You might be ‘acting like an American editor,’ according to blogger

If you think a comma goes before a closing quotation mark, and never after, you might just be an American. ‘Cause that’s the way we punctuate here in the U. S. of A. If you think it goes after, then you might be thinking like the rest of the English-speaking world and like this Yahoo! Beauty editor:

In the U.S., two punctuation marks always go before a closing quotation mark: comma and period.

You got people’s attention

The writer over at Yahoo! Style got my attention with this attempt to form a possessive:

She may have gotten other people’s attention, too. At least the attention of those who know that people is a plural noun and you form the possessive of a plural noun not ending in S with an apostrophe followed by an S: Like women’s, children’s, men’s, and people’s.

So you think you can capitalize. . .

The writer and editor of this excerpt from Yahoo! Style probably think they know when to capitalize a word:

In this case, they would be wrong. When referring to the United States, States is a proper noun. (So, if you live in Australia and want to visit three states, you have to travel to the States.)  They probably also think they know the title of that TV show called “So You Think You Can Dance.” They’re almost right: There is no question mark in the title.

If you can’t be right…

If you can’t be right, at least be consistent. That’s advice that the folks at yahoo.com could use:

It looks like they couldn’t agree on how to abbreviate United Kingdom. Legitimate news outlets use a little something called a style (or editorial) guide so they avoid embarrassments like this.

Did you really ‘go bonkers’?

When writing this headline, did the Yahoo! Finance editors really “go bonkers”?

Did  they forget that a question mark goes before a closing quotation mark only when the quoted matter is a question?

The editors at yahoo.com managed to get the hyphen in the right spot in the compound adjective guided-missile. But they couldn’t manage to do it twice:

Who you calling a “good writer”?

Based solely on this sentence from Yahoo! Style, would you call the author a “good writer“? Would it matter to you that she doesn’t know where to place a question mark? Because this blogger isn’t feeling so good right about now. And neither are the readers of this sentence:

You have no idea what to do with it, do you?

The Yahoo! Beauty writer responsible for this has no idea when to use an apostrophe:

Here’s a hint, don’t use it in a plural noun and put it in a possessive noun. Now ask a colleague to explain what a noun is.

The Kardashian’s what?

Thanks to the Yahoo! Style writers, we now have an opportunity to fill in the missing word in an online version of  Mad Libs;

kardashians-apos

Is the missing word butt: Thanks to the Kardashian’s butt? Hard to tell since we don’t know which Kardashian this caption refers to. You’d think it would refer to all Kardashians, wouldn’t you?

Throw it back

There are so many things wrong with this paragraph from Yahoo! Style that if I were writer’s editor, I’d throw it back at her and say, “Try again, honey. It’s not worth my time to try to fix this.”

throw-back

Is it really that bad? Yes. Yes, it is. An editor could change the pronouns their and they to its and it, since they seem to refer to Milan. And an editor could add the word the before Milanese’s and change that to the plural possessive Milaneses’. But the sentence still wouldn’t make any sense. It’s a straight-up (notice the hyphen?) mess. It’s a throwback (notice it’s one word?) to the days of our youth, before we knew about grammar and spelling and punctuation and sentences with actual verbs.

But that’s not all. The Cure should be The Cure’s and the random capitalization of some of those song titles has me scratching my head and dusting the dandruff off my keyboard. And the noun throwback is still one word.

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