Here’s one person’s reaction

Yuk! That’s my reaction to the misplaced apostrophe on Yahoo! Style:

peoples sty

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’.

Kick off that hyphen!

Here we go: An unnecessary (and wrong) hyphen on the home page of Yahoo! Style:

kick-off sty

If you’re going to kick off an article with a headline, make sure you know the difference between a phrasal verb (such as kick off) and a noun (like kickoff or the alternative, kick-off).

The value of a postmortem

At some websites, writers and editors hold a daily postmortem to discuss the popularity of articles appearing on their site.  At Yahoo! Style the writers and editors should hold a meeting to figure out why they can’t even spell postmortem:

post-mortem sty

This is just not right

Yahoo! Makers’ writers display some really creative ideas — especially when it comes to the English language. I’ve references to a “right of passage,” but have never seen one that had the additional creativity of hyphens:

right-of-passage diy

So wrong — and yet so innovative! Is the ability to misspell a common idiom in multiple ways a rite of passage for Yahoo! writers?

Who was the bomber

Is this as confusing to you as it is to me? This headline on the Yahoo! front page has me wondering: Was the mosque bomber a Shiite or did the bomber attack a Shiite mosque?

fp id-ed

A hyphen would have made it clear that it was a Shiite-mosque bomber. And where did the missing hyphen go? It went into ID-ed, which should be ID’ed (according to the American Heritage Dictionary).

Millions of dollars’ worth of errors

It’s really just one error and in appears on Yahoo! Makers:

dollars worth diy

This is a case of a quasi possessive. (It’s also an example of the genitive case, which is more grammar than I like.) Anyhoo, if you’re unsure whether you’re faced with a simple plural or a quasi possessive, try this: Substitute the number 1 for the number in the phrase. So, instead of “millions of dollars worth,” try “one dollars worth.” Notice that I used dollars, and not dollar, because that sounds right to me. But of course it’s not a plural, so it must be a possessive: one dollar’s worth. This method depends on having an “ear” for correct language, something Yahoo! writers seem to lack.

My selfie’s what?

This guy’s selfie beats my selfie’s what? My selfie’s stick? What did the writer for Yahoo! Travel mean?

selfies apos tra

I think it means the writer doesn’t know how to form a plural of a word ending in -IE. Maybe next time we’ll see a headline about tie’s and lie’s.

Nice tries, but wrong

This writer for Yahoo! Finance seems a little confused about where to put a hyphen:

nobel prize fin

The writer’s not confused about capitalization, though — just wrong. It’s Nobel Prize, with two capital letters. Oh, that hyphen? It belongs after Nobel Prize: Nobel Prize-winner Stiglitz and Nobel Prize-winning economist.

Are we agree’d?

You don’t write free’d or flee’d or agree’d, do you? So, why on God’s green Earth did the Yahoo! Makers writer think she needed an apostrophe in the past tense of pee?

mom peed diy

And while I’m questioning her knowledge of English, I’ll pose one more query: Why didn’t she capitalize mom?

Was the other coke involved?

Was the editor involved with a little coke before writing this headline for yahoo.com?

fp coca-coca

Let’s see how long it takes the geniuses at Yahoo! to change that typo to Coca-Cola and to change infamous to famous. (Infamous is not a synonym for famous; it means notorious or well-known for a very, very bad reason.) Maybe they’ll also move that question mark so that it’s outside the quotation marks.

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