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?

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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.

Doe a Deere, a female Deere

What an embarrassment for everyone at Yahoo! Style:

doe deer

Who the heck works for a “style” site and can’t spell makeup? And how the heck did the misspelling of Doe Deere (the subject of the article) make it into a headline and past the editor’s eyeballs?

The real Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Notorious R.B.G. isn’t this person on Yahoo! Style; it’s actually Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

ginsberg style

Not to knock your writing, but…

Not to knock Yahoo! Style, but I think the quality of its content would be greatly improved if it were written by people actually familiar with English:

knock against style

Maybe if they employed college graduates familiar with common idioms and with using Google to check the spelling of characters (like, say, Maleficent), the writing wouldn’t be so amateurish. And if their writers knew that one of five “women” is actually a one-year-old baby, another is a doll, and another is a Lego figure, the word choices might be also be a bit more accurate.

I guess I really was knocking Yahoo! Style.

This writing could repel readers

Using the wrong word could repel your readers. It’s a lesson that’s lost on the writer at Yahoo! Style:

repelling style

Reading something like that makes me want to climb the walls. And then rappel down.

This is not funny

This is the entire introduction on Yahoo! Style to a video about New York Comic Con:

comicon style

Imagine you have one sentence to write and you can’t even bother to spell the subject of the sentence correctly? Imagine how dumb you look.

There’s no earthly reason for that

It was just a few days ago that I urged the writing staff at Yahoo! to avoid all words derived from French, because even if they spell the word correctly (which is unlikely), they use it incorrectly (which is likely). So, here we have on the Yahoo! front page a misspelled word from French:

fp earthly

The expression is au naturel, which means in a natural state. But there’s no earthly reason to use that expression; natural works just fine. Oh, and the use of earthly here? I don’t know what it means in this context. It generally is used to mean of this earth or not heavenly. But I like another meaning: conceivable or possible.

A Nobel Prize winner deserves better

Apparently there’s no way to check the spelling of a Nobel Peace Prize winner’s name. So, the writer for came up with this version of Malala Yousafzai:

fp malala

That’s not the only misspelling at Yahoo!. Here’s another on Yahoo! News:

malala new

Better to write nonsense than to write nothing at all

This is it. This is all the writer for Yahoo! Style had to say about an auction, and look at how many mistakes she managed to make saying it:

willie nelson hair style

Since the auction was from Waylon Jennings’ estate, don’t you think she could take 15 seconds and confirm his real name? No matter. Better to write the wrong name than take the time to find the right name. Then there’s the claim that this isn’t the first time hair went for record prices. Prices? Did Mr. Nelson’s hair sell for more than one price? Or is the writer just really careless with her words?

Of course, no article from Yahoo! Style is complete without at least one factual error. First she claims that $37,000 was a record price for hair, and then she tells us that Justin Bieber’s hair sold for over $41,000. I guess it’s better to make a ridiculous, obviously erroneous claim than to state the facts.

Ellen DeGeneres’ name isn’t a mangled as it could be and a animal could charitably called a typo. But the sum of these errors is clear: Here’s someone who writes without regard for accuracy.  Maybe it’s better to write badly and be paid than to not write at all?

I would decline the honer

If this was meant to honor Stevie Nicks and I were the singer, I’d say “no thanks, Yahoo! Style.”

stevie nicks style

I’m not impressed by a writer who doesn’t know how to hyphenate 66-year-old. Who doesn’t care about repeated words. And who is too lazy to look up the actual name of Ms. Nicks’ song. (It’s “Rhiannon.”) Apparently the writer thinks flapper and goth are worthy of capital letters, but honor isn’t worth a spell-check.

This is not an honor. It’s an insult to the subject and to the readers.


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