Why don’t you buy a dictionary?

The folks at yahoo.com took a big risk today by failing to consult a dictionary before publishing this mess:

fp buy

Climbing the journalistic ladder

How did the editor in chief of Yahoo! Makers make it to that somewhat lofty position when she knows so little about language and grammar? On the home page of the site, she writes about this DIY ladder:

palette mak hp

This is a palette:


The ladder in question is made of pallets. Is that homophonic mistake just the result of a mental hiccup? Does the editor in chief really not the difference between a palette and a pallet. Uh, yes, she doesn’t know the difference. In the article behind that headline she writes:

palette mak art

Is it any wonder that the writing on Yahoo! Makers isn’t up to the standards of a typical high school newspaper?

Does any know actual grammar?

Do any of the writers and editors at Yahoo! Style know actual English grammar? I’m talkin’ about the ability to match a subject (like, oh, say, tickets) with its verb (which ain’t goes):

tickets goes sty

Apparently it’s just too hard to find the subject in some sentences (I’m lookin’ at you, one) so that they can come up with the correct form of the verb (which ain’t were):

not one were sty

Does anyone there know correct grammar? Does anyone there care?

Does anyone speak actual English?

Does anyone writing or editing for Yahoo! speak actual, correct English? Is this writer for Yahoo! Style just an anomaly?

capitalizing off sty

She should be capitalizing on any chance she gets to learn to use correct words with verbs. There’s no stigma associated with improving your writing. You might even avoid this mistake, found on Yahoo! Celebrity:

stigma against cel

They’re not really ugly holiday sweaters

Here’s a use for quotation marks on Yahoo! Makers that indicates in spite of the fact these are ugly holiday sweaters, they are not actually ugly holiday sweaters:

quot ugly sweat mak

Quotation marks can be used to indicate direct speech, a title, or irony. So what’s their purpose in this headline? I think it’s to indicate that the editor has no idea when to use punctuation.

For some writers, it’s a right of passage

It’s almost a rite of passage on Yahoo! Makers: Every writer for that site must make at least one homophonic mistake to be accepted into the world of professional hacks:

right of pass mak

Neither was available

Was Yahoo! TV writer looking for a fellow writer or an editor who was familiar with grammar. If so, it looks like neither was available — or maybe neither knew that when used as a pronoun, neither is singular:

neither were tv

Take that from from there

Someone at yahoo.com needs to learn to proofread. If they did, they’d take this from from this teaser:

fp from from

News you can’t trust

Do you trust Yahoo! as a source for news? You might not after reading this on the Yahoo! front page:

fp 1974

If you questioned the math (if the Kyoto agreement was signed in 1974, what’s up with the claim it was 18 years ago?), you’re a more careful reader than Yahoo!’s editors. The agreement was signed 18 years ago — in 1997.

Editing you can DIY yourself

Here’s one headline on the Yahoo! front page that you can edit yourself:

fp yourself

Since DIY stands for “do it yourself,” this headline is a tad repetitious. It’s right up there in the Department of Redundancy Department with ATM machine and PIN number.


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