Not to be confused with imaginary bodies

I’m not surprised anymore when I see that writers for Yahoo! Style have no idea how to make a possessive out of a plural noun. It happens nearly every day:

So, the writer and editor didn’t know that athletes’s makes no sense (they should have written athletes’). What surprises me is the fact that they thought they needed to make it clear that it was physical bodies, and not imaginary bodies, that are the focus of “microagressions” (they should have written microaggressions).

Great proofreading job!

What are the odds that someone at proofread this headline? Zero.

This is not what it appeares to be

This appears to be a teaser from website written by an amateur author tapping at a keyboard in his mother’s basement:

It is actually from, which allegedly employs professional writers and editors. (But apparently no proofreaders.)

Take off ‘of’ in ‘off of’

Spotted yesterday on

What’s the issue? It’s the use of off of, which some think is wrong and others say merely lacks concision.

The American Heritage Dictionary says:

The compound preposition off of is generally regarded as informal and is best avoided in formal speech and writing: He stepped off (not off of) the platform.

While Merriam Webster states:

The of is often criticized as superfluous, a comment that is irrelevant because off of is an idiom. It is much more common in speech than in edited writing and is more common in American English than in British.

Aha! There’s the reason for the superfluous of! I’m reading, which isn’t exactly “edited writing.”

New record errors in one sentence

This might just be a new record for number of errors in a single sentence:

It’s unimaginable to me (and to most English speakers) how the writer could think that sentence is okie-dokie for publication. She didn’t notice that prices starts is a grammatical horror? Or that prices can start at $700 and also go up to $1500. But there’s only one starting price for any item.  And prices … is sold? That one made me spit out my sugar-free, nonfat vanilla latte. That’s so bad, I almost didn’t notice the random and totally unnecessary at.

How many Molly Goddards are there?

Molly Goddard, a fashion designer, went to the same school as others with the same name. They are all alumni of Central Saint Martins:


It’s either an amazing coincidence or an alternative fact perpetrated by Yahoo! Style.  Or maybe it’s just an example of the writer’s and her editor’s ignorance. Perhaps they don’t know that alumni is a plural; its singular, when referring to a female is alumna. If they cared about such things, but were not inclined to use a dictionary, they could have used the gender-neutral alum or graduate.

I’m supposin’ that they don’t care, just as they don’t care that a dollar sign and the word dollars is a tad redundant. Or that placed should be place. Not only did they get the verb wrong, but they also forgot the other half of the correlative conjunction not only…but also in a sentence that resembles the word salad that could have been uttered by the current occupier of the Oval Office.

Maybe we should ask for a translation, part deux

I was going to ask Google for  simultaneous translation of this caption from Yahoo! Style, but I’m rethinking that decision. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know what the writer was saying:


Based on my knowledge of English

Based on my knowledge of English, I’d say that this Yahoo! Style writer has trouble with common idioms (like based on) and likes to use redundant words (like off of):


Here’s a wise word of wisdom for ya’

Here’s a word of wisdom for the Yahoo! Style editor: Consult a dictionary about the meaning of the words you use. Perhaps then you’d learn that “wise words” are the only kind that come with wisdom:


You couldn’t have just said “wise words” or “words of wisdom” or just “wisdom”? Apparently not.

And here’s another bit of wisdom for ya’: Take some pride in your writing and try to spell the name of your subject correctly. She’s Lea Michele. Spelling her name wrong is worse than “wise words of wisdom.”

There’s probably a big problem with your headline

From Yahoo! Finance comes my favorite headline of the day:


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