You picked the wrong word

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is sometimes referred to by a shorter name, and it’s not the Roll Hall that you see on the Yahoo! front page:

fp roll hall

Since rock and roll is sometimes shortened to just “rock,” you’d think the writer would know that the hall of fame is sometimes called the Rock Hall of Fame.

Know those lyrics?

Lyrics can be a convenient device for introducing a topic, a blog post, or an article — as long as you get the words right. Screw them up and you’ll look like someone who writes for Yahoo! DIY:

he knows when diy

Those aren’t the lyrics from “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” It should be:

He sees you when you’re sleeping

He knows when you’re awake

Your readers will recognize your mistake instantly. And it makes them feel superior to you. So, I guess there’s an upside to making a mistake.

Nicole Kidman: Winning by a nose

It wasn’t makeup that won an Oscar for Nicole Kidman. According to Yahoo! Style it was her prosthetic nose that earned her an Academy Award.

nose style

Oh, dopey me. I thought it was her acting.

You just can’t teach it

Some people have had success teaching grammar, spelling, and other subjects related to written communication. I’ve been one of those people. But there’s one area of writing that I’ve failed at. I have never been able to teach someone logic. If their writing is illogical, their thinking is, too. And I can’t correct it.

I thought of that when I read this paragraph on Yahoo! DIY:

to upkeep

There’s just so much wrong here. The writer separates chemotherapy and cancer treatments, although we all know that chemotherapy is a cancer treatment. Perhaps she just forgot to include the word other: Undergoing chemotherapy and other cancer treatments would be correct here.

There’s just no way explain the use of the noun upkeep as a verb. It’s not a verb; to keep up would work, though.

I’m not sure why she had to specify an apartment (which is someone’s home) and home (did she perhaps mean house?) as if one wasn’t an example of the other.

Finally, that last sentence makes no sense. If I understand what she wrote, the mom was able to afford a cleaner, therefore it was possible to summon the energy to do it herself. Huh? Again, this is just a lapse in logic. I’m guessin’ the poor writer meant: If her mom had not been able to afford the cost of a house cleaner, the house would not be cleaned because she could not summon the energy to do it. Which is a lot of words. Better? Her mom could afford a house cleaner, which was fortunate since she didn’t have the energy to clean her own home.

That’s just nuts!

Ya’ gotta wonder where the folks who write for the Yahoo! front page get their information. Do they just make it up? While the rest of the world is reporting on a macadamia nut meltdown, comes up with peanuts:

fp peanuts

Writer of anarchy

If you’ve never seen than mistaken for then, or haven’t seen the compound adjective 30-second without its hyphen, then you haven’t been reading Yahoo! DIY.

soa 1

What would Yahoo! DIY be without its very own misuse of it’s for its?

soa 2

Somehow in that same article, this got past the eagle-eyed editors:

soa 3

I think it has something to do with wearing a pattern to keep your head warm. Frankly, I think a hat would be warmer than a pattern.

Of course there are more typos, like this one below:

soa 4

Call me old-fashioned, but I appreciate the well-placed hyphen and the beauty of a real dash (like this: —) and not a puny hyphen:

soa 5

Also, I think pronouns (like them) should refer to a noun that’s actually present in the same sentence. Or paragraph. Or article.

Get a handle on it

Proving once again that ignorance of common English words is no barrier to writing, the Yahoo! Style editors haven’t quite got a handle on handlebars:

handbars style

A rose is a rose is a carnation

There should be some sort of test to become a professional writer. You should be required to have some basic information, beyond knowledge of English, to get a job. You ought to be able to tell the difference between a rose and a carnation; that way you won’t look as ignorant as this writer on Yahoo! Style:

carnations 1

This is the dress that the writer alleges has red rose applique:

carnations 2

Those are red. Those are flowers. But they are carnations, not roses.

Holly folly

Recognize the greenery on this gift from Yahoo! DIY?

halo of holly 2

No? Neither did the writer. She thinks it’s holly and she thinks it’s wrapping the present, not merely decorating it:

halo of holly 1

As a bonus (not an added bonus since that’s a tad redundant), I’m going to show you what holly looks like:

holly pic

An delightfully unconventional word

Do you recognize the objects tied around the box, below? The writer for Yahoo! DIY didn’t:

ticket stub 2

She claims they’re ticket stubs:

ticket stub 1

They are not. They are actual tickets. Ticket stubs are the part of a ticket that the buyer keeps as a receipt.

So, the writer occasionally has trouble with choosing the right word. Sometimes the result is a delightfully unconventional stumble. Sometimes the result is a mismatch of a subject (like perforation) and verb (like help). Either she meant to type perforations or she meant to type helps or she meant exactly what she typed. Which would be not so delightful.


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