Is that correct? Not by a long shot

Is this idiom used correctly on Yahoo! Style? Not by a long shot. And by that I mean, “NO!” Jeez, doesn’t the writer know that a long shot is a horse, person, or occurrence that has little or no chance of succeeding?

long shot

This writer also is a long shot for succeeding at writing. If she’s not the worst writer at Yahoo!, she’s at least a runner-up.

Let’s get it right

Let’s get this straight: There’s a time when there should be an apostrophe in let’s, but this from Yahoo! Style isn’t one of them:

lets apos sty

With an apostrophe, it’s an contraction of let us.

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.

You might think so…

You might think that this misspelling of Freida Pinto’s name on Yahoo! Style was just a silly little typo:

frieda 1

You would be wrong. In the article behind that headline, we find the writer commits another “typo” as well as an idiotic idiomatic mistake with arrived to instead of arrived at:

frieda 2

And just in case you still want to give the writer the benefit of the doubt, let me remove all doubt. The writer really, really thinks this is how you spell Freida:

frieda 3

As for the punctuation, the placement of the comma may be OK in the UK, but in the States, commas and periods go before the closing quotation mark.

Idiom, idiot. They’re so close

Maybe the genius writer for Yahoo! Style made a little typo and was going for idiot when she wrote this:

idiom sty

Clearly she couldn’t have meant idiom because it’s not an idiom, it’s a saying, an adage, an old saw.

Now here’s an idiom (or it would be an idiom if the writer had gotten it right):

up to par with sty

The expression is “on a par with,” which means equal to. Or maybe it’s “up to par,” which means just average.

She would have been correct with close-ups — if she had just closed it up with a hyphen.

By “scratching on a century,” I think the writer means “approaching 100.” Maybe the writer doesn’t know that a century is 100 years and that at 86, the subject has 14 years before she’ll hit that milestone. That’s like saying a newborn is nearly a teenager or a 50-year-old is “scratching” on retirement.

Idiom, idiot. So close in spelling. And so close to being the correct word.

Meet the world’s most famous blogger

OK, I lied. You will not meet the world’s most famous blogger in this blog. I don’t even know if the world has a most famous blogger. I was just trying to illustrate the punctuation that the editors for Yahoo! Makers should have used here:

worlds diy

Not going to great lengths

The writer for Yahoo! Style didn’t exactly go to great lengths to come up with the right word for a common idiom and a common abbreviation:

through lengths sty

The abbreviation for identification is ID; its plural is IDs (though the singular is probably correct in this context).

Sporting rings in fingers

I should have stopped reading this article on Yahoo! Style as soon as a spotted the misspelling of Pharrell Williams’ name:

pharell sty

I should have known that it was only going to be downhill from there. Where else would you see where for what I think should be were? Where else would you find out about Rihanna’s ability to wear rings in fingers, and not merely on them? And where else would a writer put quotation marks around a group of words for no apparent reason? Actually, anywhere on Yahoo where writers are free of the constraints of grammar and the watchful eye of a real editor.

How to punch up your writing

Looking for a way to punch up your writing? Just do what this writer for Yahoo! Makers does and skip the proofreading and spell-checking! Your writing will be unique and keep those readers guessing.

Start with just one extra letter for a bit of added punch:

ppunch 1

Then add a few more until you have at least two per sentence. And is that a sentence? Your readers will be trying to figure that out if you don’t use any punctuation at the end:

ppunch

In love with hyphens?

Has the writer for the Yahoo! front page just discovered the Hyphen key on a keyboard, and decided to use it — once too often?

fp hy

The hyphen after Jenner is correct. (Good job!) But there shouldn’t be a hyphen in the name because there’s no chance of a misunderstanding. Unless you’re writing about Olivia Newton-John or Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Then they get one hyphen each. But just one.

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