Loose cannon

If you can’t stand homophonic errors, then you shouldn’t be reading Yahoo! Shine. Especially this:

This writer is a loose cannon, who can screw up something as simple as a book title. (Huck Finn is a character; the book is “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”)

I assume that the “cannon” she refers to is Christopher Cannon, the author of “The Grounds of English Literature.” But that makes no sense. This loose cannon doesn’t know the difference between a large weapon that fires large balls and a group of literary works (that would be a canon).

And then I wrote then

And then I wrote then when I should have written than:

From the mind of a writer for Yahoo! Shopping.

Apple to no longer make iPad, iPod, iPhone, MacBooks

I don’t know of anyone except the reporter for the Yahoo! News blog “The Ticket” who thinks of Apple as a software company. The maker of Macs, MacBooks, iPads, iPods, and iPhones does a bit more than provide the software behind those devices. Anyhoo, the surprises don’t stop with that bit of news; they continue with a rookie mistakes (the misuse of then instead of than):

and continue with a series that contains either one too many the‘s or one too few:

And then I wrote…

And then I wrote the wrong word on Yahoo! omg!:


Slight of mind

Some people confuse slight and sleight. Others have trouble choosing between than and then. And others can’t figure out when to use bear or bare. But few professional writers can’t pick the right word from any of those commonly confused pairs. It takes a really, really special writer to screw them up; and that writer works for Yahoo! Shine.

After making a typo, she Fs up sleight of hand:

Then she goes with than and bare:

But she shouldn’t bear the brunt of grammarians’ wrath. I blame her employer, who doesn’t insist that an editor approve all articles written by its staff.

What she wrote; what she should have written

On average, a woman’s hands are almost three degrees colder than a man’s.  That’s what she should have written. Here’s what the senior features editor for Yahoo! Shine actually wrote:

What she wrote:

What she should have written: She should have matched the plural subject (mass and fat) with a plural verb (are). She should know better than to use then when she meant than.

What she wrote:

What she should have written? I have no freakin’ idea. None at all.

Troy Polamalu, ‘California Gurls,’ and then some

How many errors can one writer make in a single article? If it’s the writer for Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time,” quite a few. There’s a misspelling of Troy Polamalu:

an extra word, an incorrect then instead of than, a misspelling of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”:

Not satisfied with those few goofs, the writer uses a question mark to end a declarative sentence, drops the hyphen from self-esteem, capitalizes mom even though it’s preceded by the possessive pronoun my, and taps out be in place of me:

By my count, that’s only eight. Not bad for a Yahoo! staffer.

Everyday and other errors

It’s pretty obvious that than should be then in this clip from Yahoo! News‘ “The Cutline”:

But what’s wrong with the rest of that paragraph? Did you notice that the writer called the Brit paper The Guardian, but couldn’t decide if the New York paper is the Times or The Times?

It’s not every day that I see this error, but just once is too much in a reputable news source:

So, now the writer’s decided that it definitely should be The Times and the Guardian:

Which capitalization style is correct for the newspapers? I really don’t care. Really. I wouldn’t have even noticed the cap style if the writer had been consistent. And that’s the lesson: If you can’t be right at least be consistent.

This is plumb crazy

Crazy. That’s what I thought when I read Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time” and the writer’s attempt to form the plural of Salahi:

(That was crazy, but not as crazy as the Salahis themselves.)

This is much more boring than it needs to be, but at least it’s not crazy:

Tapping out Pop-Tarts without its capital letters and a homophonic horror that is plumbs — that’s plumb crazy:

Better, then what?

It’s so simple: Writing correctly is better than writing incorrectly. It helps if the writer appreciates the difference between then and than and can identify a subject and match a verb to it:

There is still some really marginal writing talent at Yahoo!. But maybe not on Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time.”


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