering that for as long as I can remember. It piques my interest. You might even say my interest peaked after reading this:
Yuk! That’s my reaction to the misplaced apostrophe on Yahoo! Style:
The word people is already plural; its possessive form is people’s (just like the possessive forms women’s, men’s, and children’s).
There’s one exception: If you mean peoples (a group of individuals sharing a common culture, religion, or language) like the peoples of North Africa, then the possessive is peoples’.