Devaluing your words

There’s a place for repetition and redundancy in writing. It can help you emphasize an important fact. It can help remind your readers of something of value. But redundancy can also frustrate your readers and leave them with the impression that you’re a careless writer or worse. In the case on the Yahoo! front page, the redundancy makes the writer look a little vocabulary-challenged:

fp devalue

Since devalue means “to lessen or cancel the value of” (American Heritage Dictionary), “devalue the worth of” means “lessen the value of the worth of.” A tad redundant or maybe just nonsensical.

Countless errors

If there are so many errors that they can’t be counted, there are countless errors. Here’s just one more on the Yahoo! front page:

fp countless

I can’t figure out if “countless numbers” is an oxymoron, but I’m sure that there’s no need for “numbers of.”

Blogger proofreads says proofreading…

What are the odds that someone — anyone — proofread this sentence on the Yahoo! front page?

fp walks says walking

I’d say slim to none.

And then I wrote… And then I wrote…

The is from the from the Yahoo! front page:

fp from the from the

Thank you, Captain Obvious

Here’s some startling news on Yahoo! Sports: If only one of two teams will “stay alive,” the other team will not stay alive:

wont be so fortunate sports

Thanks for that info! I’ll try to remember that.

A news source you can trust?

How many typos, misspellings, and wrong word choices does it take before you question the credibility of a news article? If the article is written by a Yahoo! News staffer, I start with an attitude of skepticism, which is buttressed by the errors that are sure to be there.

I can count on there being at least one homophonic error. In this article, the writer claims an ice sculpture was discretely wheeled into a hotel suite:

cpac 1

Unless that sculpture was delivered in bits of ice cubes, it was brought in discreetly, so as not to attract attention.

A typo in a photo caption isn’t the worst thing you’ll find in the article:

cpac 2

But a second homophonic error just might be:

cpac 3

Perhaps it’s a rite of passage at Yahoo! News: You can’t get a byline until you’ve made at least three boneheaded mistakes in a single article.

Here’s a makeshift spelling of makeshift:

cpac 4

There’s nothing wrong with this paragraph except for the arbitrarily capitalized former and the spelling of Dinesh D’Souza and Cathy McMorris Rodgers:

cpac 5

Two of those mistakes would get you sent to the woodshed in a legitimate news organization. But wait! There’s more! Here, the writer claims there was a big band consisting of 16 pieces:

cpac 7

and yet in the photo caption, he’s added a musician:

cpac 6

Perhaps the writer was enjoying the contents of the kegerator when he wrote this:

cpac 8

and then forgot that if you use a dollar sign, you shouldn’t also use the word bucks (because that would be “20 dollars bucks”):

cpac 9

So, I’m not trustin’ too much (if anything) I read from this author. I guess for some, getting an article published is all that matters:

cpac 10

I prefer the optional essentials

From the Department of Redundancy Department, which is located just down the hall from Yahoo! Shine offices, we learn about must-have essentials that are probably also mandatory, required necessities:

must-have essentials shine

Redundant and repetitive writing

Quick! Someone hand the writer for yahoo.com a dictionary and show that person how to use it. You could start by looking up the definition of well-heeled:

fp rich

I have no clue what the writer thinks it means, but well-heeled means wealthy, prosperous, or rich.

Is proofreading too taxing?

Was proofreading just too taxing for the Yahoo! Shine writer?

free tax tax prep shine

Did I mention it was quick?

The Yahoo! front page‘s pithy teasers are really pithy:

fp quick

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