Depends on whom you ask

How many errors have there been on Yahoo! News? Hundreds? Thousands? I don’t really know and I don’t think there is anyone to tell the tale of homophonic errors, like this one:

tail news

Is this correct? It depends on whom you ask. A Yahoo! writer and editor would think that who is the correct pronoun and have their been is really cool:

who you ask news

Well, there have been many, many errors on Yahoo! News. And these are just a few more.

This is the news

What is it about Yahoo! News? Why are the standards for writing soooo low? Why are grammatical errors, typos, misspellings, and worse of all, factual errors, tolerated?

Why do writers working there fail to understand the difference between some homophones, like there and their?

news their

Does this look right to you?

news their 2

Collecting data from 1.7 cases probably isn’t going to give you statistically significant results. You probably need data from at least 2 cases. Or maybe more like 1.7 million cases. What a difference a missing word makes!

And what a difference an unnecessary word — even a small one — makes to the reader:

news their 3

When it comes to following the laws of grammar, these writers are felons. They just don’t realize that when placed between two numbers, a hyphen means “to” or “through,” not “and,” which is the word the writer should have used instead of the hyphen:

news their 4

This is what passes for journalism on Yahoo! News.

What is their standing?

It looks like their standing should really be “they’re standing” on Yahoo! Music:

their standing music

It’s not the most most mistakes

It’s not the most mistakes you’ll find in a single article on Yahoo!. (I believe that distinction belongs to a writer for Yahoo! Shine, who managed more than 50 mistakes in a single article.) This article from Yahoo! Sports’ “Prep Rally” just contains some completely avoidable errors, like the misspelled Buckley School and the duplicated word:

cheer 1

The words their, there, and they’re are on every list of mistakes that make you look stupid. So, of course, you’ll find a homophonic mistake in this article, too:

cheer 3

This isn’t so bad; it’s just missing the hyphen in Washington-Lee:

cheer 2

But misspelling Rachael Ray? That woman is everywhere! How can you not know how to spell her name?

cheer 4

On the other hand

Considering how egregious most writing mistakes are on Yahoo!, I almost feel bad about pointing out this misplaced apostrophe on Yahoo! omg!:

ll omg 1

On the one hand, the writer knew enough to include an apostrophe. On the other hand, the apostrophe isn’t in the correct location; it belongs after the S.

I don’t feel at all bad about pointing out this homophonic horror:

ll omg 2

Confusing their, there, and they’re is on every top 10 list of common grammatical errors. So, on the one hand, it’s not surprising the writer would use they’re when the correct word is their. On the other hand, is a ring.

They’re pointing and laughing

Readers are pointing and laughing at this excerpt from Yahoo! Movies:

theyre obvious chemistry movies

They’re amused by the writers and their obvious inability to pick the right homophone. They know that they’re is a contraction for they are and that their is a possessive pronoun.

They’re scheduled to appear in court

The writer (and editor, if there was one) should be scheduled to appear in grammar court for a crime against the language:

Their scheduled appearance should happen now! This is no time to delay punishment for an assault on a homophone by Yahoo! Movies.

Next time, say no

I’m feeling sorry for this writer. I imagine this poor guy being told to write a blog post for Yahoo! Answers, and he’s unsure of his writing ability, but he gives it his best effort. So, I feel kinda like a bully pointing out something that could use “improvement.” Like this unnecessary description of a cliché as “common.” That’s the meaning of the word, isn’t it?

And the poor writer probably doesn’t have the benefit of a high school education. It’s almost understandable that he’d write their instead of they’re and your instead of you’re. And why should he know where to put a question mark?

So, the next time he’s asked to write something more complex than a grocery list, I’d advise him to say, “Thanks, but no.”

What are their editors doing?

Hello? Is there anyone at home at Yahoo! Shine? I mean, like a real writer, editor, or proofreader? Anyone? Do you think Shine’s writers are sitting around wondering what their editors are doing? Because they aren’t editing:

Clearly, there’s no one proofreading this article — at least no one who knows when to capitalize a word:

Capitalize letters really do have a purpose. They can signal a proper noun (like Republican) and distinguish it from a common noun (like senator).

Right now, a writer who wants to produce grammatically correct prose has no one to turn to. There’s no one to tell her when her verb doesn’t match her subject, or when words (like password-protected) need a hyphen:

No one’s watching the store; no one who could point out that some mashups just don’t work:

What their editors doing? Do they even have editors?

When they’re wrong, they’re really wrong

The editors at Yahoo! Shine make more than their share of mistakes. And when they’re wrong, they’re really wrong:

Why is it so hard for the editor to choose the correct word instead of the completely wrong word? And how did she make a homophonous error again in the same article?

OK, all she had to do was copy the gosh-darned title of a book. And she can’t even do that right? Gimme a break! (Or in this case, a brake.)

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