Is there more than one Batman?

Just how many Batmans (or is it Batmen?) return? That’s the question I’m left with after reading this on the Yahoo! front page:

fp batmans return

Actually, there’s only one Batman, and the film is about Batman’s return.

Think punctuation doesn’t matter?

It’s not a code

I’ve been looking at this sentence on the Yahoo! front page for a day (OK, not like a full day, maybe a few minutes, but I started yesterday). I can’t figure out why one would need to decipher the winner in the west:

fp decipher

I’m trying to decipher what that means. Does it mean “predict the winner in the west”? And the winner of what? I’m guessing it has something to do with basketball. Anyhoo, back to the word decipher. It means (at least to the American Heritage Dictionary):

  1. To read or interpret (ambiguous, obscure, or illegible matter).
  2. To convert from a code or cipher to plain text; decode.

As best as I can tell, decipher means that the writer used the wrong word.

What’s it really called?

Gee, you’d think the people who write for the Yahoo! front page could keep their disagreements off the yahoo.com page. But, no, they can’t. They have to display them before millions of people:

fp everest jump

Can’t they decide when to capitalize jump? Can’t they agree on whether Everest jump needs quotation marks? No, they can’t.

Clash of styles

What do you do when you come up against a clash of styles? I’m not talking about wearing Birkenstocks with a prom gown, I’m talking about writing and trying to follow conflicting editorial guidelines. Case in point (or case and point, as one Yahoo! writer would say), this age on the Yahoo! front page:

fp 49 yr old

If you follow Associated Press style, you’d use numerals (not words) for the age of a person. But AP style also recommends not starting a sentence with numerals (except if the numerals are a year). If you write out the age correctly, it would be: Forty-nine-year-old. That’s a lot of hyphens. And it would violate the rule requiring numerals for the age of a person. So that would be: 49-year-old. But numerals can’t go at the beginning of a sentence.

I’m starting to feel a little dizzy.

What to do? Recast the sentence, of course! You’ll get a shorter sentence that’s easier to read without all those hyphens:

Bernard Hopkins, 49, seeks a historic bout…

Mass mess is a miss

What a mess! It’s not often we see so many errors in so few words — even on the Yahoo! front page:

fp pleas

According to the Associated Press stylebook (which some at Yahoo! allege they follow), the title pope isn’t capitalized unless it precedes the pope’s name, like Pope Francis. The Catholic Mass is a proper noun. Pleas is a noun also, but a common one. It’s not a verb; the verb is pleads.

Too much or too little?

Are there too many characters or too few words in this teaser on the Yahoo! front page?

fp moras apost

Is this supposed to be “Floribeth Mora says” or ” Floribeth Mora’s manicurist says”?

What country are you from?

There’s been an unusually large number of errors on the Yahoo! front page lately. Because many of those errors involved U.S. pop culture, common American idioms, and American spellings, I thought that perhaps a foreign government had taken control of yahoo.com. After seeing this, I’m convinced that the writing on the Yahoo! front page is not done in the U.S.:

fp boston governor

For all you yahoo.com writers in Mumbai or Minsk or wherever you are: No American city has a governor.  Boston is an American city. Therefore, Boston does not have a governor. Deval Patrick is the governor of Massachusetts.

Ditch those colorful foods this Easter!

Forget about serving “colorful foods that will light up your table.” (Light up my table? Like what? Garlic bulbs?) Stick with the classics like ham and deviled eggs:

fp sub

That’s the advice on the Yahoo! front page.  Unless, of course, the writer meant substitute ham and deviled eggs with colorful foods.

Opening doors with long legs

What do you use to open a door? Hands? Long legs? That’s what the writer for the Yahoo! front page thinks humans might use:

fp long legs

Frankie Valli falls a little short

Frankie Valli is not a giant physically; he’s only about 5′ 5″. But the folks at the Yahoo! front page make him (OK, just his name) a little shorter:

fp franki valli

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