Calvin Klein: A decent designer

Calvin Klein is a decent designer of Hungarian-Jewish descent. Did you know that? Me neither. And neither did the news editor for Yahoo! Style:

decent sty

It isn’t decent

This might be a decent article from Yahoo! Style — if it weren’t for the errors. The writer could make the age decent with a couple of hyphens: 20-year-old. (Omitting a hyphen from an age is one of the top three hyphen errors you’ll see on Yahoo!.) The paragraph might be decent if the writer appreciated the difference between decent and descent — and if the writer told us how polite the subject is:

decent style

Farewell to 2013 and beyond

In an article described on Yahoo! Shine as “memorable and inspiring quotes to take you into 2014,” the writer created a few memorable (but not so inspiring) quotes of her own.

The fun starts with an insulting remark to readers who have too much good sense and taste to follow the reproductive habits of reality TV stars:

quotes 1

It’s made even worse by her lowercase treatment of Luddite. Apparently the writer is too much of a Luddite to look the word up in an online dictionary.

This should be a moving tribute to Malala Yousafzai, but it turns to rubbish with the misspelling of her name and the claim she was shot on her way to school last October. She was not. She was shot on her way home from school in October 2012:

quotes 2

This might have been a decent comment if the writer knew the difference between decent and descent:

quotes 3

Why the writer would decide to capitalize Today as if it were an acronym is beyond my ken. So is “fatty comfot food.” I think that’s supposed to be “fattening comfort food”:

quotes 4

The writer must have felt there was a dearth of quotable quotes in 2013, so she’s reached back to 2012 for a tidbit from Taylor Swift. It was last year that Ms. Swift came out with “Red” and the song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” but I quibble:

quotes 5

Ted Cruz, lies and decent Cubans

If you’re looking for some little-known facts about Ted Cruz, don’t go lookin’ in Yahoo! News. It’s just published some factoids — unverified or inaccurate information — about the Republican senator:

factoid news 1

The article offers this “factoid” about Cruz: He is a decent Cuban. At least I think that’s what the writer meant:

factoid news 2

And here I thought he was of Cuban descent. Oh, silly me. I must pay more attention to factoids.

A decent attempt, but wrong

The writer for Yahoo! Shine makes a decent attempt to hyphenate what should be 24-year-old, but falls a little short:

indian decent shine

What isn’t decent is the use of decent for what should be descent, meaning lineage.

A descent into hell

For lovers of English, a mistake like this on the Yahoo! front page is like a descent into a language abyss:

fp decent

A decent mistake

The writing on Yahoo! Shine goes into a sharp descent after this decent error

decent shine

Lindsay Lohan’s decent deserves 90 days in the slammer

It’s an article about Lindsay Lohan’s jail sentence, but it should be the writer for Yahoo! Shine who gets sent to the grammar slammer.

I’m thinking 30 days for a typo isn’t too harsh:

Another 30 days for abuse of the language seems right to me. Apparently Ms. Lohan’s descent into alcohol abuse made her decent:

How about another 30 days for these assaults on English?

DUIs aren’t really about D.U.Is; they’re about a correct abbreviation. The damage you’re doing to your credibility when you use the wrong word, add an incorrect comma, and dangle your participle in public, is enormous.

I’ll give her a pass on this mis-hyphenation because she’s trying to hyphen correctly. The joke is on her, though. There are no hyphens in 24 years old:

Is 90 days in the grammar slammer too light a sentence?

Don’t use that to refer to Lady Gaga

It starts out with a minor typo: Yahoo! Shine

but takes a rapid descent into the funny:

M.I.A. is of Sri Lankan descent. And using that to refer to a person isn’t technically wrong, though many authorities would consider it “impolite.” A better word would be who.

Sinking a bit further down is this sentence:

What sort of aids benefit from the MAC Fund? The kind with all uppercase letters: The fund benefits people with HIV and AIDS.

César Chávez: A decent man

Mr. Chávez was a decent man of Mexican descent. At least I think that’s what the writer of this Yahoo! Events teaser meant:


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