What it’s like to be wrong

Here’s what it’s like to be wrong on the home page of Yahoo! Style:

divorcee sty hp

The writer obviously didn’t study French in high school, assuming the writer attended high school. The word for a divorced woman is divorcée; a divorced man is a divorcé. There is no such thing as a divorceé.

When did James Gandolfini play a woman?

Did James Gandolfini ever play a woman in a movie? According to Yahoo! Movies, he played a divorced woman in the movie “Enough Said”:

divorcee movies

Unless, of course, the writer meant divorcé, which is a divorced man; put another E at the end and it’s a divorced woman.

Saving 30 seconds

There’s not much I can say about this article from Yahoo! News‘ “The Ticket” except that a little proofreading or at least a spell-check would have saved the writer some embarrassment, like this grammatical gaffe:

I guess the reporter was trying to distinguish between a divorce and a man who is divorced, so she came up with this “word”:

The word she was looking for is divorcé, which is a male who is divorced; a divorcée is a woman who is divorced. A spell-checker would have caught that goof as well as this one:

Maybe the reporter just didn’t have the luxury of the 30 seconds it would have taken to check the spelling of the article. Yeah, I can totally relate. Better to publish something wrong than publish something correct 30 seconds later.

In stitches over your writing

Some writing is just so horribly bad that it actually is funny. I’m not saying that all errors are knee-slappers, but if you’re the senior editor who wrote this for Yahoo! Shine, I want to thank you for the chuckles.

Thanks for the suggest that the TV show “The Bachelor” could use “a bachelor whose black.” Great idea!

But, dear, I have to ask: A bachelor whose black what? Did you forget the rest of that sentence? Or could you possibly have meant “a bachelor who’s black”? Nah, that wouldn’t be funny, that would be careless or kinda stupid.

More hilarity ensures with the words here that don’t make a lot of sense. I love that you use the singular woman when we’d all expect the plural women. And that you don’t bother with quotation marks around the title of a TV show. Priceless! And choosing to refer to a man with the pronoun it? Brilliant!

Jeez, how on earth did you think of this one? Anyone could spell it “Spanish fly.” But you? No, you’ve got a better, funnier idea:

Again you spurn the conventions of punctuation with a TV show, a goofy pronoun, and the creative spelling of Jeffrey Osborne’s name:

Girl, you are just too funny! A missing hyphen here is amusing:

and another one missing here in what should be L.A.-based is inspired:

Honey, he couldn’t hoist himself down anything. Hoist means to “raise or haul up.” See? Up is not the same as down. But what had me in stitches (besides your misspelling) was the fact that he was haired as a hero. Was a wig or extensions involved? And was the firefighter suffering from a gender-identity crisis? I’m just asking, because a divorcée is a woman; a divorcé is a man. But, it’s all good and it’s all funny.

If you had bothered to proofread what you wrote, you would have found this error in an instant:

If you had bothered Googling her name, you would have found that she’s actually Scarlett Johansson:

But writing correctly is just so booooring, isn’t it?

When divorce is not the answer

When divorce is wrong, perhaps you should use divorcé. Certainly, if you’re referring to a man, neither divorcee nor divorcée is correct. The writer for Yahoo! Movies should brush up on freshman French:

A divorcée is a woman; a divorcé is a man.

John C. Reilly’s transgendered role

In the movie “Cyrus,” John C. Reilly plays a divorced woman. At least that’s what it says on Yahoo! Movies:

OK, for all you writers for Yahoo! who didn’t take French in high school, here’s the story. Divorcé and fiancé (with one E) are male; divorcée and fiancée (with another E) are female.

Divorcé you say?

It’s a safe bet that Kathy Day is a divorcée (which is a divorced woman) and not a divorcé (the male equivalent) as implied by this Yahoo! TV photo caption.


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