It’s news to me

In spite of the fact that it ends with an S, the word news is considered to be a singular noun that takes a singular verb. At least that’s what the American Heritage Dictionary says, but not what you’ll see on Yahoo! Travel:

news have travel

Subject-matter experts need not apply

Shouldn’t it be a requirement that a food writer know something about the basic tools and appliances of cooking? Not at Yahoo! Food, where writers aren’t required to know what an oven is:

oven burner food

That’s not an oven burner roasting the corn. It’s the burner of a range, a stove,  or maybe a cooktop. An oven burner is inside an oven:

oven burner 2


Subject and verb raise questions

The plural subject (news and reaction) and singular verb raise questions about the competency of the writers and editors on the Yahoo! front page:

fp raises

Would you trust Yahoo Finance?

If you read this on the home page of Yahoo! Finance, would you trust the accuracy of the article or would you think that the misspelling of Procter & Gamble was just a careless typo (or two)?

pg 1

Hoping that it was a fluke, I decided to read the article on Yahoo! Finance’s “Hot Stock Minute.” And I encountered the headline:

pg 2

That was followed by a misspelling of the company’s name throughout the article; in fact it was never spelled correctly.

It’s wrong here:

pg 3

and here:

pg 4

and here:

pg 5

and here:

pg 6

and here:

pg 7

and even here:

pg 8

As one reader noted in the comments section of the article:

“Dear Yahoo, send Dean back to the high school newspaper that he came from since he can’t even spell the company name correctly. It’s PROCTER & Gamble, not PROCTOR.”

If the writer is so presumptuous that he doesn’t bother to verify the company’s name (which is kind of critical to the article), what other information has he gotten wrong?

Face it: You goofed

After reading this on Yahoo! TV you might ask yourself how facing an audience or camera could prevent singer Sia from becoming famous:

face tv

Does she wear a mask? No. Then what’s the explanation? It’s simple: The writer made a mistake. A big mistake. Sia doesn’t face the audience or camera, she turns her back to them.

One of these things is not like the others

Geez, is it really that hard to write a list of three items and not screw it up? Well, it may be — at least for the folks at the Yahoo! front page. Can you spot the mistake here?

fp plays a cheerleader

That’s a list or a series with nonparallel items — items that are not the same or equivalent parts of speech. There’s a verb (plays), a noun (ballerina), and another verb (raps). The writer could have fixed the grammatical gaffe by using three verbs in the series:

plays a cheerleader, imitates a ballerina, and even raps

Or the writer could have tried this:

plays a cheerleader and a ballerina and even raps

That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Out of order

Just when I think the writers and editors who work on the Yahoo! front page have made every mistake possible, they come up with a new one:

fp michelle rod actress

Didn’t anyone at notice that the word actress belongs in front of the actress’s name?

Don’t let accuracy stand in your way

Sometimes when you’re in a hurry to post the latest news story, you have to be willing to make some compromises. That’s what I think they do at the Yahoo! front page. And the compromise they’re willing to make: Misspelling the name of an article’s subject, in this case, James Jeffords:

fp jefford

I guess it could be worse: They could have called him Jame Jefford.

When one spelling is not enough

Why limit yourself to one spelling of a word? Just do what the writers on do, and spell Yezidi with an E here:

fp yezidi

Then try a second spelling, just to see if your readers are paying attention.

fp yazidi

No, I’d figure it would happen to a person

If chaotic events happened to anyone, then they would happen to a human being, since anyone means “any person.” A city or a baseball team is not an “anyone,” despite what you read on the Yahoo! front page:

fp anyone


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