High school diploma optional

I always thought that professional writers were college graduates, but after reading this on Yahoo! Style, I don’t think they have to be high school graduates. It seems that a fourth-grade education is more than adequate.

This is possibly the most outrageous of the writer’s claims. She apparently thinks matriculate is a synonym for graduate. It is not; it means “to admit or be admitted to a college or university”:

matriculated 1

That was my first hint that this writer hadn’t attended an institution of higher learning. And there’s no doubt she doesn’t hold a Ph.D. What does she think P.h.D. stands for anyway?

matriculated 2

Clearly, there were no classes in logic (or English) in her educational background. If there were, she would never have written this about a really, really good-looking college instructor name Boselli:

matriculated 3

So, Boselli proves that “beauty is nothing without the brain.” In other words, the poor man is a brainless Adonis. But somehow he managed to earn a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering? At least he has a degree (or two or three).

Ancient artifacts date all the way back to today

I’m appalled. It apparently took an entire team of  “Yahoo Style Editors” to come up with one of the most ridiculously ignorant statements I’ve read this week. Let’s skip over the arbitrary and totally incorrect comma, the mismatch of a subject and verb (which should be ranges), and focus on the B.C/A.D times:

bc ad style

It took the entire brain trust of editors to declare that ancient artifacts date back to “B.C/A.D times.” WTF? Are they really that ignorant? Do they not know that AD means all the time from the birth of Christ to the present day and beyond? (It seems like overkill to mention that they think that one period is enough for an abbreviation of two words.)

After that disaster, I suggest readers imagine a website with educated adults at the keyboards. And that ain’t Yahoo! Style.

Guess who’s not a PhD candidate in English?

It’s a pretty safe bet that the writer for Yahoo! Style isn’t a PhD candidate in Latin or English:

phd caps

If you understand what PhD stands for, you’ll never capitalize all three letters. It’s an abbreviation for the Latin Philosophiae Doctor, which means Doctor of Philosophy.

What color is a little black dress?

The editors for Yahoo! Style, who collectively wrote an article about Jennifer Aniston, forgot what the abbreviation LBD means and how to form the plural of LBD:

black lbd style

LBD is short for “little black dress.” Hence, the adjective before LBD is a little redundant. And the plural of the abbreviation doesn’t include an apostrophe.

What’s your favorite tele vision show?

This is the kind of abbreviation you might expect to find in a hand-written sign in a store window in 1954:

fp tv

I haven’t seen that abbreviation since “Father Knows Best” was debuted. The standard abbreviation has been TV (although some authorities allow tv) for a long, long time. Try to keep up, Yahoo!.

It’s just an estimate

I guess this event will be starting at an estimated time of 2 PM. Or maybe an established time of 2 PM:

est style 2

In my estimation, the writers for Yahoo! Style have no idea what the abbreviation for Eastern Standard Time is. Here’s a hint, it doesn’t include a period.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom” from the Yahoo! front page, it’s apparent that the existence of the United Nations came as a complete surprise. Apparently the writers didn’t have time to decide how to abbreviate the international organization:

fp un

SEALs the deal

It looks like two people wrote this teaser on the Yahoo! front page and they couldn’t agree on the plural of SEAL:

fp seals

A SEAL is a member of the United States Navy’s Sea, Air, and Land team. The plural, according to the U.S. Navy’s website, is SEALs.

You don’t really need to know

Don’t you get insulted when a writer “talks down” to you? I know I do! I hate it when a writer uses a vocabulary that is so unsophisticated that even a rhesus monkey could understand it. I lose patience when the simplest terms are explained in excruciating detail. I can’t stand it when the writer has to torture the language just so it’s grammatically correct.

If you’re like me, then you’ll enjoy reading this article on Yahoo! News! This writer is so sure that you’re a member in good standing of Mensa that he doesn’t bother to insure that pronouns have actual antecedents (even if he knew what an antecedent was):

drunk news 1

He knows you don’t care if he drops the hyphen from the name of a newspaper. (It’s the Press-Citizen, but who really cares?) When you read that 2 AM is in the morning, you know he didn’t include that redundancy for you:

drunk news 2

It’s not often that you read something by a professional writer that contains a grammatical gaffe like the incorrect past tense of a common verb. OK, so it is often, if you’re reading an article by a Yahoo! employee and the article reads like the writer had drunk one too many Bud Lights:

drunk news 3

But that’s OK! It’s just a verb and you knew what he meant, right? And the missing hyphen (again) in Press-Citizen is no biggie. And you don’t have to know what PBT stands for, unless you’re a serious alcoholic, then you already know it’s short for preliminary breath test.

Wouldn’t you want to read about Chad Harvey while enjoying a helpful picture of someone named Matt Harvey? I know I would. Perhaps Matt Harvey is Chad Harvey’s brother. Or father. Or uncle. Or next-door neighbor, who looks enough like Chad to stand in for him in the article:

drunk news 4

The writer has enough confidence in your mental acuity that he doesn’t have to tell you what a BAC is. Heck, he doesn’t even have to form its plural correctly; he’s sure you won’t mind if he throws an apostrophe in there. (By the way, for you Mennonites and others who shun alcohol, BAC stands for blood alcohol content. Or Bank of America Corp.)

Finally, when you think things couldn’t get worse, the writer does not disappoint:

drunk news 5

Imagine not knowing where to put the correlative conjunction not only…but also. Imagine not knowing that the partner of not only is but also. But you know that. You would have written:

to have survived not only driving while intoxicated, but also the punishment they inflicted on their bodies.

or:

to not only survive driving while intoxicated, but also survive the punishment they inflicted on their bodies.

But writing grammatically correct sentences is just patronizing your readers.

This is the news?

It’s amazing what you can find on Yahoo! News. And not in a good way. You’d think that the writers and editors for a site that is allegedly about news would know if socialist is a proper noun or a common one. But noooo:

news 3

You’d think that they’d know how to proofread to find extraneous words. But noooo:

news 1

And you’d think that a site that’s headquartered in the U.S. would employ folks who knew how to spell U.S. And who knew that Key West is the name of an island in Florida. But noooo:

news 2

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