Striking the wrong chord

Nothing in this photo caption on Yahoo! Style hits the right note or strikes a chord with me:

hit cord sty

I’m embarrassed for the writer. She managed to screw up a common expression in two ways: The expression is “hit the right note” or “strike a chord” (but she can’t even use the correct homophone in the latter). It’s followed in the same sentence with a mismatched subject and verb. And to prove that she’s not just grammatically and verbally impaired, she shows that she knows little about the subject of this mess by misspelling Céline. I’ve read high school newspapers that are better written and edited than this.

Few Louis Vuitton looks at UNICEF Ball

There are more errors on Yahoo! than you can shake a stick at. Here’s just one from Yahoo! Style:

shake a stick sty

The writer alleges that there were only a few Louis Vuitton looks at the ball. What she meant? There were more than you can shake a stick at. That’s the expression that means a large quantity or more than you can count.

A torch would be better

This expression from Yahoo! Celebrity doesn’t hold a candle to the correct idiom:

holds a candle omg

The idiom hold a candle means “to compare favorably with.” It seems that Mr. Reynolds is comparing himself to the Flying Nun. In fact, the fire is bigger than you’d get from a candle: He still carries a torch for Sally Field.

Nailing the cliche

One editor for Yahoo! Style didn’t exactly nail this cliché:

nail on the coffin

A nail on a coffin wouldn’t be as effective as a nail in a coffin. The cliché is “a nail in the coffin” or “the last (or final) nail in a coffin.”

Raking mud

The writer for Yahoo! Celebrity should be raked over the coals for this mishmash:

raked thru mud cel

It looks like he just couldn’t figure out what the correct idiom is. Or maybe he thinks that is the correct idiom, when it’s really a mash-up of “raked over the coals” (which means to reprimand severely) and “dragged through the mud” (which means to malign, defame, or slander).

Your writing isn’t up to snuff

Dear Yahoo! Shine writer: This is to inform you that based on your ignorance of common English idioms your writing doesn’t pass muster. It is not up to snuff.

pass snuff sty

You might consider taking an English class in night school or writing only in your native language. ‘Snuff said.

What is your picture saying?

I happen to think that if “a picture speaks a thousand words,” then that’s not the kind of picture I want in my house. I like the quiet. I also happen to think that the writer for Yahoo! DIY doesn’t know that the expression is “a picture is worth a thousand words”:

pic speaks 1000 words

Frankly, I’d rather listen to a picture than read more of her words.

What would be better than your best face?

You know what would be better than putting your best face forward? Putting your best foot forward, because that’s the correct idiom. And better still would be the use of an appropriate idiom on Yahoo! Autos:

best face autos

Designers who put their best foot forward are acting so as to make a good impression. Perhaps putting their best designs forward would be more appropriate. (And if you’re wondering about those little characters at the end of the paragraph — the word has been clipped to fit in the space provided. Readers have to click the View More link to read the rest of the sentence.)

Taken to the next misstep

This headline on the Yahoo! front page takes idiotic idioms to the next level:

fp next step

I suppose if you’re just learning English, you might not know common expressions like “take it to the next level” or “take the next step.” If that’s the case, I suggest you have someone familiar with common idioms edit your writing before you publish it.

Can the tables be turned?

What a difference one little word can make. When it was reported on that a car dealership turns tables, I was a bit puzzled:

fp turns tables

All I could think about was the Jonas Brothers turning a table:


What the writer meant was “turns the tables.” That’s the idiom and it means “To reverse a situation and gain the upper hand,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary.

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