It’s time to go, to go. You’re just two words too many on the Yahoo! front page:
Yahoo! just launched a new site called Yahoo! Style. I immediately thought that it must be better written than the rest of Yahoo!; after all, it was new! Wouldn’t the Internet giant invest in the quality of the writing of a new site? Wouldn’t Yahoo! finally hire competent editors to ensure the success of Style? I was hopeful as I jumped at the opportunity to read an article by Style’s editor in chef. Now there’s a person who must appreciate the need for quality writing.
The title promised info on dressing for extreme temperatures, so I’m thinking the heat of summer and the cold of the dead of winter:
By the time I’d finished the article, I’d learned about dressing for heat and for that other temperature extreme — rain. But I shouldn’t have been surprised that the writer (the editor in chief!) couldn’t figure out what he was supposed to be writing about. The more I read the more I realized he probably couldn’t figure out what language he was supposed to be writing in.
Here he takes a serious subject like global warming and reveals its true threat to humanity: It wrecks havoc on fashion:
Well, wrecking havoc sounds good to me; that would be destroying chaos. It’d be much worse if it were wreaking (or bringing about) havoc.
Then, I read this use of then instead of than:
I’m going to try to ignore the advice, which doesn’t exactly seem like it’s meant for the woman of the twenty-first century, and focus on the writing, which kinda sucks:
When I read this, I thought wearing cotton over silk sounded odd for dressing for hot weather:
But the writer (the editor in chief!) meant “prefer cotton over silk.” The rest of the stream-of-consciousness writing alleges that cottons allows [sic] the body to breath. Believe me, if your body ain’t breathing, wearing cotton isn’t going to help. The writer meant that cotton is preferable because cotton breaths (that is, it allows air to pass through it).
So, am I hopeful that Yahoo! Style will provide quality content? Not if it’s written by Yahoo! writers (and the editor in chief).
I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t read past the first paragraph of this article on Yahoo! Health:
That was all I needed to know that this was not a piece of writing that I could trust. This article was not fact-checked, edited, or even proofread, and yet it was about the critical topic of health. Next time I’m looking for reliable information, I’ll go to WebMD.
What makes this article on Yahoo! Travel a candidate for Worst Travel Writing of the Day? It could be this paragraph, which starts out with a non-sentence and then gets a tad repetitive:
OK, so that was ugly. Maybe it was just a fluke. What could possibly be wrong with this?
Well, in the first place, the Capital Wheel is not in Washington. It’s in Maryland. That’s kinda a giant embarrassment. A lesser mistake is referring to the U.S. Capital (the capital of the U.S. is Washington, DC) when the writer meant the building, which is the Capitol.
Finally, the error that made this article a shoo-in for the Worst Travel Writing of the Day trophy:
How many mistakes can you crowd into a single sentence? If you write for yahoo.com, quite a few:
I can’t understand why the writer abbreviated secretary and capitalized the abbreviation and the word state. According to the Associated Press style (which Yahoo! claims to follow), the title secretary of state should never be abbreviated and is capitalized only when it precedes a name. Maybe the writer was trying to conserve space so that there was room to repeat of the crisis.