Prom? Is that your question?

It’s a short question, and it may mean something to a Yahoo! Style reader, but to me it’s nonsense:

prom ques sty hp

Prom? That’s the question? Uh, no. The question is: Are these kids too young to be dressing up for ‘prom’? The entire headline is a question, not just the word in the quotation marks.

One day’s worth of errors

This doesn’t represent one day’s worth of errors; it just represents a single error in a single caption on Yahoo! Style:

three weeks worth sty

This is what the Associated Press calls a quasi possessive. If you’re as confused about whether it requires an apostrophe, I have a little trick you can use so you don’t embarrass yourself in public.

Let’s make sure this is correct

Let’s pretend that the Yahoo! Style writer knows what a contraction is and knows that it requires an apostrophe:

lets make sty

Clean up your flippin’ writing

When I was a kid, the only F-word we used when to express anger or frustration by using an adjective, was flippin‘. “I don’t want your flippin’ Hula Hoop!” I might yell. Or, “Get your flippin’ hands off my Howdy Doody puppet!” So, of course, I assume that the Yahoo! Sports writer was using flipping as a euphemism for another word beginning with F:

pitchers apos mlb

Does anyone really want a pitcher’s flipping bats? And which pitcher? I guess a pitcher’s flipping bats are more desirable than pitchers flipping bats. That could be dangerous.

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.

Punctuation friendly headline

Here’s a headline from Yahoo! Style that’s a tad hyphen happy:

environmentally-friendly sty

There’s no need for a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word it modifies. The -LY is the signal to the reader that the adverb modifies the word following it.

If it ends in S, add an apostrophe

It seems that the writer for Yahoo! Style thinks that a word ending in S requires an apostrophe, even if it’s a simple plural:

models apos sty

Editors are mum

When asked why they put quotation marks around a character’s name and why they thought “details are mum” made sense, the editors at are mum:

fp mum

If the name of the movie Mr. Affleck will direct is “Batman,” then it deserves quotation marks. But it’s not. That’s the name of the character that will be central to a movie. Character names don’t get special treatment. You wouldn’t write about “Romeo” and “Juliet” would you? (Well, if you’re a Yahoo! editor you might, but the rest of the English-speaking world wouldn’t.) And why tell us that “details are mum”? Because aren’t details always silent? Perhaps it was the producer who is mum and details are missing or nonexistent.

How many models?

Can anyone explain to me why Yahoo! Style writers don’t know how to form the possessive of a common noun?  Why would anyone think models’s could possibly be correct?

modelss bones sty

Maybe the writer didn’t know if she was writing about one model (and the possessive model’s) or more than one (and the possessive models’). So she covered both possibilities with models’s.

But how do you explain her ignorance of using single quotation marks within a quote? Maybe she played hooky the day that was taught in seventh grade.

So, if she was writing about two or more models, she should have written: the models’ “‘bones’ weren’t visible…

Nice try, but wrong

I gotta give the Yahoo! Celebrity writer credit for trying to use hyphens in a compound modifier. But not too much credit, because he got it wrong:

five-to-eight cel

He tried to combine “five-second to eight-second technical issue,” which is admirable. But the result isn’t quite right. The correct use of hyphens is: five- to eight-second technical issue.


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