Not ready for the big leagues

I don’t think that the writer for Yahoo! News’ “Odd News” is quite ready for the big leagues of journalism, especially not in sports journalism. Anyone familiar with professional baseball knows about Major League Baseball. It’s a trademark owned by Major League Baseball Properties, Inc.

mlb news

Why, fie on that spelling!

According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, Wi-Fi is one of its registered trademarks. It’s not a common noun as alleged on the Yahoo! front page:

fp wifi

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In yet another edition of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” where I point out the inconsistencies on yahoo.com, we see that there’s some confusion over hyphen use:

fp debt relief hyph no hyph

A high-water mark in writing

It’s a high-water mark in writing on the Yahoo! front page:

fp high watermark

Ha-ha. Just kidding. I am a kidder. I kid. That’s not a high-water mark in writing. It’s not even high-water mark — but it should be.

Unsure of that hyphen?

If you’re unsure if two words should be joined by a hyphen, just do what the folks at the Yahoo! front page do:

fp carbon tax

One of those is bound to be correct, right?

Are you qualified to write about travel?

What does it take to be a writer for Yahoo! Travel? Not much, if this article is any indication.

You don’t need to know how to spell. You can commit the absolute worst misspelling of hors d’oeuvres in the entire universe and still be employed:

hour 1

And you don’t need to know anything about punctuation. Just throw some commas around as if L’Espalier were the only restaurant on Boylston Street, and hope that nobody realizes that you didn’t tell them where Boylston Street is. (It’s in Boston.)

Should you know that they’re the Great Smoky Mountains? Not necessarily:

hour 2

Do you need to know that a hyphen is required in the compound adjective 4,200-acre? Nope:

hour 3

Should you know how to spell Tom Colicchio? Nah.

hour 4

What does it take to write for Yahoo!?

This is how mistakes spread

When the verb phrase opt out appeared on Yahoo! Sports with a hyphen — not once, but twice — I feared we’d see this mistake elsewhere:

opt-out sports

It looks like Yahoo! News picked up the story and went with the misspelling of the verb, too:

opt-out news

Hey, they may be wrong, but at least they’re consistent. For a change.

Laying it out in black and white

Let’s lay this out in black and white for the Yahoo! Celebrity writer: If you don’t know that fiancé is an engaged man (and fiancée is an engaged woman), perhaps you should refer to the man as betrothed. Or maybe boyfriend:

simpson omg 1

If you’re using it as an adjective, then black-and-white gets two hyphens. (As a noun, it doesn’t need those hyphens.)

So, Jessica Simpson posted a black-and-white photo on Instagram. Is it any surprise that it looked like she was wearing a black and white dress? (I really don’t know how the writer could tell what color the dress was.) Repeating a word isn’t the worst mistake a writer can make, but claiming she “was laid out” makes it sound like the poor woman was prepared for a funeral, not a wedding:

simpson omg 2

Finally, the writer alleges that her hand was “placed seductively over her eyebrow.” Unless her eyebrow is somewhere on the top of her head, I think the writer made a misstatement:

simpson omg 3

How many fashion shows?

If you believe what you read on Yahoo! Shine, then you’d think that Burberry and designer Tom Ford had a joint fashion show in London:

hats 1

Well, that’s a lie. They didn’t join up in London. The fashion show that the author refers to is strictly a Burberry affair. I have no idea why the writer dragged Mr. Ford into the mix. Just like I have no idea why she dragged a hyphen into this adverb and adjective mix:

hats 2

Or why she dragged an apostrophe into this plural:

hats 3

Perhaps she was confused about the location of the apostrophe (does it go before or after the S?), so she put it before and after the S, even though it doesn’t belong in 1990s:

hats 4

Were the “mall rats” buying droves of hats? It’s kinda hard to picture that since droves means “a large mass of people.”

Arousing suspicion

I suspect that the writers and/or editors over at Yahoo! Shine haven’t been trained in the wonder that is punctuation. If they had been, they’d know enough not to put the question mark here:

paradise quest

The question mark belongs after the closing quotation mark because the entire sentence is a question.

I suspect the writer didn’t look up the spelling of Lil’ Kim; if she had, she’d know there’s an apostrophe missing here:

lil kim shine

So, when the writers aren’t dropping punctuation marks, they’re adding them where they don’t belong, like here:

post-partum shine

The word is postpartum, without a hyphen.

And my favorite mistake, arousing my suspicion that no one at Yahoo! cares about spelling, is this misspelling:

arrousing shine

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