Who was the bomber

Is this as confusing to you as it is to me? This headline on the Yahoo! front page has me wondering: Was the mosque bomber a Shiite or did the bomber attack a Shiite mosque?

fp id-ed

A hyphen would have made it clear that it was a Shiite-mosque bomber. And where did the missing hyphen go? It went into ID-ed, which should be ID’ed (according to the American Heritage Dictionary).

Of all the grammar mistakes made by Yahoo! writers and editors, this is probably one of the worst because it’s in the first word of the first sentence of the first paragraph. And it’s soooo obviously wrong:

me and my par

I don’t know anyone, much less a professional writer, who would say that, much less write that. The Yahoo! Parenting writer needs to go back to second grade or start hanging out with people who speak correct English.

You, me, and the rest of the English-speaking world know that the correct pronoun is I, not me. And if it sounds awkward as the first word that’s because it shouldn’t be the first word. The pronoun I should come second in the compound subject: My 7-year-old son Jack and I.

How to be an up-and-coming writer

Are you an up-and-coming writer? If so, don’t follow the example of this Yahoo! Beauty writer, who doesn’t know that upcoming means “occurring soon” and not “gaining prominence” (that would be up-and-coming):

upcoming farrah

Written by a Millennial?

Americans bemoaning the state of public education need look no further than the Yahoo! front page for an example of the failure of schools to teach the basics:

fp millenials

I’m guessin’ that the headline was written by someone in the U.S. (though I could be wrong and it could be written in another country) and that the writer is a Millennial who never learned to spell and who can’t be bothered to consult a dictionary or a spell-checker.

Is that a new word in sports?

Is this such a new word in American sports that the writers at Yahoo! Sports had to resort to using the British spelling?

offence spo

This isn’t the worst offense possible; it’s just a slap in the face of American readers, who are used to see offense.

Cancel that

This cancelations come up one letter short on the Yahoo! front page:

fp cancelations

Although canceled and canceling is the preferred spelling in the U.S. (in other English-speaking countries, it’s cancelled and cancelling), cancellation, with two L’s is the universally preferred spelling.

Whilst I was reading

I thought I was reading the U.S. version of Yahoo! Style, until I stumbled on this:

sun dress whilst grey sty

In the States, sundress is one word, the preferred word is while (whilst is chiefly British and sounds pretentious to American ears), and the preferred spelling of the color is gray.

You didn’t think too hard, did you?

The writer for Yahoo! Style didn’t think too hard about the correct word to use here:

to hard sty

Millions of dollars’ worth of errors

It’s really just one error and in appears on Yahoo! Makers:

dollars worth diy

This is a case of a quasi possessive. (It’s also an example of the genitive case, which is more grammar than I like.) Anyhoo, if you’re unsure whether you’re faced with a simple plural or a quasi possessive, try this: Substitute the number 1 for the number in the phrase. So, instead of “millions of dollars worth,” try “one dollars worth.” Notice that I used dollars, and not dollar, because that sounds right to me. But of course it’s not a plural, so it must be a possessive: one dollar’s worth. This method depends on having an “ear” for correct language, something Yahoo! writers seem to lack.

How many is too many?

How many mistakes are acceptable in a sentence? Zero? One? Two? Three? That’s what seems to be okie-dokie over at Yahoo! Style, where the writer misspelled French Riviera, used the wrong preposition in what should be arriving at, and banged out dressed instead of dress:

rivera sty 2

In baseball, that would be three strikes, sending the batter to the dugout. I wonder where Yahoo! sends its writers who strike out. Oh, yeah. Yahoo! sends them to their next writing assignment.

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