I’ve seen all kinds of misuse of the apostrophe, but this one on yahoo.com take’s the cake:
This appeared today on yahoo.com and nothing could be further from accurate than this use of farther:
Confused about the difference between further and farther? Here’s what the American Heritage Dictionary says:
Since the Middle English period many writers have used farther and further interchangeably. According to a relatively recent rule, however, farther should be reserved for physical distance and further for nonphysical, metaphorical advancement. Thus 74 percent of the Usage Panel prefers farther in the sentence If you are planning to drive any farther than Ukiah, you’d better carry chains, and 64 percent prefers further in the sentence We won’t be able to answer these questions until we are further along in our research.
Proving once again that knowledge of English isn’t a requirement for a job writing for yahoo.com, 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.
Spotted yesterday on yahoo.com:
What’s the issue? It’s the use of off of, which some think is wrong and others say merely lacks concision.
The American Heritage Dictionary says:
The compound preposition off of is generally regarded as informal and is best avoided in formal speech and writing: He stepped off (not off of) the platform.
While Merriam Webster states:
The of is often criticized as superfluous, a comment that is irrelevant because off of is an idiom. It is much more common in speech than in edited writing and is more common in American English than in British.
Aha! There’s the reason for the superfluous of! I’m reading yahoo.com, which isn’t exactly “edited writing.”