This writing could be a real conversation piece

It’s unlikely that Breeze, which is a breathalyzer, could also be a fun party conversation, despite what it says on the Yahoo! front page:

fp conversation

It might lead to a conversation, but it ain’t a conversation. The device might be a “conversation piece” or “conversation starter.”

I have two questions

After reading this on the Yahoo! front page, I have a couple of questions:

fp restoring control

How does one restore control to an ability? My other question: How the heck does a nonsensical sentence like that get published on one of the busiest webpages in the universe?

You’re not fooling anyone

The writer over at Yahoo! DIY isn’t fooling anyone with this misspelling of trompe l’œil:

tromp diy

Trompe l’œil, which means “fool the eye” in French,l is a style of painting.

Not to knock your writing, but…

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:

knock against style

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.

This writing could repel readers

Using the wrong word could repel your readers. It’s a lesson that’s lost on the writer at Yahoo! Style:

repelling style

Reading something like that makes me want to climb the walls. And then rappel down.

A no-nonsense look at writing

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:

themself diy

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.

This is not funny

This is the entire introduction on Yahoo! Style to a video about New York Comic Con:

comicon style

Imagine you have one sentence to write and you can’t even bother to spell the subject of the sentence correctly? Imagine how dumb you look.

This may be worse than I thought

This might look OK on the Yahoo! front page — until you read it. Then it may be worse than you thought:

fp missing than

That would be difficult

It would be difficult to be the lowest rung on any totem pole, despite what you might read on Yahoo! Travel:

rung on totem pole travel

A totem pole does not have rungs. Ladders have rungs.

Literally, an embarrassment

Why do writers use words that they don’t understand and wind up just embarrassing themselves? Here, the writer for Yahoo! Style wants us to believe that athletic women actually, physically run to the top of the business world:

literally style 1

Since “the top of the business world” is a figure of speech, those women could not possibly literally run there. But they could figuratively run there. (Here’s a hint: Don’t use literally. Ever. Even if you don’t misuse it, your readers will think you did.)

This writer is so sure of her elementary school vocabulary that she’s telling you what she wrote is “not a metaphor”:

literally style 2

Well, honey, it is a metaphor. Unless the businesswomen kicked the CEO in the family jewels and commandeered his office, you are writing metaphorically.

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