That’s a new one

I’ve seen all kinds of misuse of the apostrophe, but this one on take’s the cake:


I think I’ve found it!

My previous blog post noted a missing apostrophe on the front page of Yahoo News. I think I’ve found it. It turned up in a headline on Yahoo Lifestyle:

The apostrophe simply doesn’t belong there. When faced with a similar situation — a length of time preceding an adjective — don’t include the apostrophe. (But if the time period modifies a noun, it gets an apostrophe: one day’s pay, ten years’ experience.

If that’s too grammar-geeky a rule for you, try this: Replace the length of time with the singular: one month pregnant sounds right; one month’s pregnant doesn’t. So, no apostrophe in the plural. Of course this method requires that you have an “ear” for correct English.

What were limited?

I’m soooo confused by Yahoo News. What were the things that “were limited”?

To me it looks like the editors were limited in their proofreading skills. And the readers? We’re limited in our comprehension, due to a missing apostrophe.

Punctuation matters.

And then I stopped reading

I admit it. I really wasn’t interested in this article from Yahoo! Style, but I thought I could force myself to read it. And then I read it. Actually, I only read the first paragraph and couldn’t bring myself to read any further:

You may think you know Yahoo! writers, what with their use of incorrect words, but you don’t know half of it. My comments are based on the evidence (not based off of it). This paragraph is the latest brainchild of a Yahoo! writer (of “I don’t know where to put the parenthesis fame”).

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

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