The editors at yahoo.com managed to get the hyphen in the right spot in the compound adjective guided-missile. But they couldn’t manage to do it twice:

Plus-size errors

What to do? What to do? What does one do if one can’t decide if a compound adjective needs a hyphen? Well, if one works at Yahoo! Style, one hyphenates it once, and leaves it unhyphenated once. Problem solved!

That solution is neither appropriate nor correct, just as the use of the word or, instead of nor, with neither is wrong.

I just can’t go on

I tried reading an article on Yahoo! Style, but I just can’t force myself to read beyond the first paragraph. It is so stunningly awful in its grammatical mistakes and ignorance of basic English, that I gave up. Here’s what I found with just a cursory examination of the ‘graph; I’m sure I missed a few things that merit attention:

My experience tells me that this writer is not a native English-speaker. Her mistakes are ones that are common with people who did not grow up speaking and writing English. But there’s no excuse for not providing her with a competent editor, if only to save her from embarrassments like these:

  • 18 years old should be 18-year-old. He is 18 years old, but he is an 18-year-old model.
  • instagram follower should be Instagram followers.
  • on first name term seems to be a bastardization of on a first name basis.
  • to loose his cherries for the first time is not just a vulgar expression, it’s kind of a stupid metaphor. First, she means lose, not loose. And one can only lose one’s cherry (which is singular) once. So I’m really confused as to what this is purported to mean. Maybe it just means the writer is both careless and ignorant.
  • There’s a missing the in at Coachella music festival.
  • will also be is redundant when one ends a sentence with too.
  • been to famous music festival needs a the.

I’m sure I missed something, and I didn’t even touch on the run-on sentences. Please, Yahoo!, get this gal an editor!

Throw it back

There are so many things wrong with this paragraph from Yahoo! Style that if I were writer’s editor, I’d throw it back at her and say, “Try again, honey. It’s not worth my time to try to fix this.”

throw-back

Is it really that bad? Yes. Yes, it is. An editor could change the pronouns their and they to its and it, since they seem to refer to Milan. And an editor could add the word the before Milanese’s and change that to the plural possessive Milaneses’. But the sentence still wouldn’t make any sense. It’s a straight-up (notice the hyphen?) mess. It’s a throwback (notice it’s one word?) to the days of our youth, before we knew about grammar and spelling and punctuation and sentences with actual verbs.

But that’s not all. The Cure should be The Cure’s and the random capitalization of some of those song titles has me scratching my head and dusting the dandruff off my keyboard. And the noun throwback is still one word.

Maybe a pick-me-up would give it some oomph

This little excerpt from Yahoo! Style could use a little oomph. A pick-me-up and some hyphens are in order:

umph-sty

The writer could probably use a little pick-me-up too, or at least a little pick-me-up-and-take-me-to-a-dictionary. There she might learn that umph, when it does appear in a dictionary, is an expression of disgust or skepticism.

That’s altogether different

This Yahoo! Style writer should get a jump-start on her high school diploma and head over to a dictionary. She might learn that jump-start has a hyphen, workout is one word when it’s a noun and this sentence is altogether different from correct:

jumpstart-work-out-altogether-sty

Let’s say this all together: If you mean “totally, entirely, completely,” use altogether. Use all together when you mean “together, as a unit or whole.”

This is a shoo-in for worst mistake of the day

From Yahoo! Style:

shoe-in-style

The noun meaning a sure winner is shoo-in.

How one dreadful headline led to a headache

Oy. Does my head ache! And I blame it on this headline from Yahoo! Movies:

lead-4-led-cel

It led to my throbbing temples. What made the editor think that lead was the past tense of lead? When lead is pronounced led, it’s the stuff that’s in a pencil. The past tense of the verb lead (which is pronounced leed) is led. Which leads me to another source of my pain: That crazy hyphen before Detour. What led the editor to believe that was correct?

Let’s run through that again

Let’s run through this one more time for the folks at Yahoo! Style: If you’re unsure of the spelling of a word, consult a dictionary. If a word looks funny (like, oh, say, maybe throughs), consult a dictionary:

run-throughs-sty

If the writer had done that, she might have seen that run-throughs is a noun requiring a hyphen. Just in case incidents like this happen to arise, editors can cut them out and replace them with the correct word. Editors can also be sure pronouns (like them, not it) match their antecedents (which in this case is incidents).

Lily-Rose Depp, 17 years old

You might have overlooked the missing hyphen in Lily-Rose Depp’s name in this excerpt from Yahoo! Style:

pharrel-2

You might have ignored the misspelling of Métiers d’Arts. But no one could miss 17 years old. It’s just wrong here. It’s OK in “Lily-Rose is 17 years old.” But when used as an adjective, it should be “17-year-old Lily Rose.”

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