Don’t confuse lyrics with words

Gosh, I feel really stupid. All my life I’ve thought that lyrics were the words of a song. According to Yahoo Lifestyle, word and lyrics are two totally different things:

OK, I’ll also admit I don’t know what the writer meant by the word word. Was the writer referring to Mr. Petty’s promise (as in “he kept his word”) or to actual words (as in “lyrics of a song”)? I’m so confused.

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What’s your style?

If you’re a writer, editor, blogger, or just someone interested in writing in excruciatingly correct English, you might have occasion to refer to a style guide. A style guide can be an internal company document or a public publication, like the Associated Press Stylebook. Many media companies use the AP guide as the definitive source of spelling, capitalization, word choice, and the like. But not Yahoo News, apparently.

According to AP style, cabinet should be capitalized when referring to the president’s advisers, and not to a piece of furniture. (Other authorities, such as the Government Printing Office and the New York Times, recommend capitalizing the word in that context.) But ultimately it’s a matter of house style. So, I’ll give that one a pass.

Not getting a pass? The use of him instead of the reflexive pronoun himself. (When the subject and the pronoun refer to the same person, use a reflexive pronoun, which ends with self or selves.)  And obviously, the doubled and in and and.

Repeated redundancy

Well, do you think that the editor for Yahoo Style knows what palatial means? I think not, otherwise we wouldn’t be subjected to this headline:

Readers of Style noticed the redundancy, too, and didn’t hesitate to point it out:

Did you really just write “palatial palaces”? Do you work for the Department of Redundancy Department?

all palaces are palatial, dummy. It’s the definition of a palace. It’s like spatious [sic] space.
“Palatial Palaces”? Isn’t that redundantly redundant?
Can we talk about how the headline says “palatial palaces”? I find this an alarmingly alarming grammatical alarum.
Palatial palaces? What an uncultured illiterate!
Palatial: “resembling a palace” … Thus, a palatial palace = resembling a palace palace. I take it that Maggie Parker did not graduate from a top notch journalism school.
Palatial palaces? Seriously? That’s what you’re going to go with for your headline?
This article is redundant starting from the title…
A palatial palace? Um, palatial means “like a palace”. So, a palace-like palace? As opposed to….?
Palatial palaces? So…like…palace-like palaces? Redundancy is redundant
So, if you think readers don’t care about your use of words, think again and ponder once more. They notice.

Because today’s meeting tomorrow is too late

Today’s Alibaba meeting kicked off today, according to Yahoo! Finance:

today-fin-hp

Makes sense to me. Who’d want to kick off today’s meeting tomorrow?

Did I mention the front of Megyn Kelly’s dress?

It looks like the writer for Yahoo! Style was so impressed by the front of Megyn Kelly’s dress that she wrote about it twice:

front sty

That’s usually the case

Yes, a resemblance is usually a similar resemblance, and we have the genius writer at Yahoo! Style to tell us that:

jig-jagged style

What she hasn’t told us is the meaning of jig-jagged. Did she make up that word? Yes. What she calls jig-jagged lines looks like zigzag lines to me.

Time to go, to go

It’s time to go, to go. You’re just two words too many on the Yahoo! front page:

fjp to go to go to

I would decline the honer

If this was meant to honor Stevie Nicks and I were the singer, I’d say “no thanks, Yahoo! Style.”

stevie nicks style

I’m not impressed by a writer who doesn’t know how to hyphenate 66-year-old. Who doesn’t care about repeated words. And who is too lazy to look up the actual name of Ms. Nicks’ song. (It’s “Rhiannon.”) Apparently the writer thinks flapper and goth are worthy of capital letters, but honor isn’t worth a spell-check.

This is not an honor. It’s an insult to the subject and to the readers.

Much like others

This mess on the Yahoo! front page is much like others, except there’s more of it:

fp nationals

Somebody thought that Nationals needs an apostrophe to show that it was the Nationals’ exit, but somebody thought it doesn’t. Somebody thought that repeating a word is OK; the rest of the world thinks it isn’t. And somebody thought that much like 2012 was the same as much like in 2012, but it isn’t.

I read this so you don’t have to

I read Yahoo! Style so you don’t have to. And I report on just the worst of the many gaffes committed by Yahoo!’s writers. And these excerpts from a single article are some of the worst.

It starts with the misspelled America Ferrera and goes on to a couple of repeated words. The movie title gets no special treatment (which is usually italics or quotation marks at Yahoo!, there being no company standard). There’s an expression the writer misuses; it tripped her up. (Apparently she didn’t know it’s not the same as simply tripping.) What kind of nut was involved in this story? Beats me. It’s not OK not to capitalize OK; and it’s not OK to capitalize goddess:

trip style 1

I thought I was reading a story about Kim Kardashian, who was nearly trampled in a crowd. But (or nut?) it was a security guard who was nearly the victim. (The other victim is the reader of this piece, where the misplaced modifier produces unlikely results.) You’d think that a professional writing about style and fashion would know how to spell Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s name, but you would be wrong:

trip style 2

During the fashion show, the front row was set to a soundtrack. I guess that’s better than being set on fire, but not as good as a show set to a soundtrack. Anyhoo, it hardly matters since the music included a song that the writer claims is “Stop Pressuring Me.” There is no song by that name. However there is a tune with the lyric “stop pressuring me” and it’s called “Scream.” Then there’s a teensy word missing, but that’s really not important in light of the other embarrassments:

trip style 3

I read this stuff so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

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