What did Bella Thorne attend?

Those wacky offshore writers at the Yahoo! front page are at it again! They just prove that you can’t always cross the cultural divide between the U.S. and the rest of the world:

fp prom

Some anonymous writer (who would probably like to keep it that way) thinks that Bella Thorne attended a prom. She did not. The event was a homecoming dance, and that is not the same thing as a prom. Any red-, white-, or blue-blooded American knows that.

It took a whole team to write this badly?

Here’s a shocking admission from Yahoo! Style: This article, and all its errors, was written by “Yahoo Style Editors.” Apparently it takes more than one editor to screw up this badly. In general first ladies doesn’t get capital-letter treatment (at least according to most authorities, including the Associated Press). And no authority would OK the use of an apostrophe in the plural houses. (But no article from Style would be complete without at least one apostrophe in a plural):

fl 1

One of those “Yahoo Style Editors” really ought to be able to spell the name of every U.S. president, so one of them should be able to spell every president’s wife’s name, too. Like Nancy Reagan:

fl 2

I kinda think that’s inexcusable. And I’m horrified that the writers think that Hillary Clinton was inaugurated in 1997. She never had her own inauguration. She did, however, attend her husband’s 1997 inauguration.

Those “editors” could use a little tutelage in the use of a spell-checker:

fl 3

Lordie, lordie. Doesn’t anyone in the group of “Yahoo Style Editors” know how to spell? Or use a dictionary? Or a spell-checker?

fl 4

And finally there’s just one more lie they have to tell. (It’s probably not a lie so much as an inability for the combined brains of “Yahoo Style Editors” to understand words of more than two syllables.) Mrs. Clinton did not wear an embellished gown to her husband’s second term ceremony. She wore one to her husband’s second-term Inaugural Ball.

Back to school for you!

Could the writer of this module on the Yahoo! front page be a college graduate? I’m not sure. I’d expect a college graduate to know that an apostrophe is required in “Parents college debt nightmare”:

fp college debt

I’d expect that a college graduate could read an article and summarize it accurately. And that’s when I realized that perhaps this writer is still in high school, struggling with understanding text written for a tenth grader. That’s how I’d explain the allegation that these parents owe a huge sum “nearly a decade after the graduation.” Since the parents have more than one daughter, I wanted to know whose graduation was a decade ago. So I read the article and learned that these folks borrowed the money a decade ago — not that their daughters graduated a decade ago.

To the writer, I’d say, stay in school and get that high school diploma. To readers of yahoo.com, I say don’t believe what you read.

Apple Pay gets an addition

Do the folks who write for yahoo.com just make up product names? Here’s a case of a new name for a new Apple product: Apple iPay.

fp ipay

Someone managed to get the name right; it’s Apple Pay. So why did the product get an addition? Maybe the writer thinks all Apple products should begin with a lowercase I.

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?

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.

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.

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