To cite Jarod Kintz on the subject of words that sound alike: “I gave her flour instead of a flower, because I knew she loved homophones. ” Perhaps the writer for Yahoo! Style enjoys homophones as well:
What’s the site of your image? The mirror over your bathroom sink?
Wherever it is, the site of your image is where you’ll catch sight of your image.
That homophonic error is from Yahoo! Shine, a site known (at least to me and regular readers of Terribly Write) for its writers’ errors. I am saddened by the fact that there’s at least one other horrific error — this time a ridiculous allegation:
As if we needed more proof that the people who write for the Yahoo! front page are functionally illiterate, here’s a sight that ought to strike horror in the hearts of language lovers everywhere:
As a noun, the word sight has many meanings. In this context, perhaps sight means a view or something worth seeing or a spectacle. But if it’s the place where there’s something worth seeing, then it’s a site.
What do you call a writer whose works appear on one of the most popular sites on the Internet, and yet doesn’t bother to spell-check her pearls? Arrogant? Lazy? Or maybe simply an egomaniac who doesn’t believe she could make a mistake? Me? I’d call her a writer for Yahoo! Shine:
Someone who doesn’t bother to proofread her gems wouldn’t notice a missing parenthesis, a missing word, a misspelled FAO Schwarz, and the quaint amidst:
This description of a hairstyle is so confusing, I bet even the writer has no idea what she meant:
It should come as no surprise that the woman knows little about punctuation or grammar. The period belongs before the closing parenthesis (because that’s a complete sentence inside the parens). She could remove the ring more easily (an adverb is required to modify the verb remove). Is tweet a proper noun? No, it’s not. It’s now accepted as a verb:
Here’s a sighting of a homophonic error and a truly ridiculous grammatical error:
Maybe this writer is an egomaniac. Maybe she needs to ask for an editor. Maybe she just doesn’t care.
Is there any writing mistake that the senior editor for Yahoo! Shine failed to make in a single article?
She manages to post this bit of nonsense, proving she doesn’t check anything after she publishes it:
She shows her ignorance of homophones site and sight:
Her preference for variant spellings (gamey instead of the preferred gamy), her inability to control her use of the Shift key (turning an elk into the incorrect Elk), and her wobbly proofreading skills are the highlight of this caption:
Let’s not forget the grammatical nightmare that is this undecipherable mess:
Reinforcing her total disregard for the correct use of capital letters, she turns this common noun into a proper one:
and this proper noun into a common one:
Finally, thumbing her nose at her readers and the lovers of language everywhere, she continues with a capital offense:
Is there any writing error she neglected to display?
What are your deal breakers when you’re reading? The errors that you spot that make you say, “That’s it! I can’t take any more!” If you’re looking through Yahoo! Shine, would you read an article with this headline?
Would the mashed-up dealbreakers and the apostrophe in the plural V-days offend your grammatical sensibilities? If that didn’t stop you, would you continue past the undercapitalized Valentine’s Day and the unsightly in site?
Could you ignore the fact that the writer obviously did not run a spell-check and still doesn’t know how to capitalize Valentine’s Day?
Are you still reading? Right up to the hyphen missing in what should be heart-shaped? And past the kielbasa —which even when spelled correctly — isn’t a proper noun?
What are your reading deal breakers?
Some writers deserve recognition for their great writing. Piper Weiss, the senior features editor for Yahoo! Shine, is not one of them. She has earned, however, the distinction of being one of the few professional writers (maybe the only professional writer) to make three homophonic errors in a single article. Without further ado (or “adieu,” as she would write), they are:
Bares for bears. Unless the brainiac writer meant “uncovers.” But that would make no sense.
Hoards for hordes. This is a stretch since, really, neither word is correct, though hordes is closer to her implied meaning. A hoard is a supply of something stored up and often hidden. A horde refers to people in a mob or crowd. So, either one pretty much sucks in this context, but I’m calling it a homophonic error:
Sight for site. Just because she writes for a site, we can’t assume she can spell the word. Good thing she doesn’t work for a rotogravure.
Homophonic errors on a Web site can destroy a writer’s credibility. So, this excerpt from Yahoo! Shine, with its misuse of effect instead of affect and site and cite, rates a big fat zero on the reliability scale: