Stick to what you know

If you’re a writer who is unable or unwilling to do a little research for an article, you should probably stick to subjects that you’re intimately familiar with. Like, for instance, if you write for Yahoo! Style, stick to writing about flannel pajamas and Crocs. Don’t attempt to write about a movie — not even briefly:

reese novel style

The writer here just looks ignorant, lazy, or maybe even mentally challenged. Cheryl Strayed’s book was not a novel; it was not a work of fiction, it was a memoir. As for the statement that “their off-screen looks hardly translate to reality”? That reveals another issue about the writer. She has a little problem with logic, because that statement makes no sense. None.

Don’t fall for this

It’s a case of bait and switch over at the Yahoo! front page. The writers promise that you can make this bath tray “in a few quick steps”:

fp bath tray

Looks good, huh? In fact it looks a lot better than the actual tray you’ll create if you follow their instructions:

fp tray diy

Apparently the writers didn’t think it was sexy enough for yahoo.com, so they pulled a little switcheroo. It’s not nice to fool your readers.

Where did you get that idea?

With all the talk about Obamacare in the last many years, you just have to wonder how the brain trust at yahoo.com came up with the notion that this is the correct name for the legislation:

fp affordable health

The official name is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often shortened to the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. The word health is not anywhere in the legislation’s title.

Dead surfer ordained as priest

The Catholic Church has ordained a man weeks after he died in a surfing accident. That’s what it says on the Yahoo! front page, so it must be true:

fp surfer

Ha! That’s what it says, but it’s not the truth. The man died weeks before he was due to be ordained.

The moon is not a comet

I stopped reading this article on Yahoo! Style when I realized the writer had confused the moon with a comet:

probe moon style

The rest of the sentence is her feeble attempt to sound all science-like, but it makes no sense, does it? And after reading that one sentence, I really had no confidence that the writer knew thing one about space, the solar system, or sexism. I stopped reading.

I’ll have ‘Parts of Speech’ for 500, Alex

Is it true that public schools in the U.S. no longer teach grammar and parts of speech? And they haven’t taught those subjects for many years? I don’t know for sure, but that’s my suspicion. I’m practically certain of it when I read something like this on Yahoo! Music:

pronouns music

The writer is referring to on and in, two prepositions. How could they be mistaken for pronouns? It reminds me of the time someone at Yahoo! Sports referred to the word sissies as an adjective. Maybe it’s just sports writers who can’t tell a pronoun from preposition.

Try to keep your story straight

It must be hard for some people to keep information in their heads. Some people can write a paragraph and just can’t remember what they wrote minutes later. Take this excerpt from Yahoo! Style:

ball 1

We can’t expect a writer to remember that there’s no hyphen in nonprofit. Nor that there’s no “the Barbados.” Nor that amongst is considered a pretentious variation of among to American ears. But she might remember that she wrote about a foundation created in honor of Rihanna’s grandmother.

Dang! If you hadn’t told us this, I would have believed that the foundation was in honor of her grandmother:

ball 2

See? She forgot what she wrote in the preceding paragraph. That’s maybe too much info for anyone to recall.

Perhaps next time she pounds out an article for which she is paid real money to write, she’ll remember that a peak is a top and a peek is a quick look:

ball 3

It takes a village to write this badly

It takes a village of Yahoo! Style editors to make this many mistakes in a single paragraph:

tilda style

Wouldn’t you think that one of these “editors” would know that the correct verb is look, so it agrees with the plural subject? Wouldn’t you think that one of them would say, “Hey, did anyone check the spelling of these names?” No, they obviously didn’t. If they had, they might have spelled Haider Ackermann and Phoebe Philo correctly. (These are supposed to be style editors, and they misspell two out of three designer names?)

Did anyone think to verify the title of the movies? No, of course not. They trusted their memory instead of Google. The movies are “Only Lovers Left Alive” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

Sometimes it takes a village of editors. Sometimes it takes the village idiots.

Closer, but still wrong

A few days ago, Yahoo! reported that the New York City Marathon will be held on November 24. Now the brain trust that edits Yahoo! Style claims that the race is today, November 4:

marathon style

Well, the date they made up is a lot closer to the actual marathon date. The marathon was held on November 2.

What color is a raven in your world?

I do not know what world the writer for Yahoo! Celebrity lives in, but I bet it’s a colorful one:

raven 1

In my world (and the world of most people living in reality), ravens are black. In this writer’s world, orange is the new black:

raven 2

The colorful comment did not go unnoticed. Here are a few remarks left by readers.

“Raven-haired = black hair. Please understand the definition of a term before you use it, especially in print.”

“raven-haired? What color do you think a raven is?”

“Since when does “raven haired” mean red?”

“That’s the problem with the internet. They don’t want to pay actual journalists. So 20-something idiots who were raised without books write this #$%$ for a buck a pop.” To which another person commented: “Even though I am laughing, truer words were never spoken: It is sad and depressing. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how today’s younger generation were allowed to graduate high school, never mind receive a college acceptance letter and, subsequently, receive a degree.”

“‘Raven-haired’??? Is there some mutant, flaming-red feathered raven out there that we need to be reading about because it would indicate something’s gone seriously wrong in our world? Or is it just that there’s a “writer” who doesn’t know what the term means and thought it sounded ‘awesome.'”

Readers do care about writing and aren’t afraid to judge a writer.

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