Is that your question?

“Based on a true story?” That’s the question that yahoo.com asks:

fp-ques-quot

Of course, that makes no sense, because the entire headline is actually the question. For some reason the editor made a common mistake (at least it’s common on Yahoo!) by placing the question mark before the closing quotation mark. In the U.S., a comma and period go before a closing quotation mark; a semicolon and colon go after. If you’re looking to place a question mark, put it before the closing quote only if the entire text inside the quotation marks is a question. Otherwise, it goes after the closing quote mark.

Bad Santas

From Yahoo! Style we get bad Santas — spelled with an unnecessary (and incorrect) apostrophe:

santas-apos-sty

Not a New York-born writer?

I’m imagining a Yahoo! Style editor saying to this writer, “You need to put a hyphen in ‘New York born’ because it’s a compound adjective.” And the writer saying “OK, will do!” And this is what happened:

new-york-born-sty

There’s that hyphen! It’s just in the wrong place. There’s no need to hyphenate New York (that’s just wrong); the hyphen belongs after New York.

Hyper hyphenation

Somebody over at yahoo.com must love hyphens enough to throw them around like rice at a wedding:

fp-world-series-starved

It’s a well-known rule that a hyphen can join two words to form a compound modifier before a noun. But if one of those words is actually a name or other proper noun, don’t stuff a hyphen in it. So, the following are all correct: a World Series-starved team, a Donald Trump-inspired wig, a Hillary Clinton-signed book.

When in doubt

When in doubt about forming the possessive of a word, just follow the example of this Yahoo! Style writer:

friendss-sty

Does the apostrophe go before the S? After the S? Unsure? Put it before and after! Turn your dilemma into dilemma-ade!

The only publicly misused punctuation

OK, so I lied. There is no single punctuation character that is publicly misused. Every punctuation character is misused in public, especially on Yahoo!. This time the punctuation is a hyphen and the site is Yahoo! Finance:

publicly-traded-fin

The rule: Don’t put a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word it modifies.

‘Crazy punctuation’: Who wrote that?

Somebody at yahoo.com probably misunderstood a punctuation rule when it comes to quotation marks:

fp-colon-quot

In the U.S., commas and periods go before a closing quotation mark. (In other English-speaking countries, they go after the quotation mark.) But, regardless of country, two punctuation marks never go before a closing quotation mark: Colons and semicolons.

Back to school for you!

The editor for Yahoo! Style should head back to elementary school to learn the importance of the apostrophe:

girls boys no apo sty hp

Without the correct punctuation (and that would be two apostrophes), that headline leaves me scratching my head and dusting the dandruff off my keyboard. Were one girl’s outfits responsible for one boy’s bad grades? Or were many girls’ outfits responsible for many boys’ grades? Or was it one girl’s outfits and many boys’ grades? Or many girls’ outfits and one boy’s grades? Oy, now I’ve got a headache. I think I have to go lay down.

When did that happen?

When did 14-year-olds become preteens? Oh, when they were born and stayed preteens up until the day before their 13th birthday — at least according to everyone who isn’t a writer for Yahoo! Style:

preteen sty

I know that Yahoo! writers and editors are not good with numbers. They confuse millions and billions, think that digits and letters are the same thing,  and just don’t get percentages. But you’d think they’d know that fourteen isn’t a preteen because teen is part of the word.

What am I missing here?

I keep reading and reading this headline on Yahoo! Style and can’t figure out what word or words are missing:

williams apos sty

Did Mr. Williams’ friend have a zombie wedding shoot? Or his mother? Or his yoga instructor? Leaving out a word is almost as bad as slipping in an extraneous apostrophe. It sooo confusing.

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