Sill, you can’t help noticing

Sometimes, when I read something on Yahoo! Celebrity, I can’t help wondering if the writer is familiar with basic English idioms, like this:

rent 1

Actually, the Kardashians have been renting a home; the owner of the home has been renting out the home.

There are some mistakes I can overlook. Still, I can’t help noticing the typos:

rent 2

and the missing apostrophe in what should be Kardashians’:

rent 3

and at least one word too many here:

rent 4

Can you overlook errors like these?

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

New isn’t always better

The Yahoo! Health site has been completely redesigned. But it brings with it more articles written by Yahoo! staffers and hence, more and more errors.

Here’s an example; it’s not the worst writing you’ll see on Yahoo!. It’s just bad enough to make me skeptical of the accuracy of the content.

Are there less opportunities to exercise outside? No, there are fewer opportunities to exercise outside, so people are getting less exercise and doing fewer exercises:

overeat health 1

Actually, wrecking havoc would be a good thing. Better to wreck havoc than to wreak havoc (which means “to bring about” havoc):

overeat health 2

I can’t begin to fathom why the writer thought this apostrophe was necessary:

overeat health 3

Don’t look here for medical info

Yahoo! Health has gotten a makeover! This is supposed to be an improvement, I suppose, over its previous incarnation. But is the content any better? If you’re seeking accurate information about health that’s also well-written, I suggest you look elsewhere. Here’s what I found in just the first article I tried to read:

wiki health 1

The verb fess, derived from the verb confess, is not considered a contraction of confess. It’s just fess; no apostrophe required.

I thought the name of this journal was a little odd; that’s because the real name is the “Journal of Medical Internet Research.” And that claim that 90 percent of medical information on Wikipedia is inaccurate? That’s wrong, too.

wiki health 2

The truth is that a study of Wikipedia information on ten common medical issues revealed that nine of the ten articles contained an error. NOT 90 percent of all medical information. That’s a huge difference and one that illustrates the writer’s inability to grasp a simple fact.

If the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (which for some strange reason is italicized) is a government website, that’s news to me. I’m sure it’s also news to ACOG:

wiki health 3

Looking for accurate health and medical information? Follow the writer’s advice and try WebMD.

‘Tis a mystery

The apostrophe is a useful little mark. It’s often used to indicate where a letter is missin’ in a contraction. So, what letter did the writer think was missing in this opening paragraph on Yahoo! Travel?

tis apost travel

Is tis’ a contraction for tisk? tisp? ‘Tis a mystery, it is.

He voiced all the characters?

If Richard Percy Jones voiced all the characters in “Pinocchio,” then the quotation marks on the Yahoo! front page are correct:

fp pin

However, I suspect he was the voice of one character, Pinocchio, and the name of a character shouldn’t be enclosed in quotes.

How can you miss that?

How did the editor for Yahoo! Shine overlook the missing question mark in this headline?

missing quest shine

Where did it go? Here, at the end of an imperative sentence:

guess quest

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!?

One day’s errors

How many errors can you find on Yahoo! in a single day? Too many to count. There’s at least one on Yahoo! Celebrity:

three months omg

There’s an apostrophe missing in what should be three months’ rainfall.

If you’re unsure about including an apostrophe in an expression involving a number and a unit of measurement, substitute one for the number. If the unit of measurement is plural, then you’ve got what some call a quasi possessive. So, in the expression three months rainfall, substitute the number one: One months rainfall (not one month rainfall) sounds right, so it’s a quasi possessive requiring an apostrophe.

Some common quasi possessive you’re likely to come across: two weeks’ pay, ten years’ experience, one hour’s worth.

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