It’s not editors’ rules

There are rules to writing that we all try to follow so that we communicate clearly and so that we don’t look like idiots to our readers. These are not editors’ rules; they are language rules. And there’s one that’s just been broken on Yahoo! Style:

The plural of parent is parents; the possessive of parents is parents’. I think that means that parents’s is the singular possessive of the plural parents. Or maybe it just means the writer has no idea what she’s doing.

At least it wasn’t tinnitus

Whew! Tinnitus, otherwise known as ringing in the ear, can be difficult to deal with. According to Yahoo! Movies, the  character Baby only suffered from ringing in his eardrums. That’s not so bad:

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?

Knowledge of geography optional

You don’t need to be an expert in geography to write for Yahoo! Style. If you don’t know an English town from an English county, don’t worry — you could still making the writing team. The author of this gem did:

Berkshire is not a town outside of London; it is a county. St. Mark’s church, the site of Ms. Middleton’s wedding, is in Englefield, Berkshire. Englefield is the town outside of London.

I’m not mathematical genius

I’m no mathematical genius, in fact, I’m barely competent in basic arithmetic. But I’m pretty sure that this claim on Yahoo! Style is off by at least 100 years:

Levi’s the company has been around since 1853, which is somewhat more than 50 years ago. I think. But I’m no mathematical genius, so I could be wrong.

Tousling the language

Proving once again that knowledge of English isn’t a requirement for a job writing for, the Internet giant unleashes this assault on readers:

Mr. Fallon didn’t tussle anyone’s hair; that would involve a vigorous struggle or scuffle. What he did was tousle the then-candidate’s hair. He messed it up, similar to what Yahoo!’s editors are doing with the language.

Find a lucrative career

Here’s some unsolicited advice to the editors of Find a lucrative career that doesn’t depend on knowledge of English:

The adjective lucrative doesn’t mean substantial or significant. It means profitable.

Barron Trump to attend exceptional school

Barron Trump, the youngest son of the current occupant of the Oval Office, is 11 years old. Next fall he’ll be attending a school for students aged up to 12, according to Yahoo! Style:

You might think it odd that he’ll be attending a school for just one year. But, it’s an exceptional school, for students in grades 9 to 12, also according to Yahoo!:

So, it looks like students complete grades up to 12, graduating from high school at the age of 12. Now, that’s an exceptional school. Unless… the writer got it wrong. The school serves students from age 2 to grade 12. Oops. That’s a  little different.

This is not what it appeares to be

This appears to be a teaser from website written by an amateur author tapping at a keyboard in his mother’s basement:

It is actually from, which allegedly employs professional writers and editors. (But apparently no proofreaders.)

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