Wrecking havoc with the language

Yahoo! just launched a new site called Yahoo! Style. I immediately thought that it must be better written than the rest of Yahoo!; after all, it was new! Wouldn’t the Internet giant invest in the quality of the writing of a new site? Wouldn’t Yahoo! finally hire competent editors to ensure the success of Style? I was hopeful as I jumped at the opportunity to read an article by Style’s editor in chef. Now there’s a person who must appreciate the need for quality writing.

The title promised info on dressing for extreme temperatures, so I’m thinking the heat of summer and the cold of the dead of winter:

how to dress style

By the time I’d finished the article, I’d learned about dressing for heat and for that other temperature extreme — rain. But I shouldn’t have been surprised that the writer (the editor in chief!) couldn’t figure out what he was supposed to be writing about. The more I read the more I realized he probably couldn’t figure out what language he was supposed to be writing in.

Here he takes a serious subject like global warming and reveals its true threat to humanity: It wrecks havoc on fashion:

wrecked havoc style

Well, wrecking havoc sounds good to me; that would be destroying chaos. It’d be much worse if it were wreaking (or bringing about) havoc.

Then, I read this use of then instead of than:

then seersucker style

I’m going to try to ignore the advice, which doesn’t exactly seem like it’s meant for the woman of the twenty-first century, and focus on the writing, which kinda sucks:

wearing is wearing style

When I read this, I thought wearing cotton over silk sounded odd for dressing for hot weather:

allows to breath style

But the writer (the editor in chief!) meant “prefer cotton over silk.” The rest of the stream-of-consciousness writing alleges that cottons allows [sic] the body to breath. Believe me, if your body ain’t breathing, wearing cotton isn’t going to help. The writer meant that cotton is preferable because cotton breaths (that is, it allows air to pass through it).

So, am I hopeful that Yahoo! Style will provide quality content? Not if it’s written by Yahoo! writers (and the editor in chief).

Isn’t that a good thing?

Nobody likes havoc, right? So anything that destroys havoc is a good thing, right? So a greasy burger and fries will destroy havoc. At least that’s what the brilliant writer at Yahoo! Shine tells us:

havoc it wrecks shine

Ha-ha! We all know what the writer does not: The correct word is wreaks, not wrecks. Wreak means to “bring about or cause.”

Wreaking havoc with the language

So, it looks like wild pigs are wrecking havoc in Texas. And that is a good thing. If they’re wrecking havoc, they are destroying it. Good thing they aren’t wreaking havoc, because then they’d be causing it:

Thanks to those crackerjack, ace journalists at Yahoo! News we’ll always be informed of the good works done by wild pigs.

Wreaking havoc with the language

Oh, lordie. I just ran across something called Yahoo! Editors’ Picks. If this is the product of real editors, I weep for the future of the language:

Omitting a hyphen or two isn’t a horrible mistake. But wreaking havoc on English with that laughable world choice? Priceless. And “the Europe”? Perhaps the editors spent too much time listening to Miss Teen USA South Carolina 2007’s description of “the Iraq.”  I suggest they spend more time with a dictionary.

Destroy that havoc before it destroys you

It probably makes sense to the writer on the Yahoo! front page: Wreck havoc before it wrecks you.

But did the storms wreck havoc or cause it? If it’s the latter, then the word you want is wreak.

Wrecking havoc with the language

Someone is wreaking havoc with a common expression on Yahoo! Video:

wrecking-havoc

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