What’s on the chopping block?

If I made as many mistakes in my job as this writer for Yahoo! Style, I’d be afraid my job would be on the chopping block:

chopping block sty

At least I know the difference between a chopping block and an auction block, which is what she meant, but didn’t write. I also know not to put a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word following it.

What a waist!

Fashion shows are becoming more and more inclusive as women with less-than-perfect bodies take to the runways. As noted by a Yahoo! Style writer, one model’s body is unique: Her waist is just a tad higher than most women’s. In fact, it’s just under her armpits:

pink rope pic pink rope

I think it’s great! Not so great? The writer’s inability to match a verb (which should be suggest) with its plural subject and neglecting to hyphenate the adjective modern-day. But at least she spelled waist correctly, even if she can’t identify it.

Hand her a bevvy

What was the Yahoo! Style writer drinking when she wrote this? A bevvy? (That’s a drink. An alcoholic one.)

bevvy sty

There’s practically a bevy of minor mistakes there. Nothing serious, but enough to detract from the writing. Besides the misspelling, there’s the incorrect hyphen after an adverb ending in -LY and the use of a instead of an.

Don’t dangle that in public

Reading this on Yahoo! Style, I noticed a dangling participle:

coming of age

Unless the writer meant that Abercrombie & Fitch came of age in suburban New England in the early- to mid-aughts, there’s a problem with that sentence. That’s because the participial phrase, which begins with the participle coming, modifies the word that follows it. What the writer should have said:

Coming of age in suburban New England in the early- to mid-aughts, I thought Abercrombie & Fitch…

Oh, the writer also screwed up the hyphens, but you knew that.

Someone should go back to school

Someone (or maybe some two) should go back to school and figure out if back to school should be hyphenated when it’s used as an adjective. ‘Cause these folks at yahoo.com just can’t figure it out:

fp back-to-school

That looks kinda like this, except different:

fp back to school

It really just takes a few minutes to make a decision and communicate it to others to fix this mess. Don’t hold your breath.

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.


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