Look closely at this

You don’t have to read closely to spot this grammatical gaffe on the Yahoo! front page:

fp to read close

I was looking for the U.S. version

I thought I was looking at the U.S. version of yahoo.com, until I read this:

fp jumper

In the U.S., this is a jumper:

jumper dress

It’s called a pinafore dress or a pinafore in the U.K, where a jumper is a pullover sweater.

What Prince George is wearing in the photo is what we in the States call a sweater vest.


One couple mistake

After reading this a couple of times, I was convinced that the writer for the Yahoo! front page omitted a word:

fp couple days

Here’s what the American Heritage Dictionary says on the omission of of:

“The of in the phrase a couple of is often dropped in speech, but this omission is usually considered a mistake. In 2013, 80 percent of the Usage Panel found the sentence A couple friends came over to watch the game to be unacceptable.”

Those titles can be a royal pain!

The Duchess of York gets the lowercase treatment on the Yahoo! front page:

fp duchess of york

Titles of nobility seem to stymie the writers and editors at Yahoo!. But it’s not that hard to get it right, at least if you follow the Associated Press style. The former wife of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, is Sarah, Duchess of York. (When you use their full title, it’s capitalized.) The duke and duchess have two daughters. (When you don’t use the full title, it’s lowercase.)

You just can’t teach it

Some people have had success teaching grammar, spelling, and other subjects related to written communication. I’ve been one of those people. But there’s one area of writing that I’ve failed at. I have never been able to teach someone logic. If their writing is illogical, their thinking is, too. And I can’t correct it.

I thought of that when I read this paragraph on Yahoo! DIY:

to upkeep

There’s just so much wrong here. The writer separates chemotherapy and cancer treatments, although we all know that chemotherapy is a cancer treatment. Perhaps she just forgot to include the word other: Undergoing chemotherapy and other cancer treatments would be correct here.

There’s just no way explain the use of the noun upkeep as a verb. It’s not a verb; to keep up would work, though.

I’m not sure why she had to specify an apartment (which is someone’s home) and home (did she perhaps mean house?) as if one wasn’t an example of the other.

Finally, that last sentence makes no sense. If I understand what she wrote, the mom was able to afford a cleaner, therefore it was possible to summon the energy to do it herself. Huh? Again, this is just a lapse in logic. I’m guessin’ the poor writer meant: If her mom had not been able to afford the cost of a house cleaner, the house would not be cleaned because she could not summon the energy to do it. Which is a lot of words. Better? Her mom could afford a house cleaner, which was fortunate since she didn’t have the energy to clean her own home.

It can affect the way readers view you

A stupid, bone-headed mistake like this one on yahoo.com can affect the way a reader views the website:

fp effect

Where did you get your kids?

Me? I had my kids the old-fashioned way. Pregnancy, hospital, labor, birth, then head home. But for those who don’t want to go through that lengthy process or the ordeal of adoption or surrogacy, there’s another alternative: Store-bought kids! Yes, you, too, can buy a child, according to the genius writer at Yahoo! DIY:

store bought kids diy

Reverse that

It’s not unusual for a writer to use the possessive pronoun its when the contraction it’s is called for. So, I wasn’t surprised to see this goof on Yahoo! DIY:

its list diy

What did surprise me was that the writer uses it’s instead of the correct its:

its list diy 2

She’s really, really confused. But she can clear up this problem by writing it’s every time she thinks its is correct — and vice versa.

The effect of change

It must be so gratifying to effect change, but not this change from Yahoo! Style:

affect change style

Although affect is usually a verb, it can also be a noun. Although effect is usually a noun, it can also be a verb meaning “to bring about.” And that’s the meaning in that sentence.

Playing fast and loose with language

If you play fast and loose with English, you’re bound to come up with laughable results. Just ask the writer for Yahoo! Style who’s the new loser:

loser style 1

Armani is known for his looser clothes, which the writer alleges are minimal, which probably means they hardly cover all your bits and bobs:

loser style 2

I always thought his clothes were minimalistic, but I was wrong. But I wasn’t as wrong as the writer whose spelling ability is a real liability when it comes to the movie Inglourious Basterds.


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