Can one person have more than one body? And can a department store survive with only one shopper? These are the questions that have plagued me since reading this on Yahoo! Style:
It looks like the elementary school crowd has taken over the writing of this article on Yahoo! DIY. How else would you explain the verb gets with an apostrophe? Or the use of it’s instead of its? Did we all master that by the time we were 12? And I’m still trying to figure out how an editor would fix the last sentence here:
Is it “Warm gatherings … call for” or “A warm gathering… calls for”? Anyone?
Sometimes when you’re trying to write something creative, you have to think out of the box. But not this far out of the box:
There’s that apostrophe again, used to form a plural this time. And for the third time in a single article, it’s wrong. Never has a little punctuation mark done so much and been so wrong.
You’d expect to find something like this at a small, local market: avocado’s, banana’s, and more product signs all sporting an apostrophe as if it were part of forming a plural noun. It isn’t. It’s wrong, and you know that. But I didn’t expect to find it on a presumably professionally written site like Yahoo! Style. But I should have:
How does something like that happen? Is it ignorance? Carelessness? Or an arrogant disregard for language?
This headline was my first indication that the article on Yahoo! Style was not going to go well:
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:
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:
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:
First, let’s look at the helpful information the writer supplied because the alleged black stripe is actually navy:
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:
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:
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:
Geez. This just keeps getting worse. There’s a missing hyphen in must-have, fall is capitalized erroneously, and this sentence makes no sense:
I don’t know what this means nor what FW means:
Think it can’t get worse? Think again:
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:
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.
Even if the writer for Yahoo! Movies had remembered to put the hyphen in run-in, the word would still be wrong:
A run-in is a quarrel or argument; it’s not a casual meeting.
But aside from that, what mistakes did the writer make? There’s some problem with familiar faces, because the writer implies that Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey share the same face:
This writer really has issues with punctuation. She puts an erroneous apostrophe is Wednesdays and puts a semicolon within quotation marks. In U.S. English, two punctuation characters never, ever go before a closing quotation mark: a colon and a semicolon.
Whether they’re trying to spell prix fixe, trompe l’oeil, or coup d’état, if the word is French (even if it’s well-established in the English-speaking world), Yahoo! writers are sure to screw it up. This time I’m indebted to Yahoo! Celebrity for showing us that some writers can’t quite get it right:
The expression femme fatale is composed of two French words: femme for woman and fatale for deadly. As is common in French, the adjective must match the noun it modifies in number (that is, if the noun is plural, the adjective is, too). So the plural of femme fatale is femmes fatales — both words get an S. De rien.
What faced foreclosure? I’m reading this on the Yahoo! front page and can’t figure out if the DeCesare’s dog faced foreclosure or something else faced foreclosure:
I guess there’s another possibility: The writers for yahoo.com don’t know how to form the plural of a name. If the name doesn’t end in S, you form the plural by adding an S, not an apostrophe and an S.