So much to know

Professional writers have to carry around a lot of knowledge. They need to know grammar, spelling, English, and maybe something about the subject of their writing. At least that’s what I thought until I started reading Yahoo! Style. As it turns out, you don’t need to know much to be a paid professional there. You can drop words from sentences:

saddle bag sty

You can display an ignorance of your subject matter. (The handbag style known as a saddle bag was not inspired by a saddle. It was inspired by a little something called a saddle bag — which attaches to a saddle.) You certainly don’t need to know how to spell giddyup, which is an interjection used here as a verb. And you don’t need to provide details like the number of bags in the world. Personally I think that last sentence should include “only one billion trillion of each.”

Dumbest Statement of the Day

Readers of this caption on Yahoo! Style might expect that it goes with an X-rated (or maybe just a PG-13-rated) photo:

sport bra sty cap

Sorry to disappoint. You should know by now to never trust anything that’s written by a Yahoo! scribe. Here’s the picture of our Ms. Brooks who appears to be wearing a cap, shorts, and footwear. And a sports bra:

sport bra sty pic

Dumbest Statement of the Day

When a writer does no research and makes up facts, she’s likely to be featured on Dumbest Statement of the Day. That’s the fate today of the Yahoo! Makers writer who’s responsible for this photo caption:

puff caption diy

The caption is for this picture:

puff pic diy

Lovers of “Pete’s Dragon” will recognize Elliott, the imaginary dragon.

Why is this so crucial?

Why is there a question mark at the end of this sentence on Yahoo! Makers? And how can a dimmer reduce overall energy output?

energy output

Great questions! The answers lie with a basic misunderstanding of English by the writer. The first has to do with a question embedded in a declarative sentence. The question is: Why is this so crucial? And some style experts would allow a question mark mid-sentence, like this: Why is this so crucial? you might ask. Looks weird to me. A better solution in my mind would be to recast the sentence: You might ask why this is so crucial.

On the second issue, the writer confused the word output with consumption or usage. At least, that’s my charitable view.

Do us all a favor, please

The folks in charge of the writing on yahoo.com would do their readers a favor by hiring writers and editors with a basic English vocabulary and some knowledge of common American customs:

fp wedding favors

That headline refers to an article about gifts for bridesmaids. It is not about wedding favors, which are  small, token mementos that are given to every wedding guest.

Dumbest statement of the day

Meet New York City’s second mayor — Andrew Cuomo. Apparently he gave up the governorship of New York state to help run the largest city in the country. At least that’s what the writer for Yahoo! Style tells us:

mayor cuomo sty

How old are you?

Is the writer for Yahoo! Makers so young that she doesn’t know what a garter is? I think so:

garter belt

This is the bright yellow accessory the bride wore. It is a garter:

garter belt pic

This is a garter belt

garter belt pic 2

Neither is a common garment for women nowadays, but they were once a necessity for properly dressed ladies. Or so I’m told.

Tennis skirt, anyone?

It wouldn’t be a proper Yahoo! Style article without an incorrect word changing the meaning of a sentence:

tennis skirt

Carmen Llywelyn: Still a Scientologist, no longer famous

Carmen Llywelyn used to be famous, but not any more:

ex-famous cel

At least she’s still a Scientologist. Unless the writer for Yahoo! Celebrity made a little error and meant to writer famous ex-member. Nah, Yahoo! writers never make mistakes like that.

Dumbest Statement of the Day

You don’t need to know much, if anything, about style to write for Yahoo! Style. You don’t even need to be able to identify articles of clothing. Can’t tell the difference between a skirt and a sweater? No problem! You, too, can write for the site and produce the Dumbest Statement of the Day:

turquoise sweater sty

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