Behind the curve, no-holds-barred writing

Oh, lordie. Where does the management at Yahoo! Style find these writers? Do they bother to verify if writers can speak and write in English? Do they check to see if they’re familiar with common idioms? Do they bother to edit their writing? No and no and no. That would be my guess after reading this:

curve ball

The expressions are “behind the curve” and “no holds barred.” This writer is way behind the curve when it comes to writing.

‘Tis true: ‘Tis not ’tis

If you know that ’tis is a contraction of it is, then you understand the need for the apostrophe. If you have no idea what ’tis means, you’ll omit the apostrophe, like the writer for Yahoo! Style did:

tis women style

If you’re a grown woman, you should appreciate the utility of the apostrophe. You should also appreciate the difference between woman and women.

How to make your writing stand out

Your writing will stand out if you can discern the difference between a noun (like standout) and a phrasal verb (like stand out). It would be a true standout on Yahoo! Style, where conventional rules of writing do not apply:

standout style

How to sink your career

Your career as a writer for the Yahoo! front page may have just sunk with this grammatical gaffe:

fp sunk

A sunken career can be as hard to raise as a sunken ferry, especially if your downfall is the result of an ability to distinguish between an adjective (like, oh, say, maybe sunken) and a verb (sunk).

That’s a novel definition

I’m restraining myself. I was going to say something snarky about this mistake on Yahoo! Style, but I’ve decided that the writer needs our compassion and not our scorn:

novelists style

Clearly the writer is vocabulary-challenged. Perhaps she is new to English and is still learning the language. We should support her in her efforts by gently pointing out that a novelist writes novels. Hence, the term novelist. And a novel is a work of fiction. None of the women she lists has written a novel and therefore none is a novelist. They have all written books, which were not works of fiction, and they might be described as authors.

You love life

You love life. I know that because I read it on

fp you love life

Why not thinking out of the box

It looks like the elementary school crowd has taken over the writing of this article on Yahoo! DIY. How else would you explain the verb gets with an apostrophe? Or the use of it’s instead of its? Did we all master that by the time we were 12? And I’m still trying to figure out how an editor would fix the last sentence here:

gets its apos diy

Is it “Warm gatherings … call for” or “A warm gathering… calls for”? Anyone?

Sometimes when you’re trying to write something creative, you have to think out of the box. But not this far out of the box:

gets its apos diy 2

There’s that apostrophe again, used to form a plural this time. And for the third time in a single article, it’s wrong. Never has a little punctuation mark done so much and been so wrong.

Created by a sometime writer?

Was this written by a sometime writer for Yahoo! TV?

sometimes tv

If Courtney Love is an occasional actress, she’s a sometime thespian. She acts sometimes. The similar words are really different parts of speech: Sometimes is always an adverb; sometime is an adjective or adverb. So, if you’re modifying a noun, use sometime.

Rosaries of my ovaries

OK, so it’s not really my ovaries. And the message isn’t “get your rosaries of my ovaries,” even though that’s what you’ll read on Yahoo! Style:

lesley gore style

That should be “get your rosaries off my ovaries.” Don’t blame me; I don’t make this stuff up. You looking for someone to blame? Blame the writer who believes that Lesley Gore wrote “You Don’t Own Me.” She makes this stuff up.

Bad word choice: Yahoo edition

Here’s a bad word choice, courtesy of Yahoo! Style:

addition style hp

It’s possible (but highly unlikely) that the writer meant addition and not edition  (although it doesn’t make a lot of sense). But the fact that Yahoo! Style contains a truckload of poor word choices every day makes me think this is just one more.


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