Thank you, Captain Obvious

Who woulda thunk it!? There it is, right on Yahoo! Shine: Anything that is negotiable is — wait for it — negotiable! Yes, everything negotiable is negotiable, except for school administrators:

It’s fairly obvious that the writer doesn’t know the difference between a principle (which is a basic truth, law, or assumption) and a principal (which is someone or something with the highest rank, like a school administrator).  You know what else is obvious? That the writer didn’t do a spell check, because even the crappiest spell checker would find this repeated word:

(Some writers don’t know that if the words within parentheses are a complete sentence, then the ending punctuation belongs inside the parentheses, too.) Oops, here’s a misplaced period:

And here’s another homophonic horror: The possessive pronoun its instead of the contraction it’s:

It’s getting more obvious that the writer doesn’t know when to use an apostrophe, because she missed one here, too:

Pronouns are pesky little things, aren’t they? They generally have to refer to a noun, and when they don’t, they just don’t make a lot of sense:

Is it asking asking too much that a professional writer proofread her work or at least use a spell checker?

When a star comes into bloom

Ya just gotta love a writer with a sense of humor. Someone who doesn’t take herself or the English language too seriously. It’s a rare talent that this writer for Yahoo! Shine brings to every subject.

Adding a hyphen to overpaid is just the start of the hilarity:

Writing about a cross between Will Ferrell and Colin Farrell produces a certain comic effect:

It’s mind-blowing how she can use a pronoun like it without an antecedent

But we know this writer loves to throw in a word here and there that looks nearly right but is totally wrong:

How clever (in a funny ha-ha way) to omit the hyphen from the compound modifier top-paid. But the real humor comes with their instead of they’re:

Anyone can spell Anne Hathaway’s name correctly; but her spelling is so humorous. It takes a real comedic genius to mix a metaphor about a blooming star:

So, how is it that a writer can find humor in missing words and dropping an apostrophe from Hollywood’s and adding a hyphen to overpaid? “An average $20 million this year” just makes no sense, unless it was an average per film. Or unless the writer is a real comedian.

This writer’s comedy star has finally come into bloom.

Writing without adult supervision

Some people just shouldn’t be left to write without adult supervision. Writers with a reputation for making factual errors, spelling mistakes, and grammatical gaffes need the support of a competent editor. So, why was this writer for Yahoo! Shine, who can’t tell Illinois from Missouri, left unattended at her keyboard?

The writer makes a relatively minor mistake with The, but then screws up by alleging that Groton School is in Connecticut. Maybe she just couldn’t spell Massachusetts, which is where the school is located:

She’s dropped a word here:

and a hyphen here:


She also included other, which is at best unnecessary, and failed to match the verb (which should be was) to the subject (which is Hunter Perkins).

Another misspelling or maybe just a typo?

Another factual error or another typo? The man’s name is Walter Perkins. And the past tense of beget isn’t beget, it’s begot:

After typing out some nonsense — really, it makes no sense — the writer comes up with a plural pronoun that may or may not refer to the singular school.

Groton is a very small town; it doesn’t have a district attorney. The DA is from Middlesex County:

Someone please, please take this writer under your wing and offer her some help. She makes too many mistakes to be left unattended.

Get avocadoes in the mix

Everything would be okey-dokey here — if it weren’t for the pesky pronouns. It’s a simple mismatch of pronoun and antecedent (the word the pronoun refers to) on Yahoo! Shine:

The pronoun their should be its. Or the writer should have thrown avocados into the mix so that their referred to a plural antecedent.

Comma-tose at Yahoo!

Someone at Yahoo! must be comma-tose. She has no idea how to use punctuation. Or even if punctuation is necessary. And that someone wrote this mess for Yahoo! Shine:

The wrong punctuation (a period instead of a question mark), the missing punctuation (like a comma or two) and the mysterious “to do it toss it” are just the start.  The article continues with a cap on melamine (it’s not a proper noun), the laughable plural one’s, and the missing also in the correlative conjunction not only…but also:

This comma should be a semicolon or a colon:

A comma is required to separate two independent causes clauses joined with and; another comma is needed after the word quick and the comma should be a semicolon:

Finally, the writer probably doesn’t know this, but a pronoun needs an antecedent — the word it refers to. If the antecedent is plural (ice cubes), the pronoun must be plural (they).

I’ve read a lot of bad writing, but I’ve never read anything by anyone who was more punctuation-challenged. Nice job!

Was that Tracy Morgan?

First there’s the wrong pronoun (it should be it and the verb following it should be isn’t), and then there’s the missing apostrophe in weeks:

And lastly, there’s the misspelled Tracy Jordan. Do you think the writer from Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time” knew that Tracy Jordan isn’t real? He’s just a character played by Tracy Morgan on “30 Rock.”

Hocking up a doozy

A singer coughed up an album on the “Today” show. You might think that hawking an album would be more appropriate than some disgusting act involving phlegm, but that’s not what Yahoo! TV‘s “Daytime in No Time” says:

Hmmm. Maybe the writer is just wrong. Like she was wrong when adding an S after the apostrophe here and using these when it has no antecedent:

(Following Associated Press style, you form the possessive of a proper noun ending in S by adding just an apostrophe.)

More careless errors involve the People’s Choice Awards, actor Steve Carell, a shortened and, and the Sugarhill Gang.

Dang! Lots of errors. But hocking up an album is the real doozy.

It’s a two-for-one deal on Yahoo! Shopping

Whoa! How do you make two mistakes in a single word? If you write for Yahoo! Shopping, it’s pretty easy:

Even if the writer had used the possessive pronoun its (instead of the contraction it’s), the word would still be wrong. Why? Because the antecedent of the pronoun is jackets, a plural. The correct possessive pronoun is theirs.

Big blunders and little annoyances run through ‘The Thread’

Some writers make small, itsy-bitsy errors and others make huge, monumentally embarrassing mistakes. And some writers, like the author of “The Thread” on Yahoo! Shine, make both.

In the presence of the horribly misspelled Sofia Vergara, the missing hyphen (it should be on- and off-screen) and misplaced period (which belongs before the closing quotation mark) are minor annoyances:

modern family 1

There’s the mix of the merely irritating (like the missing hyphen in the compound adjective stressed-out) with the flagrant. Did she mean costumer? or designer? or costume designer?

modern family 2

The perplexing quotation marks around a character’s name and even more perplexing use of the pronouns she and her without a clear antecedent. Like, who wishes whose style was closer to Jean Seberg’s style? And who really cares?

Ah ha! She’s tried to correct that ugly misspelling and got it half-right:

modern family 3

Congratulations on getting Sofia’s last name right! Way to go! And thanks for making sure we all understand that Ms. Vergara plays a character named Gloria. It’s certainly an important fact that bears repeating.

And here’s a mistake that can’t be for real:

modern family 4

At least the misplaced apostrophe qualifies as unique: I’ve never, ever seen an apostrophe placed at the end of a contraction. I rate that as a little character that creates a big blunder.

Now that’s the word it should be!

I’ve searched and searched this sentence on Yahoo! Shine and just can’t find the plural noun that is the antecedent of the pronoun them:

malandrino 0

The only thing I could come up with is the plural styles. So, the writer meant “each locale had a set of styles to accompany the styles.” Yeah, that’s it!

Now if I could just figure out what niow means:

malandrino 1

I think there’s some punctuation missing; it’s probably quotation marks to set off the messy style called “Influenced by Tahiti.”

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