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.

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.

Lots and lots of errors

That new site that Yahoo! just launched, Yahoo! DIY, has lots and lots of errors. Here are just two of them:

lots and lots diy

I should have stopped reading

I shouldn’t have read more than this headline on Yahoo! Style:

our stories 1

I should have known that if the headline contains one humongous goof, the article itself is going to be a disaster. The huge mistake in the headline? The article is about a retailer called & Other Stories. How bad is that? Bad. But it gets worse.

At least in the opening paragraph, the writer manages to use the correct words for the retailer, though she does close up the space after the ampersand:

our stories 2

But she drops the the in what should be “in the U.S.” and the hyphen that’s required in brand-new. Maybe the writer is a recent arrival to the States and doesn’t realize that it’s capitalized when referring to the United States.

When it’s a noun or an adjective, must-have must have a hyphen:

our stories 3

This could be a simple typo (names instead of named), but the use of the pronoun their without any known antecedent is just wrong:

our stories 4

How do you explain the misspelling of a product when it appears below a picture of the product?

our stories 5

The final sentence of the article doesn’t disappoint: One hardly ever sees the use of a plural verb with the singular everything:

our stories 6

That was not good. I knew when I read the headline I should have stopped reading. My bad.

It’s not a grocery store

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:

customers style

How does something like that happen? Is it ignorance? Carelessness? Or an arrogant disregard for language?

It just goes from bad to more bad

This headline was my first indication that the article on Yahoo! Style was not going to go well:

ed pick 1

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:

ed pick 2

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:

ed pick 3

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:

ed pick 4

First, let’s look at the helpful information the writer supplied because the alleged black stripe is actually navy:

ed pick 5

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:

ed pick 55

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:

ed pick 6

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:

ed pick 7

Geez. This just keeps getting worse. There’s a missing hyphen in must-have, fall is capitalized erroneously, and this sentence makes no sense:

ed pick 8

I don’t know what this means nor what FW means:

ed pick 9

Think it can’t get worse? Think again:

ed pick 85

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:

ed pick 10

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.

Let’s not go crazy with the hyphens

Mark Wahlberg’s house is big. Very big. It’s a 30,000 sq. ft. home, which is big, even without the hyphens that someone at yahoo.com inserted:

fp sq-ft

If you follow the Chicago Manual of Style (and we know that Yahoo! adheres to no known writing style), then don’t put a hyphen between a number and the abbreviation that follows it, even when they make up a compound adjective. If the number is followed by a unit of measurement that is spelled out, then it gets a hyphen: It was a 36 in. ruler, but it was a 36-inch ruler.

It’s just an estimate

I guess this event will be starting at an estimated time of 2 PM. Or maybe an established time of 2 PM:

est style 2

In my estimation, the writers for Yahoo! Style have no idea what the abbreviation for Eastern Standard Time is. Here’s a hint, it doesn’t include a period.

It takes one millisecond’s time

It takes just one millisecond’s time to spot the missing apostrophe on Yahoo! News:

six years time new

An apostrophe is required in what the Associated Press Stylebook calls a quasi possessive: 6 years’ time, one week’s pay, ten years’ experience.

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