A couple of letters are missing

A couple of letters are missing from the Yahoo! front page —  O and F:

fp couple years

Yes, the idiom is couple of, not couple, at least according to the American Heritage Dictionary:

The of in the phrase a couple of is often dropped in speech, but this omission is usually considered a mistake. In 2013, 80 percent of the Usage Panel found the sentence A couple friends came over to watch the game to be unacceptable.

Having troible proofreading?

Geez. We know that the writers and editors at Yahoo! have trouble proofreading, by which I mean they do not proofread. So, you’d think that the Internet giant would at least provide them with a spell-checker. At least one error on Yahoo! Music could be eliminated:

troibled music

A spell-checker would have spit out troibled, but wouldn’t have identified the missing words. That’s for the reader to provide.

John Kerry carries heavy load

When they’re not erroneously claiming that Secretary of State John Kerry was once the governor of Massachusetts (or Massachussetts as they would have it), the folks at Yahoo! News place the entire country of Afghanistan on his shoulders:

latest afghan news

That’s quite a heavy load for a 70-year-old.

Not a high school graduate

How the heck did Eminem’s daughter do that? In October she was a high school homecoming queen, and now she’s a college graduate?

fp grad college

The answer is pretty simple: This appeared on yahoo.com, a site not known for accurately reproducing facts. It was right under the writer’s nose. Assuming the writer doesn’t have a schnoz like Cyrano de Bergerac, it should have been easy to see that the girl didn’t graduate from college. (And I meant graduate from college, not graduate college.)

You’re not the only who hates typos

Hate typos? Hate missing words in headlines? Me, too. That’s why I’m not fond of this headline on Yahoo! TV:

missing one tv

This seems totally off

Here’s something on yahoo.com that had me scratching my head and dusting the dandruff off my keyboard:

fp weight loss

I just don’t see how losing some pounds can pay for a baseball player. It might pay off for a minor league player. And how does someone make the Major League after 12 years of baseball? Did he start playing when he was 20?  Oh, right. That’s wrong. He spent 12 years in minor league baseball. That’s something completely different.

This is a sorry excuse for writing

I’m sorry to say it, but it’s hard to believe that this article from Yahoo! Shine was produced by a professional writer. Heck, it’s hard to believe it was written by a middle school graduate.

There are a few minor problems, like needlessly capitalizing a word. “Sorry” doesn’t get a capital letter unless it’s at the start of a sentence or you’re writing about the board game:

sorry 1

This is a sorry attempt at making a possessive out of women:

sorry 2

(To form the possessive of a plural noun not ending in S, just add an apostrophe and S: women’s, men’s, children’s.)

Things get a little sorrier with an error-filled paragraph, which includes a subject-verb mismatch (the subject study takes the verb has identified):

sorry 3

A “verbal tick” sounds like a talking, bloodsucking arachnid. If the writer meant an idiosyncratic and habitual behavior, that would be a tic. Then there’s the issue of the pronoun they, which has no antecedent. Just who is they? The rest of the sentence is just a mess. If you’re still reading that article at this point, I feel sorry for you.

What’s going on at yahoo.com?

Is there something weird happening at yahoo.com? Has management fired all the English-speaking writers and outsourced the writing to Mumbai or Beijing? Every day there are errors on the page, but the last few days have seen a truckload more.

I don’t think a dog could wander away from a camping trip. She might wander away from a camp site. She might wander away during or while on a camping trip. But how do you wander away from a trip?

fp camping trip

Where is there? Since there is no mention of a country, you are free to supply your own interpretation. I’m voting for Djibouti:

fp there

Any real American would know that the venue is Radio City Music Hall:

fp radio music hall

Since World Cup is mentioned in about a gazillion places on Yahoo!, it’s hard to imagine that the writer thought this was correct:

fp cup lc

Really? How can anyone know what is on most criminals’ wish lists? Did someone take a poll of all arsonists, rapists, burglars, kidnappers, forgers, and— oh, I almost forgot— car thieves? So, what’s the truth? The Escape is the most-stolen car of all crossovers and SUVs. It’s not even the most stolen car in the U.S. And nobody knows what’s on most criminals’ wish lists.

fp most criminals

You still with me? I’ve got just one more (for now): A claim that you can learn in a 25-second video. You might learn from a 25-second video. You might view, watch, or follow along with a 25-second video. You might learn in 25 seconds. But learning in a video? Not so much.

fp learn in video

Who can forget Dr. Spock?

Heck, now they’re not even trying. This little bit from Yahoo! TV starts out requiring you to supply the actual subject of the first sentence:

spock tv

How about that Dr. Spock?! Didn’t you love him in “Star Trek”? And of course, who can forget William Shatner as Captain Crunch? Or George Takei as Han Sulu?

A couple of words

It took just a couple of seconds for me to detect that a word was missing on the Yahoo! front page:

fp couple moments

Yahoo! writers often use “a couple” instead of “a couple of.” I hadn’t dealt with this issue before, but a comment from a TW reader inspired me to mention it now.  Omitting the “of” just makes the expression seem informal and illiterate to me.

What does the American Heritage Dictionary (which is part of the Yahoo! network)  have to say about this?

The of in the phrase a couple of is often dropped in speech, but this omission is usually considered a mistake. In 2013, 80 percent of the Usage Panel found the sentence A couple friends came over to watch the game to be unacceptable.


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