Did the victims of those deadly caramel apples have their left foot in one state and their right foot in another state? Is that how it was possible to have five deaths in ten states, as reported by Yahoo! Health?
Lyrics can be a convenient device for introducing a topic, a blog post, or an article — as long as you get the words right. Screw them up and you’ll look like someone who writes for Yahoo! DIY:
Those aren’t the lyrics from “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” It should be:
He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
Your readers will recognize your mistake instantly. And it makes them feel superior to you. So, I guess there’s an upside to making a mistake.
Some people have had success teaching grammar, spelling, and other subjects related to written communication. I’ve been one of those people. But there’s one area of writing that I’ve failed at. I have never been able to teach someone logic. If their writing is illogical, their thinking is, too. And I can’t correct it.
I thought of that when I read this paragraph on Yahoo! DIY:
There’s just so much wrong here. The writer separates chemotherapy and cancer treatments, although we all know that chemotherapy is a cancer treatment. Perhaps she just forgot to include the word other: Undergoing chemotherapy and other cancer treatments would be correct here.
There’s just no way explain the use of the noun upkeep as a verb. It’s not a verb; to keep up would work, though.
I’m not sure why she had to specify an apartment (which is someone’s home) and home (did she perhaps mean house?) as if one wasn’t an example of the other.
Finally, that last sentence makes no sense. If I understand what she wrote, the mom was able to afford a cleaner, therefore it was possible to summon the energy to do it herself. Huh? Again, this is just a lapse in logic. I’m guessin’ the poor writer meant: If her mom had not been able to afford the cost of a house cleaner, the house would not be cleaned because she could not summon the energy to do it. Which is a lot of words. Better? Her mom could afford a house cleaner, which was fortunate since she didn’t have the energy to clean her own home.
If you’ve never seen than mistaken for then, or haven’t seen the compound adjective 30-second without its hyphen, then you haven’t been reading Yahoo! DIY.
What would Yahoo! DIY be without its very own misuse of it’s for its?
Somehow in that same article, this got past the eagle-eyed editors:
I think it has something to do with wearing a pattern to keep your head warm. Frankly, I think a hat would be warmer than a pattern.
Of course there are more typos, like this one below:
Call me old-fashioned, but I appreciate the well-placed hyphen and the beauty of a real dash (like this: —) and not a puny hyphen:
Also, I think pronouns (like them) should refer to a noun that’s actually present in the same sentence. Or paragraph. Or article.
There should be some sort of test to become a professional writer. You should be required to have some basic information, beyond knowledge of English, to get a job. You ought to be able to tell the difference between a rose and a carnation; that way you won’t look as ignorant as this writer on Yahoo! Style:
This is the dress that the writer alleges has red rose applique:
Those are red. Those are flowers. But they are carnations, not roses.