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.

Can the headline be saved?

I haven’t been to Olive Garden in decades. I haven’t been to the Olive Garden ever. So, is it just me or is the superfluous (nay, wrong) in this headline on yahoo.com?

fp the olive garden

Will be today’s be the worst

Yes, it is confusing, isn’t it. But here’s something just as confusing on Yahoo! Music:

next yearfs be music

The writer meant “the pop star will be next year’s main attraction” or “the pop star will be the main attraction.” Or something else. You decide.

Time to go, to go

It’s time to go, to go. You’re just two words too many on the Yahoo! front page:

fjp to go to go to

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.

Writer swears she’s a not a great proofreader

If a writer for the Yahoo! front page swears she’s not a great proofreader, I’d have to believe her. Based on the evidence, of course:

fp shes a not a

Where prices are superfluous

Regardless of what they might think at yahoo.com, readers aren’t interested in the cheapest and most expensive beer prices, they’re interested in the cheapest and most expensive beer, except for people like me who don’t care for beer or football:

fp varies

Everyone, including me, likes a verb matched to its subject, so we’re not crazy about the use of varies (which should be vary) because the subject (cost and size) is plural.

It’s not just a replica

Jerry “The King” Lawler doesn’t own just a replica of a famous car, he owns a replica version of it. Which is something different, I guess — at least in the minds of yahoo.com staffers:

fp version 60s

Also different in their minds is the plural 1960s, which really doesn’t need that apostrophe.

That would be where Baja is

Where else would a hurricane in Baja be? Obviously the editors at Yahoo! News do not trust you to know that Baja is Baja California:

baja news

Amongst your words, that is the most pretentious

The new site Yahoo! Style may be setting some records in the number and severity of errors that it displays every day. These errors from a recent article are among the most amateurish on the site:

font style 1

The word amongst is a synonym for among. Is it wrong? Not exactly, but it’s just not as common in the U.S. as it is in other English-speaking countries. And Americans aren’t all that fond of the word. The OxfordWords blog sums up the sentiment of many Americans:

[M]any authorities (such as Garner’s Modern American Usage) and language blogs state that, in US English, amongst is now seen as old-fashioned, and even ‘pretentious’. If you are a US English speaker, therefore, and you don’t want to come across to your audience as out of date or, heaven forbid, linguistically la-di-da, then it’s advisable to opt for among.

As for the other error in that paragraph, I believe there’s a mismatch between the subject designer and the verb, which should be tells. I can’t be sure since there appears to be some extra words, but I think the writer promises to let us know what the designer is listening to. That is simply a lie. The interview that follows does not include any such info.

The interviewer was clearly in the dark about Josef Albers’ “Interaction of Color,” which is a book. The designer was also influenced by the Blaschkas, a father and son, and not just one misspelled person:

font style 2

It would have been nice (and expected from a real site with any integrity) to check the references made by the person being interviewed. But this is Yahoo!, and journalistic integrity is not a priority.

Also not a priority? Punctuation. At least, correct punctuation is not a priority. Maybe someone will tell us about the process the writer has for distinguishing between a question and an imperative sentence:

font style 3

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