The value of a postmortem

At some websites, writers and editors hold a daily postmortem to discuss the popularity of articles appearing on their site.  At Yahoo! Style the writers and editors should hold a meeting to figure out why they can’t even spell postmortem:

post-mortem sty

This is just not right

Yahoo! Makers’ writers display some really creative ideas — especially when it comes to the English language. I’ve references to a “right of passage,” but have never seen one that had the additional creativity of hyphens:

right-of-passage diy

So wrong — and yet so innovative! Is the ability to misspell a common idiom in multiple ways a rite of passage for Yahoo! writers?

Who was the bomber

Is this as confusing to you as it is to me? This headline on the Yahoo! front page has me wondering: Was the mosque bomber a Shiite or did the bomber attack a Shiite mosque?

fp id-ed

A hyphen would have made it clear that it was a Shiite-mosque bomber. And where did the missing hyphen go? It went into ID-ed, which should be ID’ed (according to the American Heritage Dictionary).

Nice tries, but wrong

This writer for Yahoo! Finance seems a little confused about where to put a hyphen:

nobel prize fin

The writer’s not confused about capitalization, though — just wrong. It’s Nobel Prize, with two capital letters. Oh, that hyphen? It belongs after Nobel Prize: Nobel Prize-winner Stiglitz and Nobel Prize-winning economist.

What do you make when you slip up?

When you slip up, you make a slip-up. When you write for Yahoo! front page, chances are good that the slip-up will be seen by millions:

fp slip up

Not a subject-matter expert

You don’t need to be an expert on the subject you’re writing about if you’re writing for Yahoo! Makers. If you can’t spell E. coli, and you can’t take the time to Google it, don’t worry! Close enough is good enough for Yahoo!:

e-coli 1

Of course, you might lose some credibility with your readers, but they’ve probably come to realize that Yahoo! isn’t exactly a trustworthy source of scientific information.

A Hall of Fame error

Do the Dallas Cowboys have a plan for Randy Gregory? Or does the team have plans? You just can’t tell because of this mismatch of subject and verb on Yahoo! Sports:

plan include spo

That’s not exactly an error for the Hall of Fame of Grammar Goofs, but hyphenating Hall of Fame is.

At least she got the color right

If you’ve been reading Terribly Write for a while, you know that the writers at Yahoo! Style are particularly challenged when it comes to issues such as grammar, punctuation, and spelling. So it’s no surprise that a writer thinks there should be a hyphen after an adverb ending in -LY and that she can’t spell anointed:

morning coat sty

When she’s not mangling the language, she’s mangling the facts. She claims Prince William wore a morning coat for his wedding. This is a morning coat:


This is what Prince William actually wore:

morning coat

It is a military uniform and what we might call a jacket is referred to as a tunic. But I can see how one might confuse it with a morning coat because they both have two sleeves.

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.

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.


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