I’ll never tire of this

I never tire of discovering new words used in creative ways at yahoo.com:

fp volcanizing

Volcanizing a tire would simply subject it to volcanic heat. Rubber for tires is vulcanized.

Were you being facetious?

Was this a deliberate tongue-in-cheek slip-up, or does the writer for Yahoo! Travel really think this is the correct idiom?

tongue travel

The expression is “tongue-in-cheek” and it means “Meant or expressed ironically or facetiously” (American Heritage Dictionary).

Don’t discount the usefulness of a dictionary

I don’t know what’s so “rock-bottom” about a discount of $1.50 at a movie theater. My local cineplex offers a $2.00 senior discount every day. The writer for yahoo.com needs to consult a dictionary; it’ll show that discount means “a reduction from the standard price”:

fp discount

That’s quite a fete!

Yes indeedie! Spending a week in the desert in the summer with 70,000 others is a festival. At least according to the writer for Yahoo! Travel:

fete travel

It’s also quite a feat. Which is probably what the writer meant, but I’m not sure. Is it possible she thinks fete is pronounced FEET? That would simply compound the error, because it’s pronounced like FATE or FET.

Just in time for Oktoberfest: Teutonic plates!

What does one use to serve bratwurst, sauerbraten, and wiener schnitzel? Teutonic plates! I think someone needs to explain to the writer for Yahoo! Style that Teutonic means Germanic and that the shifting plates of the Earth’s crust are tectonic:

teutonic plates style

Get the inside scope!

Here’s the inside scoop for the writer for Yahoo! Shopping: This is just wrong:

inside scope shopping

Try scoping out a dictionary next time you’re looking for a common idiom and you don’t want to look like an idiot.

The moral impact of nail polish

Choosing the correct color of nail polish has just be elevated to a moral and ethical decision by a writer at Yahoo! Beauty:

conscientious decision

Those with lesser standards might only make a conscious decision about nail color, but shame on them! This should be a conscientious decision on par with refusing to fight in a war for religious reasons.

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

What kind of fur does a caterpillar have?

What kind of fur does a caterpillar have? The kind that requires quotation marks. The folks at yahoo.com would have you believe that the puss caterpillar has fur. It does not. It has “fur”:

fp fur caterpillar

The caterpillar’s “fur” is really setae, a hair-like covering of bristles.

When designers quarrel

When designers quarrel, that’s a spat of designers. When you’re looking at a lot of designers, that’s a spate of designers. If you think confusing the two is ridiculous, that’s Yahoo! Style:

spat of designers


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