Ditch those colorful foods this Easter!

Forget about serving “colorful foods that will light up your table.” (Light up my table? Like what? Garlic bulbs?) Stick with the classics like ham and deviled eggs:

fp sub

That’s the advice on the Yahoo! front page.  Unless, of course, the writer meant substitute ham and deviled eggs with colorful foods.

What’s still going on at Yahoo?

Yesterday I did something I seldom do; I published a blog post with multiple boo-boos from the Yahoo! front page. Usually I just cover one, but the errors on yahoo.com were so numerous, that I lumped them all in a single post.

Did I just write “all”? That’s not quite accurate, because after that post went live, the hits misses just kept on comin’. Like this attempt at trying to spell Sprinkler:

fp sprinker

And this pathetic try at Steve Carell’s name:

fp steve carrell

This looks to be an attempt at saying “Johnny Manziel owes his appeal to” or “Johnny Manziel’s appeal is due to”:

fp appeal owes to

Oh, lordie. This so-called headline contains redundant quotation marks. Don’t use quotation marks if you’re using so-called because they mean the same thing:

fp so-called costco

I’m no chemist (in fact, chemistry was my weakest subject in college), but I know something about logic. Here’s the scoop: If everything in the world is made up of chemicals, you really don’t need to tell us that “not all are toxic” because it’s unlikely there would still be a human being alive if everything were toxic:

fp chemicals

What’s going on at Yahoo?

There’s something really weird going on at yahoo.com. The number of bone-headed mistakes on that page has exploded. Is it a new writing staff? A bunch of interns hired for the summer? Outsourcing to a non-English-speaking country? Here’s just some of the things spotted on today’s Yahoo! front page.

If the marathon you’re writing about is in Boston, it’s the Boston Marathon (with a big M). That’s not the only thing I’d quibble about, though. I can’t say I agree with the statement that “retrievers are used to distract” people. There are many, many documented benefits to petting a dog, including lowering blood pressure:

fp marathon

Here’s a use of chide that’s new to me: It’s used as a transitive verb (meaning it has a direct object, in this case decision), so it means “to reprimand or scold mildly.” I don’t think anyone was chiding the decision — the person who made the decision, maybe was chided.

fp chided

Ah, the old subject-verb disagreement. There can’t be any disagreement that the subject is tenor and the verb should be is. Also, there’s that dangling modifier at the beginning of the sentence, which appears to modify tenor (which makes no sense), though it likely should modify the writing on the boat:

fp tenor are

OK, here’s a mystery for you: What was Iran stockpiling? Government cheese? This doesn’t contain a grammatical or spelling error. This is what is known as an error of omission: It tells you nothing.

fp stockpile

I almost spit out my sugar-free, nonfat vanilla latte when I read this:

fp cafe

The name of that café is a mouthful, n’est-ce pas? The hilarity continues when you realize that the poor French-challenged writer has mashed up Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots.

If you’re reading something online right now (and I think you are), then according to Yahoo!, that is the reason you procrastinate. It is not what you do when you procrastinate, it is the cause of the procrastination. Good to know.

fp procrastinate

Here’s one you can disagree with, but according to the American Heritage Dictionary, the preferred spelling in the U.S. is disk:

fp disc

And we’re back to that old bugaboo — matching a subject (series) with its verb (hint: it shouldn’t be show):

fp series show

Finally, there’s another preferred spelling: light-years (with a hyphen):

fp light years

Whew! That’s all for now. And by that I mean, I’m going to go get two Advils and lie down.

I do not think it means what you think it means

If you’re a writer whose words are read by millions of people around the world, you shouldn’t use words that you don’t understand. Or that you only think you understand. The yahoo.com writer responsible for this brilliant sentence probably thinks it makes sense. It does not:

fp drudgery

Drudgery is “tedious, menial, or unpleasant work” (American Heritage Dictionary). So, what did the writer really mean? I have no idea. Do you?

That’s not nice

It’s not nice to laugh and point at others who have stumbled. Case in point, the writer for Yahoo! News’ “Trending Now” who has a little problem with English:

case and point ledge

I point this out to be instructive: The idiom is case in point.  And any father would be wise to keep a baby off a building’s ledge. But it wasn’t a ledge that was attracting the toddler; it was a balcony.  As Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.

Headline mix-up

I can’t imagine what a “pregnancy mix” would be, but it sounds like it involves multiple sperm donors and a Waring blender.

mix shine

An alternate explanation? This is just one more mix-up on Yahoo! Shine.

Not affordable?

I guess maybe a spell-checker just isn’t affordable for the folks at the Yahoo! front page:

fp affordabe

Let’s hope this puts an end to the typos on yahoo.com:

fp and end

Neither is correct

The word pair neither…nor is a correlative conjunction. They go together like peas and carrots, as Mr. Gump would say. Except on Yahoo! Movies:

neither or movies

and Yahoo! Sports:

neither or sports

Do you feel bad about your grammar?

The writer for Yahoo! Shine shouldn’t feel bad about herself for making this mistake — a lot of people (especially if they write for Yahoo!) make the same grammatical goof:

feel badly

As I’ve said before: If you’re trying to pick out a ripe peach by gently squeezing the fruit, but you’re wearing oven mitts, you might feel badly. If your emotional state is sad, depressed, anxious, or unhappy, you might feel bad.

Watch this!

Do you think the editor was watching the Yahoo! Shine writer compose this headline?

watches on shine

I hope not. I hope a real editor knows that watch means “to look on” and that the on is redundant. Either “…as Kate Middleton watches” or “…as Kate Middleton looks on” is correct. (Of course, there are those who would also argue that referring to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as “Kate Middleton” constitutes a higher crime.)


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