Dress to skin: You look like a million bucks

That’s quite a dress! According to Yahoo! Style, a dress was being complimentary, meaning it said something nice about an actress’s skin:

compliment dollars sty

A complimentary dress could be more valuable than millions of dollars’ (with an apostrophe) worth of diamonds. If the dress merely complemented her skin, it would only make her skin look better.

Dress to hair: I love your color

If Beth Ditto’s dress could talk, it would probably tell her hair: Oooh, I love your color. It is so fiery red. If the dress also went well with that color, it would complement it. Which do you suppose the Yahoo! Style editor meant?

compliments sty

Oooh, nice figure you got there, Kate

What kind of compliment would a “high waist and color blocking” pay to Kate Winslet’s figure? That’s the question we all want answered after reading this on Yahoo! Movies:

compliment celeb

When you say something nice, you compliment a person. When two things go well together, they complement each other.

Your mother would be so proud

So, you finally landed a job writing for a big, hot-shot Internet company. Your mother must be so proud to see what you’re producing for Yahoo! Shine! Unless, of course, she’s like my mother. In that case she’d be appalled to see that you don’t know compliment from complement and that you think pharaoh is a proper noun:

compliment pharaoh shine

She’d be mortified to think that you put an apostrophe in the plural Kardashians:

kardashians apos shine

She’d be ashamed to realize that you didn’t bother to research Wilson Phillips and Chynna Phillips — just so you got the spelling right:

chynna philips shine

If your mother is like mine, she’d be grateful that you have a job — and that this article doesn’t have a byline.

Oooh, your jeans are hot!

Your denim jeans are hot. Your sleek black cocktail dress is simply divine. It’s so much fun complimenting anything in your closet.

compliment ring shopping

But if you’re looking for something that goes well with your wardrobe, you’re looking for something that complements your clothes. Pay no attention to the writer behind Yahoo! Shopping who suffers from homophonic confusion.

Imagine you’re an editor

Imagine you’re the senior fashion and beauty editor for Yahoo! Shine.  Do you think that if you spelled a name correctly once,  you could do it again? Nope. This is supposed to be Ihamuotila:

As a fashion editor, wouldn’t you try to spell a designer’s name right, even if it’s Noora Niinikoski?

Imagine not knowing Edie Sedgwick. And not knowing the year. And thinking that makeup could compliment anything (“Your ensemble is fabulous”). Wouldn’t makeup that complements an ensemble be more impressive?


I see that misspelling wasn’t a typo:

Imagine you’re a senior editor for Shine. Would you want your name associated with this?

A hairdo don’t

Looking for a hairdo that will pay compliments to your costume this Halloween? Look no further than Yahoo! Shopping, which offers talking wigs:

If, instead, you’re looking for a ‘do (which is a shortened form of hairdo) that complements your costume (that is, one that enhances it), you might want to go elsewhere.

One writer’s many problems

Some writers have problems with spelling, grammar, and word choice. For them, the services of a competent editor is as necessary as a reliable laptop. But for the writers for Yahoo! Shine, editorial services are an apparent luxury, and writers are left to deal with their literary demons on their own.

Such is the case with this writer, who is unable to complete an article without offering a multitude of mistakes, starting with the opening paragraph:

If you’re referring to the region of the United States, West Coast is a proper noun. If you’re writing a series of nouns, don’t squeeze in a verb.

Lace to dress: You look fabulous! That’s one way a bit of lace might compliment a dress. If, however, the lace improves the appearance of the dress, then it complements it:

Well, the duke and duchess will be attending the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards. I think the writer almost communicated that, but had a few problems:

The writer’s grasp of geography is as tenuous as her grasp of English. Santa Monica is not in LA; it’s in LA county.

And her knowledge of designers like Diane von Furstenberg isn’t any better:

Look! Look! It’s a repeated word!

She also has a problem with using the Shift key on her keyboard, capitalizing a word here:

and neglecting to capitalize Pacific here:

That’s just one writer’s many writing issues. But as readers of Terribly Write know, there are many more writers working for Yahoo! with many more writing problems.

Writing Report Card: F

If you can’t spell, don’t know anything about fashion or movies, you have no business writing a Fashion Report Card for Yahoo! Movies. But you’re the perfect candidate for a Writing Report Card! Let’s take a look at some of your musings and let’s give them a grade (and maybe a snarky comment).

Misspelled glamour
Grade: D-
The only reason you didn’t get a failing grade is that it’s almost understandable. The adjective form is glamorous, so perhaps you thought the noun form was glamor. It isn’t and a spell-checker would have told you that.

Misspelled makeup
Grade: D
Depending on the authority, the noun is either makeup or make-up. According to all authorities, it’s not make up.

Misplaced word; misspelled Elie Saab
Grade: F
This should be “but sometimes even icons get it wrong.” There’s no excuse for misspelling Elie Saab.

Misspelled glamour
Grade: D-

Misspelled movie title, “Les Bien-Aimes”
Grade: F
No excuse. No excuse at all.

Misspelled Calvin Klein
Grade: F
Screw up Calvin Klein and you automatically go to Misspell Hell.

Homophonous error
Grade: D-
I’d like to compliment the writer on his or her talents. I’ll let you know if I discover any.

Incorrect punctuation
Grade: D-
This is a rather creative use of punctuation: Who would have thought to use a hyphen to join an adjective to the noun it modifies?

Incorrect comparative of an adjective; misspelled glamour
Grade: F
Maybe this is just a trendier spelling of glamor. Or maybe the writer is a little slow.

Incorrect punctuation; typo
Grade: F
Oh, gawd, this is awful.

Misspelled coif
Grade: D
An understandable misspelling of coif. But it’s still wrong.

Incorrect movie name “Les Bien-Aimes”
Grade: F-
Misspelling two out of three words in a movie title? You need to turn in your keyboard.

Overall Grade: A big, fat effin’ F

Avoiding a compliment and other mishaps

Oh, dear. It’s too bad the writer for Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time” doesn’t have the benefit of a competent editor to clean up his grammatical gaffes. A good editor might supply the missing word, capitalize Hollywood, and substituted the right complement here:

LeBron would probably get his camel cap (that capitalized letter appearing mid-name) and Charlie’s Angels would be pluralized without an apostrophe:

The rookie mistakes of the misplaced period (in the U.S., it goes before the closing quotation mark) and divided backyard (it’s one word) might be avoided:

Is this the way Yahoo! supports its writers and its readers? Yeah.

%d bloggers like this: