Readers are trying resolve missing word mystery

Where did it go? How did a word slip out of the Yahoo! front page without an editor or proofreader noticing? Readers are trying to resolve this mystery:

fp trying resolve

Put a little word in the ol’ sentence

A missing word isn’t the worst mistake the writer for Yahoo! Makers made. It’s the apostrophe that signals a missing letter that is:

ole apos mak

An apostrophe can be used to form contractions and it’s used to show how a word is pronounced, often with the final letter missin’. So, what letter is missing from ole’? I think it’s an O: oleo, a popular word in crossword puzzles and a shortening of oleomargarine, more commonly known as margarine.

Adapting to change

Readers of the Yahoo! front page are probably wondering if an adaption of a novel is anything like an adaptation:

fp adaption

It is. The word adaption means adaptation, the preferred word that appears far more often than adaption. Some authorities don’t recognize adaption as an actual word; some recommend replacing it with adaptation. And at least one says that you should never use both words.

One chief, many commanders

No, this is not how you form the plural of command in chief. The correct spelling, which the writer or editor for Yahoo! Style should have known, is commanders in chief:

commander in chiefs sty

Other similar plurals? Mothers-in-law, attorneys general, passersby, notaries public.

One day’s worth of errors

I couldn’t possibly address one day’s worth of errors found on the Yahoo! front page. I couldn’t handle just two hours’ worth of typos. There are just too many mistakes on Yahoo!, including this missing apostrophe:

fp 33 years worth

I’m not sure what “33 years’ worth of taxes” is. I guess it’s the same as “33 years of tax returns.” Anyhoo, the writer omitted the apostrophe in what the Associated Press calls a quasi possessive. Other similar constructions that you’re likely to encounter:

  • two weeks’ vacation
  • three years’ experience
  • his money’s worth

About the about the about the

I have one thing to say about the about the about the on Yahoo! Celebrity: Proofread!

about the about the cel

Where can you find C-suit executives?

Have you heard of C-suite executives? They’re the men and women at the C-level of a corporation: chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief operations officer and others. What do they wear? C-suits? That’s a new term just coined by a Yahoo! Finance writer, though I suspect she inadvertently dropped a letter:


I do not think it means what you think it means

Mysterious words have proliferated throughout Yahoo! Style as a result of one writer’s ignorance of basic English:

proliferated sty

I do not think proliferated means what she thinks it means. She probably thinks it means infiltrated. It does not.

Each with her own mistakes

Yahoo! Style publishes articles by several women, each with her own style and her own interpretation of English grammar.

their own sty

At least one gal thinks it’s OK to use a plural pronoun (like, oh, say, their) to refer to a woman. It’s not. The correct pronoun is her.

Prime ministers on the English channel?

Huh? I have no idea what prime ministers (AKA premiers) on a channel have to do with Caitlyn Jenner. Those editors at Yahoo! Style always manage to confuse me:

premiers channel

I think I’ll just give up trying to figure out what that means. I’m going to watch a little TV. Maybe I’ll catch Ms. Jenner’s show, which premieres on the E! network.


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