Where have you been?

Where has the writer for Yahoo! front page for the last two weeks? In a yurt in Siberia? In a monastery with no contact with the outside world? How would you explain this misspelling of Dylann Roof — a name that dominated headlines?

fp dylan

Who is a brand?

There are more errors than you think that are on Yahoo! Style, including the use of who for a nonliving thing (twice!) and a holiday called Independence:

who sty

The pronoun who should be used only for people (and possibly animals with human-like characteristics); the correct word is that (in this excerpt) or which. The holiday the writer refers to is called Independence Day.

Adapting to change

Readers of the Yahoo! front page are probably wondering if an adaption of a novel is anything like an adaptation:

fp adaption

It is. The word adaption means adaptation, the preferred word that appears far more often than adaption. Some authorities don’t recognize adaption as an actual word; some recommend replacing it with adaptation. And at least one says that you should never use both words.

Dumbest Misspelling of the Day

I’m thinking of starting a new feature on Terribly Write: Dumbest Misspelling of the Day. I thought of it when I read this on Yahoo! Style:

neck-a-chief

Perhaps the writer was just exercising her creativity when she came up with this imaginative misspelling of neckerchief.

Don’t give this writer free rein

The authorities in charge of Yahoo! Makers should be careful about giving this writer free rein:

reign diy

She needs the help of a competent editor — one who knows that a king may reign freely, but this writer shouldn’t have free rein.

July 4th fireworks

If you live in the United States, you’ve heard of July 4th and the tradition of exploding fireworks. But if you write headlines for Yahoo! Makers you might be a little confused between the difference between firework (which is device that is exploded) and fireworks, the actual display of the explosive devices. And you might not know how to spell July:

julty diy

That’s two mistakes that are simply made by careless writers or editors.

Having a bad day?

Someone (or someones) must be having a bad day over at Yahoo! Celebrity, because there’s more than an average number of mistakes on the site’s home page.

Maybe the writer is a bit under the weather, and didn’t think to hit the Shift key when writing about the Bible:

cel bible

Or maybe the writer is struggling with the whole transgender thing, and it’s affected his or her spelling:

cel trangender

That might explain difficulty with choosing a pronoun here:

cel pic of her

The pronoun her is close, and yet so wrong. A reflexive pronoun like herself is required when the pronoun refers to the subject of the sentence.

Well, the day is young (at least where I am); maybe it’ll get better for the folks at Yahoo.

A really big attack

A July 4th terror attack is so big it deserves an additional letter on the Yahoo! front page:

fp atttack

One chief, many commanders

No, this is not how you form the plural of command in chief. The correct spelling, which the writer or editor for Yahoo! Style should have known, is commanders in chief:

commander in chiefs sty

Other similar plurals? Mothers-in-law, attorneys general, passersby, notaries public.

One day’s worth of errors

I couldn’t possibly address one day’s worth of errors found on the Yahoo! front page. I couldn’t handle just two hours’ worth of typos. There are just too many mistakes on Yahoo!, including this missing apostrophe:

fp 33 years worth

I’m not sure what “33 years’ worth of taxes” is. I guess it’s the same as “33 years of tax returns.” Anyhoo, the writer omitted the apostrophe in what the Associated Press calls a quasi possessive. Other similar constructions that you’re likely to encounter:

  • two weeks’ vacation
  • three years’ experience
  • his money’s worth
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