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I have read on the Amazon Pay page:

You can find all your off Amazon account activity here. Click Amazon Orders below to see your on Amazon account activity.

Why does it say "your"? As far as I know it should be "yours". Is it OK in the American Standard? My guess that it is some form of abbreviation here. Am I right?

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    The orthography isn't very helpful. Amazon could have both hyphenated AND added "scare quotes" to make it easier to parse the adjectival reference to your "off-Amazon" account activity (any [Amazon] account activity that's not conducted through Amazon's own web pages). May 30 at 13:45

1 Answer 1

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You might be analyzing the sentence incorrectly. This is understandable. According to the standard rules of punctuation, Amazon should have added hyphens to assist you. If they had done so, the text would look like this:

You can find all your off-Amazon account activity here. Click Amazon Orders below to see your on-Amazon account activity.

As you can see, off-Amazon and on-Amazon are being used as adjectives to modify account activity. The hyphens make this clear.

The Chicago Manual of Style describes these structures as phrasal adjectives:

A phrasal adjective (also called a compound modifier) is a phrase that functions as a unit to modify a noun. . . . Generally, if placed before a noun, the phrase should be hyphenated to avoid misdirecting the reader [emphasis added].

Yours does not fit the context because it is a possessive pronoun and nothing is being replaced here. The possessive adjective your does fit the context.

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    Agreed; I’d go so far as to say Amazon’s lack of a hyphen here is an error. Without it, the sentence is easily mis-parsed. Anyway, you should probably address the bit in the question suggesting “yours”—that wouldn’t be any better, so it’s probably worth pointing that out.
    – KRyan
    May 31 at 3:43
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    Yeah, as a native I also misinterpreted the sentence until I read this answer. Super confusing, but it makes sense given the hyphen clarification.
    – diggity
    May 31 at 12:44
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    Really surprised to see that kind of error from Amazon. They have enough money to afford better copy editors.
    – Seth R
    May 31 at 14:50
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    I think you are being unfair to say the OP "might be analyzing the sentence incorrectly." The original sentence is ungrammatical; your suggested hyphenation is absolutely required.
    – TonyK
    Jun 1 at 0:05
  • Why does "yours" unfit plz? it is possessive pronoun and it should fit my On-Amazon account activity ... is not it? Jun 3 at 4:55

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