First, learn to read

You’d think that the ability to read a simple sentence would be a requirement for a position of writer at yahoo.com. I don’t think it is. How else do you explain this claim about an article on “offbeat shrines” and “wacky food museums”?

fp museums

Here’s the title of the article:

pez

If by “offbeat shrines” the writer means “factories,” then that’s accurate. If by “wacky food museums” the writer means “factories,” then that’s accurate, too.

Perhaps someone will read the article to the yahoo.com writer, since that seems beyond the scope of the job (or maybe just the writer’s abilities).

Sometimes I just have to say it

Sometimes I just have to say it: This is idiotic. This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read on a supposed news site:

tank in texas

As if I needed more evidence that Yahoo! is outsourcing writing of Yahoo! News to non-English-speaking countries, we have this. The writer obviously thinks a tank is the same thing as a tanker. This is a tank (courtesy of Wikipedia):

tank

The vessel in the Yahoo! News picture is a tanker. It is a ship. It holds oil. It travels in the ocean. It could not disappear in Texas since Texas is not an ocean.

The tanker disappeared off the coast of Texas.

Sounds like labor to me

OK. So here’s what happened (according to Yahoo! Travel): A woman went into labor on a plane, her contractions were one minute apart, and there were fears she would go into labor:

birth travel

Anyone else as confused as I am? The confusion arises from the writer who can’t quite figure out what she read in the Daily Mail. But I can. According to the Daily Mail, there were fears the woman would GIVE BIRTH on the plane because SHE WAS ALREADY IN LABOR.

Should someone else apologize?

Richard Dawkins apologized for comments he made about Down’s syndrome. I wonder if he was as challenged as the scribes at yahoo.com to spell it correctly:

fp downs syndrome

The National Down Syndrome Society and the National Association for Down Syndrome  call it (not surprisingly) Down syndrome. The American Heritage Dictionary calls Down’s syndrome a variant of Down syndrome.

Did the writer (and the editor, assuming there was one) just trust that they knew how to spell and capitalize Down syndrome? Maybe they should apologize for their mistake.

Subject-matter experts need not apply

Shouldn’t it be a requirement that a food writer know something about the basic tools and appliances of cooking? Not at Yahoo! Food, where writers aren’t required to know what an oven is:

oven burner food

That’s not an oven burner roasting the corn. It’s the burner of a range, a stove,  or maybe a cooktop. An oven burner is inside an oven:

oven burner 2

Graphic: http://www.appliance411.com

Face it: You goofed

After reading this on Yahoo! TV you might ask yourself how facing an audience or camera could prevent singer Sia from becoming famous:

face tv

Does she wear a mask? No. Then what’s the explanation? It’s simple: The writer made a mistake. A big mistake. Sia doesn’t face the audience or camera, she turns her back to them.

I’m a writer, not a mathematician!

Is there any way to keep Yahoo!’s writers from writing about anything that includes a number? They can’t add, can’t count simple objects, can’t tell which of two numbers is larger, and don’t get me started on their inability to subtract one number from another. So, it was no surprise to me that the writer for Yahoo! Travel couldn’t convert square meters to square feet:

three sq ft

The box in question is a phone box (what we Americans call a phone booth). I thought that three square feet seemed awfully small for the box’s floor. The box is actually .8 square meters, which is about 8.6 square feet. Don’t ask me how the writer came up with her number. I think she made it up.

It’s a zoo out there

This article on Yahoo! Travel may be about the best zoos in the United States, but it represents some of the worst travel writing on the Internet. It’s shocking the number of mistakes made by someone who is a “managing editor” and an experienced travel writer.

This is how bad it can get:

zoo 1

It’s not an orange-colored, artificially flavored breakfast drink. It’s an orangutan. And the zoo calls it the Stingray Beach, with a capital B.

How did she screw this up so badly? The zoo is the Saint Louis Zoo and it’s in St. Louis, Missouri. Don’t go on a Saturday or Sunday expecting to see a concert. Although the writer claims concerts occur every weekend, they really occur only on Fridays and only between May 23 and August 29. Then there’s the case of the subject (admission) and its verb (which the writer thinks should be are):

zoo 2

The problem is, if she used the correct verb (is), then she’s got a really awkward sentence. That’s because she misplaced both. It belongs before “the zoo and the concert”: … admission to both the zoo and the concert is free.

I was expecting that if I went to this zoo, I’d be able to do more than just see the wolf cubs. Maybe I could bottle-feed them. Or dress them in coats and ties.

zoo 3

Again, the writer misplaced a modifier; this time it’s just. It should be: You won’t see just three cuddly wolf cubs; you’ll also see, etc., etc. etc.

How does a travel writer writing about zoos get another zoo’s name wrong? It’s Riverbanks Zoo and Garden (it’s not Zoos and it’s not Botanical):

zoo 4

OK, so maybe someone will explain to me how this project will create a new grizzly bear:

zoo 5

Would you trust the information in this article?

Are you feeling OK?

There are times I wish I could ask a Yahoo! writer a question or two. Like, are you OK? Did you hit your head? Is it possible that you’ve got a case of early-onset Alzheimer’s? I’m sure there’s some reason (perhaps medically induced) that accounts for the fact that the writer for Yahoo! Celebrity can’t keep a simple fact in his or her head. After reading about a wedding in Palm Springs, California, shouldn’t a person be able to recall that location and actually pound it out on a keyboard?

palm springs fla omg

Is that picture more than 5 years old?

Have the folks at the Yahoo! front page posted a picture that’s more than five years old? I ask because the baby in the photo looks to be about six months old:

fp six-yr

Yet, the writer claims the child is now six years old. What gives? The explanation is quite simple and quite common on yahoo.com: The writer screwed up. Gammy, the child in question, is not a six-year-old; he’s a six-month-old.

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