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.

Edited and still bad

In a never-ending search to find an article on Yahoo! DIY that doesn’t contain multiple errors, I came across this 2-sentence paragraph:

never search dyi

It’s hard to imagine that this was written by someone who advanced beyond fourth grade. It’s written by someone described as “Cinematographer/Editor.” After reading this, I can only presume the editing is of videos — and not text.

There’s just so much wrong in so little space: There’s the “never search,” which I take to mean “never-ending search.” There’s the mysterious “to do pumpkins a new way,” which sounds particularly lewd. There’s the claim that you need a sand bag, which you don’t; you’ll just fill a trash bag with sand. You gotta wonder about a writer who uses wonder instead of wander. And who the heck calls Halloween “the Halloween Eve.” And don’t get me started on the five periods, which might be an attempt at ellipsis (which is three periods).

So, I just checked that article and it looks like someone attempted to edit that mess. Unfortunately, the editor isn’t much better than the writer when it comes to writing:

never search diy 2

Now it looks like there’s just one word missing in what should be “pumpkins in a new way,” though the sand bag is still there. But what’s really surprising is that the editor doesn’t know any more about Halloween than the writer. It’s also known as All Hallows’ Eve.

It’s not nice to lie to readers

When is a little inaccuracy really a lie? When it’s accompanied by several other “inaccuracies.” Maybe the writer for the new site Yahoo! DIY didn’t mean to lie to her readers. Maybe she was just fibbing a little when she told them all they’d need for this project was a hammer and candles:

chandelier 1

That little white lie gets exposed as a big fat lie when you read the list of materials and tools:

chandelier 2

Overlook the random capital letters in the list and the quirky categorization of masking tape as a “tool.” The issue is, there’s more to this DIY project than the writer let on. But wait! There’s more!

Here’s a picture that the writer provided of some (or all?) of the tools and materials you’ll need:

chandelier 3

Did she forget to tell readers that they’d also need a miter box and a hacksaw?

Would you trust Yahoo! DIY for instructions on your next do-it-yourself project? I didn’t think so.

Homemade errors

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:

home made diy

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.

News to confuse

Sometimes the news can be so confusing. Especially if you’re reading Yahoo! News. I’m so befuddled by the possibility of a Nebraska hospital ending up in Liberia. How the heck did that happen?

news 2

We all know people who are so fond of their dog that they feel they’re owned by their pet. Apparently that’s the case with the nurse in Texas who contracted Ebola. Her spaniel owned her, and not the other way ’round:

news 1

Although I’ve been following the story of the nurse’s illness, I had no idea she was the first person infected with Ebola. I thought the outbreak started in Africa, not the U.S. Shows you how much I know.

Not even trying

Ah, geez. This writer came up with one stinking little paragraph and she can’t even get the name of the product right? She’s not even trying:

fendi peekaboo

The bag is called the Peekaboo — without any of those hyphens. It’s downright (notice it’s one word?) crazy that the writer would insert them. I can forgive her for referring to an object as she, although it strikes me as both amateurish and juvenile. But then she tries to construct a sentence that is pure nonsense and seems to think navy is a synonym for midnight blue. It isn’t and the claim that “her navy is also .. midnight blue” just makes no sense.

Should writers lie to their readers?

Should writers pretend to be someone they’re not? Should a writer for a supposedly fact-based site lie to readers by pretending to be someone they’re not?

I first asked myself that question when I read an article on Yahoo! allegedly written by popular cookbook author and TV personality Rachael Ray. I couldn’t help but notice that the name in the byline was Rachel Ray and that throughout the article “Ms. Ray” misspelled her own name a dozen times. Obviously it wasn’t written by her, but by some hack at Yahoo! trying to deceive the public. That’s not nice.

Does this paragraph from Yahoo! Style raise questions of journalistic integrity at Yahoo!? There seems to be nothing to question here:

chris kim 1

until you read the byline:

chris kim 2

Christopher Kim appears to be a male in this picture (he’s the one on the right):

chris kim pic

I don’t know anything about his personal life, especially about his gender identity, but is he really just trying to make readers think he’s just one of “us ladies”? Any why bother deceiving readers? And would you trust Yahoo! Style to be accurate, honest, and truthful?

Better to write nonsense than to write nothing at all

This is it. This is all the writer for Yahoo! Style had to say about an auction, and look at how many mistakes she managed to make saying it:

willie nelson hair style

Since the auction was from Waylon Jennings’ estate, don’t you think she could take 15 seconds and confirm his real name? No matter. Better to write the wrong name than take the time to find the right name. Then there’s the claim that this isn’t the first time hair went for record prices. Prices? Did Mr. Nelson’s hair sell for more than one price? Or is the writer just really careless with her words?

Of course, no article from Yahoo! Style is complete without at least one factual error. First she claims that $37,000 was a record price for hair, and then she tells us that Justin Bieber’s hair sold for over $41,000. I guess it’s better to make a ridiculous, obviously erroneous claim than to state the facts.

Ellen DeGeneres’ name isn’t a mangled as it could be and a animal could charitably called a typo. But the sum of these errors is clear: Here’s someone who writes without regard for accuracy.  Maybe it’s better to write badly and be paid than to not write at all?

It just goes from bad to more bad

This headline was my first indication that the article on Yahoo! Style was not going to go well:

ed pick 1

The new ’60s-inspired pieces you need now? I think they involve a correctly placed an apostrophe (which shouldn’t be used to form the plural) and a hyphen.

Things only got worse. It’s hard to imagine what went through the writer’s mind when she pounded out this:

ed pick 2

It’s pretty clear that makes and reminds should be make and remind (because their subject is surfboards) and that summer isn’t a proper noun. But what could be wrong with wool sweater? The answer lies in the handy caption for the sweater that the writer provided:

ed pick 3

WTF? How did the writer screw up that badly? It’s a freakin’ linen sweater, not a wool one!

This writer is just obsessed with wool sweaters, to the point of lying about the actual material of her recommendations:

ed pick 4

First, let’s look at the helpful information the writer supplied because the alleged black stripe is actually navy:

ed pick 5

And is it mohair? Of course not! It’s nylon and acrylic. The writer just likes to make up her own little facts.

Do you know how difficult it is to find the correct spelling of gray? Luckily you don’t have to. In the U.S., it gets an A; in other English-speaking countries, the preferred spelling is grey:

ed pick 55

Again the writer proves that she’s grammatically challenged, unable to identify a plural subject (shape and color) and match it to a verb (which should be are).

When not making up information about sweaters, the writer likes to be creative about pants:

ed pick 6

What could possible wrong with that? The pattern is called dogtooth and the pants aren’t cropped, even though the writer just can’t let go of the whole crop pants thing:

ed pick 7

Geez. This just keeps getting worse. There’s a missing hyphen in must-have, fall is capitalized erroneously, and this sentence makes no sense:

ed pick 8

I don’t know what this means nor what FW means:

ed pick 9

Think it can’t get worse? Think again:

ed pick 85

The handbag is not made from box leather; it’s a leather box bag.And it was seen from a lot of famous people.

I have to keep reminding myself that this article was written by a professional writer, someone who is actually paid real money to write this crap:

ed pick 10

That’s someone who doesn’t know the difference between its and it’s. Who doesn’t know to end a sentence with a period (a comma just won’t do) and stick a hyphen in cat-eye.

It started off with a mistake and just kept piling ‘em on. It went from bad to more bad and more bad.

Makeup makes man’s hair grow!

What a transformation! Can you believe that a man can use just makeup to change not only his facial features but also his hair length and color?!

just makeup head

That’s the claim from Yahoo! Style, and the editors have provided a handy picture to prove it:

just makeup style 2

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