Not discreetly placed

This hyphen from Yahoo! Style is not discreetly placed; it’s as clear as day:

discretely-placed sty

If you care about writing that is scrupulously correct, you wouldn’t put a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word that follows it. If you care about being understood and not looking like an undereducated dilettante, you’d use discreet when you’re referring to something that was designed to attract little attention.

Newly released hyphen use

I lied. This use of the hyphen on the Yahoo! front page is not new; in fact, this mistake happens every day on Yahoo!:

fp newly-released 2

There’s no reason to put a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word that it modifies. The suffix -LY is the signal to the reader that the adverb modifies the word that follows it.

Don’t dangle that in public

Ever wonder how investors can drive up a piece of artwork? Me neither. We don’t wonder that because it makes no sense, even if you read it on the Yahoo! front page:

fp driven up

Investors can drive up the price of artwork. And they did. But the dangling participle (that would be driven) and its participial phrase modifies the noun that follows it — and that would be piece. And that would be stupid.

Reader’s no-holds-barred reaction

Here’s my no-holds-barred reaction to this teaser on Yahoo! Celebrity: It sucks.

no-holds cel

It sucks, but it doesn’t suck as hard as this writer’s attempt at the common expression.

Not a good day for Travel

I don’t often visit Yahoo! Travel. I had the impression that it was a well-written site that wouldn’t provide many examples of errors that would prove instructive to Terribly Write’s readers. Maybe today’s headlines are atypical, but they sure provide some great fodder for a blog post.

It looks like someone ripped off the hyphen in rip-offs, which needs it when it’s used as a noun:

rip offs tra

This isn’t a brand-new error; it’s a brand-new error. The hyphen is often missing from the adjective:

brand news tra

And my favorite is this headline about a restaurant called Warren where you have to carry your own tray and serve yourself macaroni and cheese and greasy fried chicken:

warren buffet tra

The Airbnb home was once the residence of Warren Buffett.

It could’ve easily been correct

With a little help from a competent editor, this could’ve easily been correct. But it’s on Yahoo! Style, a site that’s in its own grammatically incorrect world:

could've easy sty

On the off chance you’re a writer…

On the off chance that the writer for Yahoo! Style would like to improve her writing, I suggest she study some common English idioms (like on the off chance) as well as the use of the hyphen to form compound adjectives (like two-piece):

in the off chance style

Coat and boots star as a Columbia professor

I don’t know how they do it! Those creative Hollywood types manage to get a beige coat and knee-high boots to play a Columbia professor:

playing prof style

If I were the cynical type, I might think that sentence is a tad misleading. And full of errors. Fact is, Julianne Moore plays the professor; the coat and boots don’t even have a speaking part in the movie. The boots are actually knee-high and the coat and boots give Julianne her academic look.

To make that sentence somewhat intelligible, you have to get rid of the misplaced modifier (that’s the phrase at the beginning of the sentence) by moving the word it modifies:

Playing a Columbia professor who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, Julianne gets her academic look from the beige coat and knee-high boots.

Look closely at this

You don’t have to read closely to spot this grammatical gaffe on the Yahoo! front page:

fp to read close

Polish this off

How many goofs can you find in this excerpt of an article on Yahoo! DIY?

marbleized diy

Did you notice that “inspired by … paper” modifies “nail polish and water”? Yeah, that was awkward. I’m pretty sure the paper was the inspiration for the project and not for the polish. And then did you see that the writer thinks that is can be an appropriate verb for the plural subject “nail polish and water”? That was ugly.

There’s the misspelled lukewarm (it’s one word, not two), and the instruction to fill the tub halfway. But in the first numbered instruction, she tells us to fill it 3/4 full. Someone is a little confused and that would be the writer. And the reader.

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