Go take a nap

I was thinking of taking the gloves off when writing about the mistakes in a recent article on Yahoo! Style. But then I took pity on the writer, who is probably just tired and overworked and still learning English. That’s the only explanation I could come up with when I read the very first paragraph:

accessory who

Who doesn’t know that who is used exclusively for human beings? Oh, this writer. The correct word is which. And who doesn’t know that it’s is short for it is or it has. This tired, overworked writer.

But the blunder that had me feeling really, really sorry for the writer was this:

accessory who husband

That’s gotta be the result of a muddled head, unable to think clearly due to stress, long hours, and short deadlines. Yeah, that’s the reason.

Take a peek at this

Take a peek at this capitalization (or rather, lack of capitalization) of Christmas on Yahoo! DIY:

blogs 1

Who doesn’t know to capitalize the holiday? The same person who doesn’t know that using that to refer to human beings is considered impolite. The pronoun who would be more to Emily Post’s liking.

blogs 2

Just one peek into this paragraph reminds us that the writer isn’t fond of capitalizing holidays like Valentine’s Day:

blogs 3

Or Mother Nature:

blogs 4

Reading that, you feel like you are really peeking into the mind of the writer, who has trouble picking the right homophone and who forgets to use an apostrophe to show that it’s kids’ art.

Writer of anarchy

If you’ve never seen than mistaken for then, or haven’t seen the compound adjective 30-second without its hyphen, then you haven’t been reading Yahoo! DIY.

soa 1

What would Yahoo! DIY be without its very own misuse of it’s for its?

soa 2

Somehow in that same article, this got past the eagle-eyed editors:

soa 3

I think it has something to do with wearing a pattern to keep your head warm. Frankly, I think a hat would be warmer than a pattern.

Of course there are more typos, like this one below:

soa 4

Call me old-fashioned, but I appreciate the well-placed hyphen and the beauty of a real dash (like this: —) and not a puny hyphen:

soa 5

Also, I think pronouns (like them) should refer to a noun that’s actually present in the same sentence. Or paragraph. Or article.

Reverse that

It’s not unusual for a writer to use the possessive pronoun its when the contraction it’s is called for. So, I wasn’t surprised to see this goof on Yahoo! DIY:

its list diy

What did surprise me was that the writer uses it’s instead of the correct its:

its list diy 2

She’s really, really confused. But she can clear up this problem by writing it’s every time she thinks its is correct — and vice versa.

That’s not impossible

Do you ever think that you’ve seen every writing error that could possibly be made when traipsing around the Internet? Just when I think there are no new mistakes to be made, I read something on Yahoo! DIY that disabuses me of that notion. I’ll see randomly capitalized words (like fall and holiday), common idioms screwed up by the use of the wrong preposition (the expression is set foot in), and of course the ever-popular it’s for what should be its:

fall time diy

This is not impossible, but it should be:

fall time diy 2

Opposed to pasta? You may be antipasta. You also may be anti-spell-checker and anti-punctuation:

fall time diy 3

(That’s the first time I’ve encountered a misspelled antipasto. Who doesn’t love a good misspelling?)

And I’m totally looking forward to a new dish involving the mysterious slided tomato; there’s apparently a reipe for the tomoato concoction:

fall time diy 4

Have we seen every error that could possibly be made in the English language? Hardly.

What are the odds?

What are the odds that a professional writer would use its and mean it’s and use it’s and mean its? If that writer works for Yahoo! DIY, pretty good:

its w wo apos diy

Why not thinking out of the box

It looks like the elementary school crowd has taken over the writing of this article on Yahoo! DIY. How else would you explain the verb gets with an apostrophe? Or the use of it’s instead of its? Did we all master that by the time we were 12? And I’m still trying to figure out how an editor would fix the last sentence here:

gets its apos diy

Is it “Warm gatherings … call for” or “A warm gathering… calls for”? Anyone?

Sometimes when you’re trying to write something creative, you have to think out of the box. But not this far out of the box:

gets its apos diy 2

There’s that apostrophe again, used to form a plural this time. And for the third time in a single article, it’s wrong. Never has a little punctuation mark done so much and been so wrong.

It’s one of those errors

It’s one of the most common errors careless writers make. And it’s on Yahoo! Style — it a headline:

its apos style

Does anyone need an explanation of why this is wrong? I didn’t think so.

It just goes from bad to more bad

This headline was my first indication that the article on Yahoo! Style was not going to go well:

ed pick 1

The new ’60s-inspired pieces you need now? I think they involve a correctly placed an apostrophe (which shouldn’t be used to form the plural) and a hyphen.

Things only got worse. It’s hard to imagine what went through the writer’s mind when she pounded out this:

ed pick 2

It’s pretty clear that makes and reminds should be make and remind (because their subject is surfboards) and that summer isn’t a proper noun. But what could be wrong with wool sweater? The answer lies in the handy caption for the sweater that the writer provided:

ed pick 3

WTF? How did the writer screw up that badly? It’s a freakin’ linen sweater, not a wool one!

This writer is just obsessed with wool sweaters, to the point of lying about the actual material of her recommendations:

ed pick 4

First, let’s look at the helpful information the writer supplied because the alleged black stripe is actually navy:

ed pick 5

And is it mohair? Of course not! It’s nylon and acrylic. The writer just likes to make up her own little facts.

Do you know how difficult it is to find the correct spelling of gray? Luckily you don’t have to. In the U.S., it gets an A; in other English-speaking countries, the preferred spelling is grey:

ed pick 55

Again the writer proves that she’s grammatically challenged, unable to identify a plural subject (shape and color) and match it to a verb (which should be are).

When not making up information about sweaters, the writer likes to be creative about pants:

ed pick 6

What could possible wrong with that? The pattern is called dogtooth and the pants aren’t cropped, even though the writer just can’t let go of the whole crop pants thing:

ed pick 7

Geez. This just keeps getting worse. There’s a missing hyphen in must-have, fall is capitalized erroneously, and this sentence makes no sense:

ed pick 8

I don’t know what this means nor what FW means:

ed pick 9

Think it can’t get worse? Think again:

ed pick 85

The handbag is not made from box leather; it’s a leather box bag.And it was seen from a lot of famous people.

I have to keep reminding myself that this article was written by a professional writer, someone who is actually paid real money to write this crap:

ed pick 10

That’s someone who doesn’t know the difference between its and it’s. Who doesn’t know to end a sentence with a period (a comma just won’t do) and stick a hyphen in cat-eye.

It started off with a mistake and just kept piling ‘em on. It went from bad to more bad and more bad.

It’s its, but it should be it’s

In spite of the fact that it’s the number 1 error in Terribly Write’s “Commonly Confused Words,” I don’t believe that professional writers don’t know the difference between its and it’s. I think that the writers for yahoo.com are just really careless:

fjp its no apos

For readers who are just learning English, let’s review: its is the possessive for of it; it’s is a contraction for it is or it has. It’s not hard.

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