Punctuation: Yahoo! attacks its own signs – and does a bad job

 

Marissa Meyer, the recently-appointed CEO of Yahoo!, this week posted a picture on Instagram of a discarded registered trademark symbol [®], ripped from a wall-mounted Yahoo! logo by one of her employees.

Apparently "bugged" by the symbol, said employee had "gone on a mission removing all the R's from our site and our campus".

All well and good, but there's an elephant in the room – or, to be more precise, an exclamation mark. Yahoo!'s name, you'll notice, still ends like a bad Broadway musical. In the punctuation-unfriendly age of the internet, it make sense for most businesses to do away with exclamation marks, question marks, apostrophes and ampersands in their online brand names, so why is a major web firm holding out?

Google, for example, had an exclamation mark in its original 1998 logo, but soon did away with it. And even more traditional businesses have bowed to the inevitable: while the consumer advice magazine Which? may retain its question mark, Waterstones removed its apostrophe in January, to much sadness in the grammarian community.

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