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 If you are a US English speaker, therefore, and you don’t want to come across to your audience as out of date or, heaven forbid, linguistically la-di-da, then it’s advisable to opt for among.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

Wrecking havoc with the language

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:

how to dress style

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:

wrecked havoc style

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:

then seersucker style

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:

wearing is wearing style

When I read this, I thought wearing cotton over silk sounded odd for dressing for hot weather:

allows to breath style

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).

Instead of instead use something else instead

Maybe instead of reading the Yahoo! front page, where words are needlessly repeated, I’ll read something else instead:

fp instead instead

Do I repeat repeat myself?

Would you have spotted the repeated word word here on the Yahoo! front page:

fp at at

or here here?

fp in the in the

First time in a dorm? Don’t bother with this

Only students who’ve lived in a dormitory (and who are headed back to a dorm) need read this article described on yahoo.com:

fp headed back

So, if you’re going to be a freshman, living in a dorm for the first time, look elsewhere for advice.

(It’s interesting how a little word like back can change the meaning of that sentence.)

It’s not what you think

Thinking men and women everywhere will recognize an extra word on yahoo.com that totally screws up a common idiom:

fp the thinking men

Correct word usage is for the thinking man and woman; it is appreciated by thinking men and women.

Readers urge employer to demand writer resign

If a writer is so unfamiliar with the English language that he or she thinks this is correct, what should the management at yahoo.com do?

fp demand to resign

Readers might demand the writer resign for sticking in an unnecessary (and wrong) preposition.


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