What are you judging by?

If I told you this was a horribly written article on Yahoo! Finance, would you ask me, “What exactly are you judging by?”

buy finance

Yes, you probably would because you know the difference between by and buy. You probably also know that if you use an em-dash, you shouldn’t pair it with a comma; the correct character is another em-dash. And you probably know how to spell Warren Buffett’s name, too:

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Plus, when you’re writing the plural of a word, I bet you know it doesn’t include an apostrophe:

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Wondering how you keep your job

This is what I’m wondering: How the heck did this writer get a job with Yahoo! Style? Clearly this guy has a limited grasp of English:

wondering for more

It’s not the use of a comma instead of an em-dash or a semicolon, which is what should be used to join two independent clauses. It’s the whole “wondering for more” that has me wondering if English is his first language. And makes me wonder why there’s no editor to clean up his dribblings before they’re posted.

None too pleasing

Anyone reading this article on Yahoo! Shine will be none too pleased with the quality of writing:

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Some readers will notice a misspelled Nadja Auermann:

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Others will be grateful for the information that Gianni worked with his sister before his death, because after his death he just wasn’t pulling his weight:

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Even the most careless of readers will stumble on this repetition repetition:

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Lovers of “Saturday Night Live” will be appalled that Horatio Sanz’s name is a bit screwed up:

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Anyone who can read the poster behind Nicki Minaj knows more than this writer; they know she’s wearing Versace for H & M:

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It’s impossible to explain how the writer came up with this riff on “Sex and the City” — and why she thinks a hyphen is an acceptable substitute for a real dash:

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Maybe the writer was feeling a bit edgy when she tried to pound out “The Edge of Glory”:

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I don’t imagine there are too many people who would take their eyes off Ms. Bundchen long enough to read about her blunging back:

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You just have to wonder

You just have to wonder what was going through the Yahoo! Shine writer’s head that made her think that twentysomethings was a proper noun:

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I wonder what’s so hard about copying the name Center on Education and the Workforce. You don’t have to remember it or know how to spell it. All you have to do is copy it and paste it into the article. I can almost understand not capitalizing mom, though it’s a proper noun in this context. And Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

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There’s no need to capitalize Mr. Carnevale’s title; there is, however, a need to learn to spell millennial:

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The number of errors skyrocketed with this excerpt, which includes the split-up skyrocket. The author also confuses a degree with a diploma; a high school graduate has a diploma, not a degree. Again with the capitalized twentysomethings! And then there’s an alleged quote, which I’ll bet you dollars to donuts is really a misquote BECAUSE IT MAKES NO SENSE:

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Sorry about the ALL CAPS. I get carried away sometimes when I read something that’s so badly written by a person who is actually paid to write. And especially one who can’t be bothered to spell-check:

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Nice try here with the comma. Unfortunately, it’s wrong. It should be a semicolon because the sentence comprises two independent clauses that are not joined by a conjunction:

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So, this brings us to the next misspelling of millennials — a spelling that the author clings to like a drowning man clutching an anchor. Perhaps she wouldn’t be so clingy if she bothered to do a spell-check:

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There’s an attempt here to use hyphens, but they’re wrong. To show a range of ages, the writer needs hyphens and a space and the word to, like this: 18- to 24-year-old. And that other hyphen is no substitute for a real dash:

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I’m just guessin’, but I don’t think the writer has a bachelor’s degree in English:

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You just have to wonder how a professional writer can make so many mistakes and still get paid.

I’m embarrassed for this writer

Sometimes there are so many egregious errors in a single module on the Yahoo! front page that I am actually embarrassed for the writer (and the editor, if there was one). This is one of those times:

fp millenials

The misspelled Millennials first caught my eye. Then it was the uncapitalized mom and dad that made me shudder. (If the writer had used “their mom and dad,” the lowercase letters would be correct.) And finally the misplaced phrase “the highest rate …” which makes no sense where it is. Awkward!

Burly armpits and legs

An article on Yahoo! Shine about women’s body hair presented some hairy problems for the writer — most notably when it came to writing numbers:

hair 1

The writer has no clue how to write an age or a span of ages. It should be “18- to 24-year-olds” (or “those 18 to 24 years old”). And she doesn’t know that fractions, when written out, require a hyphen, like this: two-thirds.

The plural of the abbreviation STD is STDs. Notice the lack of an apostrophe. Except here, of course:

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You might wonder why the writer changed the subject from women’s body hair to women showing off their muscular pits and legs. (And just how does one get a burly armpit?)

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I don’t think the writer meant to change the subject. I believe she’s so vocabulary-challenged that she thinks that burly means hairy or unshaven. Normally, I advise writers with limited vocabularies not to try to stretch them by using big words that aren’t part of their everyday speech. But I never, ever would have predicted that any professional writer — even one who worked for Yahoo! — didn’t know what burly meant.

Only three?

This is practically perfect. It’s the first sentence in an article on Yahoo! Shine and it only has three mistakes! There’s only one misspelled name (it should be Farrah Fawcett), there’s only one punctuation mistake (that comma should be an em dash), and only one incorrect word:

icons to covet shine

I don’t know anyone who covets beauty icons, do you? They might envy icons or wish to emulate or copy icons — but have a desire to own a beauty icon? Not so much.

This is not pretty

I’m not responsible for the teeny weeny type or its pale color in these excerpts. I think that it’s a way to discourage you from actually reading the article on Yahoo! Shine. I wish I had taken the hint, because what I discovered was not pretty.

I could never in four score and seven years understand omitting a comma (or two) in “red, white, and blue.” Just like I will never understand why the writer thinks twitter is a common noun. I suppose to some tween-age mind twee-ful makes sense. Maybe I don’t get it because I am old.

Sections of the flag code are numbered with real numbers, not spelled-out numbers. And “Eek!” is what a cartoon character says when she sees a mouse. Maybe the writer is trying to eke out a little attention with her creative use of the language:

Again with the dropped commas? Why?

The man’s name is William Moulton Marston, not this:

Wonder Woman carried the Lasso of Truth. I figured that out on my own. But I don’t know what the rest of the sentence is supposed to mean:

Does anyone really confuse Wonder Woman’s costume with a swimsuit? I guess the writer thinks that’s what Wonder Women wears to the beach, and she changes to her real Wonder Woman costume in a cabana. (The other not-so-pretty things in this paragraph are a relatively minor goof of a missing word and a wrong word, which I can only hope is a typo.)

This writer needs to learn something about punctuation. A hyphen is no substitute for a dash. A hyphen joins words; a dash separates them. And random commas don’t help your readers; they just frustrate them. And I really don’t know what to say about triangular fabric that has opportunity.

The rest of the article consists of photos and their captions, which for some reason are actually readable, though the literary quality is not an improvement. We really shouldn’t be subjected to an all-American error on Independence Day:

I’m pretty sure the word video is not part of the video’s title and that the writer published this article before it was ready:

And finally, a gaffe à la Yahoo!:

She’s doing all right!

Look out, readers! Yahoo! Shine is coming and it has some new and creative abuses of the language. First up? It’s an arbitrary use of the Shift key:

Then, it’s on to a missing word, an undercapitalized Sea, and best of all, Ursula Andress at 76:

She looks pretty good for her age — heck, for any age!

Of course, the writer’s mistake, never before seen by my Terribly Write eyes, is that the writer thought that she should include the actress’s age today with a description of her decades ago. It’s a mistake she’ll make throughout the article. But, on to her next creative capitalization error: This time it’s neglecting to capitalize Secret Service. That’s closely followed by too many hyphens in what should be drive-by shooting:

And it’s another word gone missing!

And it’s a misspelled Jane Seymour followed by her misspelled character, Solitaire, and another arbitrarily capitalized word:

Her name is still Seymour:

Here’s one of my faves: Using a hyphen (which is a short horizontal line like this: -) instead of an em dash (which is much longer, like this: — ). But other than that, this senior editor is doing all right!

It’s not Veterans Day

In an attempt to honor Veterans Day, a writer for Yahoo! Shine gives it a decorative flourish with an apostrophe:

When she’s not adding unnecessary punctuation marks to holidays, the writer is misquoting Dr. Jill Biden, who generally speaks in complete sentences:

Do I really need to explain what’s wrong with being home from the holidays? Or that post-traumatic stress disorder isn’t a proper noun, but it does sport a hyphen?

Oh, so now she uses a hyphen! But a hyphen is no substitute for an em dash — it just confuses me because a hyphen joins words. And it’s still not Veterans Day with an apostrophe:

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