The writer over at Yahoo! DIY isn’t fooling anyone with this misspelling of trompe l’œil:
Trompe l’œil, which means “fool the eye” in French,l is a style of painting.
Not to knock Yahoo! Style, but I think the quality of its content would be greatly improved if it were written by people actually familiar with English:
Maybe if they employed college graduates familiar with common idioms and with using Google to check the spelling of characters (like, say, Maleficent), the writing wouldn’t be so amateurish. And if their writers knew that one of five “women” is actually a one-year-old baby, another is a doll, and another is a Lego figure, the word choices might be also be a bit more accurate.
I guess I really was knocking Yahoo! Style.
After reading the scribblings of Yahoo! writers and editors for years, few mistakes surprise me. But here are two that I’ve never seen before and hope to never see again:
From Yahoo! DIY we get the nonsense that should be no-nonsense and the inscrutable themself. Really? The writer couldn’t figure out the plural themselves? In all the horrible, terrible, no good writing I’ve come across, I’ve never, ever seen a themself. Never.
I shouldn’t have read more than this headline on Yahoo! Style:
I should have known that if the headline contains one humongous goof, the article itself is going to be a disaster. The huge mistake in the headline? The article is about a retailer called & Other Stories. How bad is that? Bad. But it gets worse.
At least in the opening paragraph, the writer manages to use the correct words for the retailer, though she does close up the space after the ampersand:
But she drops the the in what should be “in the U.S.” and the hyphen that’s required in brand-new. Maybe the writer is a recent arrival to the States and doesn’t realize that it’s capitalized when referring to the United States.
When it’s a noun or an adjective, must-have must have a hyphen:
This could be a simple typo (names instead of named), but the use of the pronoun their without any known antecedent is just wrong:
How do you explain the misspelling of a product when it appears below a picture of the product?
The final sentence of the article doesn’t disappoint: One hardly ever sees the use of a plural verb with the singular everything:
That was not good. I knew when I read the headline I should have stopped reading. My bad.
Pssst. I think this is supposed to be a secret. It looks like Yahoo! has quietly launched a new property called Yahoo! DIY. I wonder why the Internet giant hasn’t announced it on yahoo.com. Maybe the company is waiting until it gets the wrinkles out. Lordie knows this could use a little more time in the editing cycle:
People writing for a site called DIY (for “do it yourself”) should know how to spell homemade. I guess this spelling is just one way the writers are clinging to the Yahoo! tradition of avoiding the dictionary. The headline also pays homage to another Yahoo! tradition with its inaccuracy. The “costumes” are actual one costume. One.
It looks like Yahoo! DIY will be a great source of future blog posts for Terribly Write.
It was just a few days ago that I urged the writing staff at Yahoo! to avoid all words derived from French, because even if they spell the word correctly (which is unlikely), they use it incorrectly (which is likely). So, here we have on the Yahoo! front page a misspelled word from French:
The expression is au naturel, which means in a natural state. But there’s no earthly reason to use that expression; natural works just fine. Oh, and the use of earthly here? I don’t know what it means in this context. It generally is used to mean of this earth or not heavenly. But I like another meaning: conceivable or possible.