This is a shoo-in for worst mistake of the day

From Yahoo! Style:

shoe-in-style

The noun meaning a sure winner is shoo-in.

What was the character’s real name?

And you thought that William Christopher’s character on M*A*S*H was Father Mulcahy? That really was not the character’s name, according to the Einsteins at yahoo.com:

fp-father-mulcahy

Why did the editors think that the name required quotation marks except to indicate it was the character’s so-called name? I guess if they were writing about characters in a Shakespearean play they’d refer to “Romeo” and “Juliet.” And they’d be wrong about that, too.

How one dreadful headline led to a headache

Oy. Does my head ache! And I blame it on this headline from Yahoo! Movies:

lead-4-led-cel

It led to my throbbing temples. What made the editor think that lead was the past tense of lead? When lead is pronounced led, it’s the stuff that’s in a pencil. The past tense of the verb lead (which is pronounced leed) is led. Which leads me to another source of my pain: That crazy hyphen before Detour. What led the editor to believe that was correct?

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.

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