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!

I didn’t even know heath needed care

The United States Congress will be voting on the care of heath:

I had no idea that heath care was even a thing or that it needed federal funding. Thank goodness Yahoo! News is here to keep us informed!

Thanks for the clothes!

Thanks to Yahoo! Style I am now the proud owner of the “fashion trends to know for fall 2017.” Some generous person just bought them for me!

That’s an excellent example of why you can’t rely solely on a spell-checker to do your proofreading.

What makes this different from correct

If I could, I’d ask the Yahoo! Style writer if she knows what makes this wording different from, say, the correct wording:

The American Heritage Dictionary covers the use of different than and different from. Here’s the part that’s relevant, though you may want to read the full discussion:

Traditionally, from is used when the comparison is between two persons or things: My book is different from [not than] yours. Note that noun phrases, including ones that have clauses in them, also fall into this category: The campus is different from the way it was the last time you were here.

A screaming cape, a ladylike error, and sometimes grey

It’s probably not ladylike to point out writing errors by professional writers, but I’ve never been mistaken for a lady. When I saw three errors in a single sentence on Yahoo! Style, I knew I had to say something:

What did the writer think “a lady like pink” means? That there’s a lady who likes pink? Uh, no. She meant “a ladylike pink.” That’s something completely different. Also different is the spelling of grey. Although it’s not technically wrong, some U.S. authorities consider it a chiefly British spelling, and all suggest that gray is the preferred spelling.

That sound you hear is me screaming: Seeing mistakes like that makes me literally scream. But can a cape literally scream? No, but it can figuratively scream.

Something smells a little ripe

Yahoo! Style is rife with grammatical gaffes, terrible typos, and massive misspellings. But of all the mistakes I find on on the site, my favorite is the incorrect word:

ripe-with

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:

alumni-sty

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.

It took me less than 2 seconds…

It took me less than 2 seconds to spot this error on Yahoo! Style:

fewer-minutes

Lots of people know that when you’re talking about countable things, you use fewer and not less: We’d like to see fewer grammatical errors and less pretentious writing. But fewer people know there are exceptions to that rule. If you’re writing about time, money, distance, or weight, the correct word is less, not fewer: less than $100, less than 3 miles, less than 20 pounds, and less than 15 minutes.

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.

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