How did Vera Wang start the trend?

There’s apparently a new trend in wedding gowns. It was started by Vera Wang with “pink and collections.”

fp pink

Thank you, writer, for enlightening us.

What do they have common?

What do these three teasers from Yahoo! have in common. Scroll down to see if you figured it out.

This is from Yahoo! Movies. No doubt the writer was in a hurry to react to the recent passing of Mr. Rooney:

miss word movies

From Yahoo! Celebrity, we find this:

missing word celeb

And Yahoo! TV tries to make this into a sentence:

miss word tv

What do they all have in common? Each sentence is missing a single two-letter word. There’s a lesson here for all writers.

How could DeSean Jackson do that?

Is DeSean Jackson fighting his team colors? According to (that trusted source of up-to-the-minute news), Mr. Jackson took his team colors and changed them into a foe:

fp change colors

I could understand if he changed his team colors to the colors of a “bitter in-division foe.” Or if he changed his team colors to those of a “bitter in-division foe.” But that’s not what Yahoo! is telling us. And Yahoo! is never wrong.

I’m pretty sure the country is older than that

If you’re a reader who’s not familiar with American history, this phrase on Yahoo! Celebrity might not strike you as a tad off:

us 60th omg

But I suspect that even a yurt-dwelling Turkmen would question whether the U.S. is only 60 years old. In fact, it was the Humane Society of the United States that had the 60th anniversary event.

Here’s a hint to editors and proofreaders: It’s not enough to check for spelling and punctuation errors. You might want to make sure that every sentence actually makes sense.

That would be the definition of remains

I don’t know why I bother to read an article when the headline contains an error. Not surprisingly, the offending header is on Yahoo! News:

401k news 1

The U.S. retirement plan is a 401(k) — the parentheses are part of its name, which is taken from subsection 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code. The writer is so sure that the plan requires no parentheses, he omits them again:

401k news 2

What would be the living remains of a cat? I was just wondering since the writer tells us about the deceased remains of a cat:

401k news 3

Do you think that word missing in “started move on” is the last error. Calm down on that optimism. There’s just one more bit of nonsense:

401k news 4

I’m stumped. How do you calm down on optimism? How do you write stuff like that and still have a job?

Can the tables be turned?

What a difference one little word can make. When it was reported on that a car dealership turns tables, I was a bit puzzled:

fp turns tables

All I could think about was the Jonas Brothers turning a table:


What the writer meant was “turns the tables.” That’s the idiom and it means “To reverse a situation and gain the upper hand,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary.

It’s hard to do worse than this

When it comes to its treatment of the English language, it’s hard to do worse than Yahoo! Shine. In just seven words the writer manages to omit two words and misspell one:

when it comes its shine

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

It’s hard not to cringe

It’s hard not to cringe when you read something as poorly written as this article on Yahoo! Shine. From the typos and the writer’s imaginative spelling of Rutgers, it has a lot to offer the discerning reader:

email 1

She writes about an author whose most recent book is “The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet…” using who’s (which means “who is” or “who has”) and getting the title wrong:

email 2

I’d tell the writer to learn to proofread, or if you don’t have time, get someone to do it for you. It would be helpful to you for your career:

email 3

It’s time she learn the difference between a possessive pronoun (like its) and a contraction (like it’s):

email 4

If she learned to proofread, she could send an email and post something on a social media site without typos and missing words:

email 5

She might also learn to check her articles after they’ve been published to ensure she hasn’t omitted vital information, like the text of a tweet:

email 6

The biggest mistake you’re proofreading your headline

What’s the biggest mistake you can make when proofreading a headline? Just ask the person who should have proofread this  on Yahoo! Shine:

biggest mistakes


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