I’m soooo confused

Sometimes I’ll read a sentence on Yahoo! and there’s numbers in the sentence, and I try to do a little first-grade arithmetic (cuz I don’t trust Yahoo! writers’ numerical abilities), and I wind up with a headache. This is one of those times. After reading this on Yahoo! Celebrity, I’m very confused (and in need of a Tylenol):

I guess Mr. Pitt and Ms. Jolie have been together for 12 years. But they’ve been married for two more? I’m so confused. Have they been married two more years than they’ve been together? Like, 14 years of matrimony? Is that even possible? Maybe they got married by proxy two years before they actually met. Or maybe the writer is a tad confused and meant they “had been together for 12 years and married for two.”

A couple of S’s?

It’s become almost a daily occurrence at Yahoo! Style: the inability to form possessive of a plural noun:

What the heck is so hard about this? If you’re writing about one couple, it’s couple’s. If more than one couple, it’s couples’. If you’re really confused, it’s couples’s and it’s wrong.

While I’m pondering the reason for that common mistake, perhaps you’ll solve another mystery for me: Why did the writer (and presumably her editor) refer to a boy with the pronoun her? Is this a transgender thing?

Close enough

Don’t expect these folks to do actual research. A simple Google search is too much of a bother for the writers and editors at Yahoo! Celebrity. They’re happy letting us know that Taylor Swift’s estate is “near Rhode Island”:

So, it might be in Massachusetts or Connecticut or even Narragansett Bay. Real journalists would take the time to learn that Watch Hill, the location of Ms. Swift’s mansion, is in Rhode Island. I’d say that’s pretty “near.”

This doesn’t pass the smell test

If only there were a way for the Yahoo! Style writer to verify the spelling of the captions she writes. Maybe if she had a picture of the eau de parfum she’s writing about, she wouldn’t make these misspellings:

Oh, wait! Here’s the actual picture that goes with that caption:

Maybe she didn’t think she needed to look at it. But when writing this caption:

. . . don’t you think she should have checked out the picture of the bottle of eau de parfum, which is quite different from cologne and eau de cologne:

Well, she finally got the product right in this caption:

. . .  but not the name of the manufacturer:

If these captions didn’t appear right next to the product pictures, perhaps no one would have noticed that the writer can’t copy words right under her nose. But they’re there and there’s no amount of eau de parfum that can cover the stink.

The ghost of Audrey Hepburn

Many people say Audrey Hepburn was an angelic actress of heavenly beauty. They may be correct — literally. According to Yahoo! Celebrity after her death, Audrey Hepburn worked for UNICEF:

So you think you can capitalize. . .

The writer and editor of this excerpt from Yahoo! Style probably think they know when to capitalize a word:

In this case, they would be wrong. When referring to the United States, States is a proper noun. (So, if you live in Australia and want to visit three states, you have to travel to the States.)  They probably also think they know the title of that TV show called “So You Think You Can Dance.” They’re almost right: There is no question mark in the title.

At least it wasn’t tinnitus

Whew! Tinnitus, otherwise known as ringing in the ear, can be difficult to deal with. According to Yahoo! Movies, the  character Baby only suffered from ringing in his eardrums. That’s not so bad:

Knowledge of geography optional

You don’t need to be an expert in geography to write for Yahoo! Style. If you don’t know an English town from an English county, don’t worry — you could still making the writing team. The author of this gem did:

Berkshire is not a town outside of London; it is a county. St. Mark’s church, the site of Ms. Middleton’s wedding, is in Englefield, Berkshire. Englefield is the town outside of London.

I’m not mathematical genius

I’m no mathematical genius, in fact, I’m barely competent in basic arithmetic. But I’m pretty sure that this claim on Yahoo! Style is off by at least 100 years:

Levi’s the company has been around since 1853, which is somewhat more than 50 years ago. I think. But I’m no mathematical genius, so I could be wrong.

Barron Trump to attend exceptional school

Barron Trump, the youngest son of the current occupant of the Oval Office, is 11 years old. Next fall he’ll be attending a school for students aged up to 12, according to Yahoo! Style:

You might think it odd that he’ll be attending a school for just one year. But, it’s an exceptional school, for students in grades 9 to 12, also according to Yahoo!:

So, it looks like students complete grades up to 12, graduating from high school at the age of 12. Now, that’s an exceptional school. Unless… the writer got it wrong. The school serves students from age 2 to grade 12. Oops. That’s a  little different.

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