What else could go wrong?

You’d think from reading this headline/caption on Yahoo! Shine that you could “steal” a gown today, March 20, 2014, and that gown would be the one that Kristen Bell wore on the red carpet:

lauren frankfort

Of course, stealing is wrong and I believe the writer was speaking figuratively. But I just couldn’t understand the rest of that sentence. Who was Lauren Frankfort? Was she the designer of the soon-to-be purloined gown? Being a lover of wedding gowns, I had to get some answers. So, I bravely clicked the caption.

The truth is, that is not a picture of Kristen Bell’s “wedding-worthy gown.” And said gown is not going to be available today, March 20. That’s the date the article was published on Shine. And Lauren Frankfort? Not the designer, but the writer of the article. Is there anything with any truthiness in that caption and picture? Yes. Kristen Bell’s name is spelled correctly.

Jumping on the wagon

Have the folks in charge of the Yahoo! front page hopped on the offshoring bandwagon and outsourced writing to a non-English-speaking country? That’s the impression you get when you read this on yahoo.com:

fp stroller

The “stroller” in question is that red object on the left that looks strangely like a wagon. And the “baby” looks to be ready for kindergarten. Maybe in Mumbai or Nairobi those would be the correct terms. In the U.S.? Not so much.

A news source you can trust?

How many typos, misspellings, and wrong word choices does it take before you question the credibility of a news article? If the article is written by a Yahoo! News staffer, I start with an attitude of skepticism, which is buttressed by the errors that are sure to be there.

I can count on there being at least one homophonic error. In this article, the writer claims an ice sculpture was discretely wheeled into a hotel suite:

cpac 1

Unless that sculpture was delivered in bits of ice cubes, it was brought in discreetly, so as not to attract attention.

A typo in a photo caption isn’t the worst thing you’ll find in the article:

cpac 2

But a second homophonic error just might be:

cpac 3

Perhaps it’s a rite of passage at Yahoo! News: You can’t get a byline until you’ve made at least three boneheaded mistakes in a single article.

Here’s a makeshift spelling of makeshift:

cpac 4

There’s nothing wrong with this paragraph except for the arbitrarily capitalized former and the spelling of Dinesh D’Souza and Cathy McMorris Rodgers:

cpac 5

Two of those mistakes would get you sent to the woodshed in a legitimate news organization. But wait! There’s more! Here, the writer claims there was a big band consisting of 16 pieces:

cpac 7

and yet in the photo caption, he’s added a musician:

cpac 6

Perhaps the writer was enjoying the contents of the kegerator when he wrote this:

cpac 8

and then forgot that if you use a dollar sign, you shouldn’t also use the word bucks (because that would be “20 dollars bucks”):

cpac 9

So, I’m not trustin’ too much (if anything) I read from this author. I guess for some, getting an article published is all that matters:

cpac 10

Fun with photo captions

I’m thinking of starting a regular feature on Terribly Write. I’ll call it “Fun With Photo Captions” and display my favorite recent photo-and-caption combo from Yahoo!.

I’d probably start with a photo from Yahoo! Shine, like this one from the movie “Pretty in Pink”:


And the brilliant caption that accompanies the photo:

lapel 2

Don’t you just love it when a writer is describing fashion but can’t tell a scarf from a lace hankie or a lapel from a pocket?

Missing some steps?

The home page of Yahoo! Shine is like a table of contents to all the great, well-written, entertaining, and enlightening articles you’ll find in the rest of the site. If you’re interested in making your cat an Internet superstar, for example, it promises you the five steps to a viral feline video:

cat star 1

Anxious to learn about those five steps (which I’ll get started on as soon as I adopt a cat from the local shelter), I clicked on the picture. Bah! I’ve been deceived yet again by writers who don’t recognize that 8 is different from 5:

cat star 2

Never been engaged?

I’m speculating from this on the Yahoo! front page that the writer has never been engaged:

fp wedding ring

The coveted celebrity ring is the engagement ring — the one with the big stone. The wedding ring is that narrow band. I think that most people in the U.S. would know the difference. Perhaps the writer resides in a country that doesn’t have the tradition of engagement and wedding rings.

This makes me feel old

Maybe it’s because I remember my first Walkman. Maybe it’s because I come from a generation that values the ability to communicate effectively and accurately in writing. Whatever the reason, reading this on Yahoo! Shine just made be feel old:

walkmans shine

I suspect that the writer is from a different, younger generation from mine. That may explain why she doesn’t know that Walkman is a trademark and not a generic term. It might explain the random comma, because rules of punctuation seem to elude the young’ums. But I’d expect her to know how to spell Gangnam and for her to be able to identify the first names of Benny and Rafi Fine. Or is that asking too much?

It’s hard not to cringe

It’s hard not to cringe when you read something as poorly written as this article on Yahoo! Shine. From the typos and the writer’s imaginative spelling of Rutgers, it has a lot to offer the discerning reader:

email 1

She writes about an author whose most recent book is “The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet…” using who’s (which means “who is” or “who has”) and getting the title wrong:

email 2

I’d tell the writer to learn to proofread, or if you don’t have time, get someone to do it for you. It would be helpful to you for your career:

email 3

It’s time she learn the difference between a possessive pronoun (like its) and a contraction (like it’s):

email 4

If she learned to proofread, she could send an email and post something on a social media site without typos and missing words:

email 5

She might also learn to check her articles after they’ve been published to ensure she hasn’t omitted vital information, like the text of a tweet:

email 6

Why would Elizabeth Taylor do that?

Why would Elizabeth Taylor help create a public health crisis? She didn’t, of course. And she was never a “co-foundee amfAR” since “co-foundee” isn’t even a word. But that’s the kind of nonsense you’ll read on Yahoo! Shine:

co-foundee shine

She was a cofounder of amfAR and helped create public awareness of the AIDS crisis.  Her efforts deserve more respect than this embarrassment from Yahoo!.

Have you ever seen ‘The Voice’?

You! I’m talking to you! You, the person who wrote this for the Yahoo! front page:

fp adam levine

You have obviously never watched “The Voice.” And you obviously did not read the article about Adam Levine because if you did you’d know that he is a coach, which makes him a cast member. He cannot be both a current coach and a former cast member. What is wrong with you?


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