Northwestern is what?

Northwestern is. Yes indeedie, Northwestern is. What exactly is Northwestern? Only the writer for knows:

fp northwestern is

Dumbest Statement of the Day

Today’s dumbest statement comes in a sentence on Yahoo! Makers that’s packed with problems:

maze diy

There’s a word missing between each and with — I’m guessin’ it’s year. There’s the freaky use of the pronoun their, which has no antecedent, but which probably refers to farm. Or else it refers to the owners of the farm, which aren’t mentioned anywhere near that pronoun.

But the worst offense? The claim that the farm has been around for nearly 20 years, as if that’s a monumental accomplishment. In fact, the farm has been in the same family for ten generations, or nearly 300 years. Now that’s an accomplishment.

Jamming that many mistakes in a single sentence is accomplishment, too. Just not one to be proud of.

Do you mean residents?

Even if the writer for hadn’t omitted a vital word, this would still be awkward and amateurish:

fp live the

Do you think the writer is an elementary school student who’s unfamiliar with the word resident?

Dumbest Statement of the Day

Today’s Dumbest Statement of the Day is made even dumber, given the fact that it appears on Yahoo! Politics, where writers should know something about politics:

retiring sen pol

Why would anyone campaign for a retiring senator? Because the writer left out some vital words: Ms. Ernst campaigned for Sen. Harkin’s seat. His seat. Not him.

A couple errors

It’s not a couple of errors on the Yahoo! front page; it’s one error and it involves a missing word:

fp couple people

As the American Heritage Dictionary notes:

The of in the phrase a couple of is often dropped in speech, but this omission is usually considered a mistake. In 2013, 80 percent of the Usage Panel found the sentence A couple friends came over to watch the game to be unacceptable.

Headline writing: when to

Headline writing: when to fall asleep. That’s a tip I’d like to write about after reading this on the Yahoo! front page:

fp when to

To be a successful writer/journalist/editor, don’t fall asleep before you finish writing.

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.”

Lafayette shooting authorities had mental problems

In a startling revelation not reported by legitimate news media, the writer for Yahoo! Politics tells us that the “authorities” investigating the Lafayette theater shootings had their own mental health problems:

history of mental news

Oh, what a difference a dropped word can make!

Mad Libs of the Internet

It’s time for another round of Mad Libs of the Internet where you, the reader, must supply the missing word or words. This time the pranksters at have left out a verb:

fp doesnt big

I think this should be “Erin Allard doesn’t hunt big bucks.” What’s your suggestion?

Let’s be honest

Let’s be honest: This Yahoo! Style writer has no idea that let’s is a contraction of let us and requires an apostrophe:

lets be honest sty

She also doesn’t realize that eleven years is not a wait, but a length of time, which might be a long time to wait for something. Maybe she thought eleven years is a long time to wait for an education, and dropped out of high school. Maybe if she had stayed in school she would have learned a little grammar, like matching a pronoun with its antecedent.


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