Break up that breakup

Did the editors at Yahoo Lifestyle break up with their dictionary? Is that why they used the noun breakup instead of the phrasal verb break up?

Think about it: If breakup were a verb, what would its past tense be? Breakupped?

All broken up

Why would someone break up the noun breakup? Oh, yeah, it’s on the Yahoo! front page and the writers aren’t too familiar with English:

I’m trying not to build up a lot of animosity toward these writers because in some way it’s not their fault; they really aren’t qualified to write for one of the busiest sites on the Web. Every day there’s a buildup of errors on Like this split up buildup, which is one word when it’s used as a noun:

After the breakup

After breaking up breakup, the writer misplaces an apostrophe. The ’70s were a decade; 70’s is something that belongs to 70. But, wait! That’s not all! You can learn more about John and Yoko:

John and Yoko were known for being attached at the hip. And they were known for being their casual street style. And this Yahoo! Shine writer is known for being language-impaired.

Break up that breakup

Why did you (really) think that breakup, in this context, was a verb?


The verb is break up. The noun is breakup. The mistake is Yahoo! Shine‘s.


This is not how to break up

This is not how to break up:


The verb is two words: break and up. Think about it: If the verb were breakup, what would the past tense be? Breakupped? Thanks to Yahoo! Shine for the lesson in how not to break up.

Officially not an officiator

Is this the most ridiculous statement to ever appear on Yahoo! Shine? “Her rubbed her back.” Really? Let’s be charitable and call that a typo and not a grammatical gaffe. But I have to call the break up of breakup with a hyphen an error:

This is officially the worst misspelling of Reichen Lehmkuhl:

Let’s get this straight: Let’s is a contraction (for let us) and officiator is not a word (the official word is officiant):

Time to break up with your bad writing habits

It’s time for a breakup for this writer on Yahoo! Shine. It might leave her heartbroken, but the time has come.

It’s time for her to break up with her bad writing habits, including arbitrarily hyphenating words.

It’s time for her to call it quits with typos. Can you tell if Laurie plans to see multiple shows or just one show? Nope. You might read and re-read the sentence hopefully, looking for the answer. But you won’t find it:

It’s time for her to learn to punctuate correctly. A roundup of mistakes wouldn’t be complete without mentioning yet another hyphenation abomination and a misplaced apostrophe:

Another bad habit? The writer continues to have trouble with typing the correct number of hyphens in an age here:

and here:

Wait! There’s an extra hyphen here! Maybe she could move it to somewhere else:

It’s time to drop the habit of using celebrity names without checking the spelling. Poor Bret Michaels can’t catch a break with Yahoo!’s writers. Does anyone know what “solidiers” are? Not me!

I do know what this is — a typo that’s supposed to be an abbreviation for New Kids on the Block:

More? A missing hyphen and an unnecessary apostrophe in what should be mid-30s, followed by a typo and a missing hyphen in the compound adjective full-length:

A new habit she should develop? Reading what she’s written to make sure nothing left out:

More of the punctuation problems with a missing hyphen. As important as she might think a breast is, it’s not a proper noun. Finally, it looks like a rather feeble attempt at humor, implying that Danny’s mum is the daughter of a fan of the NKOTB:

Maybe transposing letters isn’t a bad habit; maybe it’s a result of undiagnosed dyslexia:

Another misplaced phrase has me wondering: Why was Joey waiting outside his house at 2 in the morning? And why is this writer still employed?

Yikes! Maybe this writer really is dyslexic and maybe the Space bar on her keyboard malfunctioned when she tried to type cruise ship:

I think she should send a thank-you note to Terribly Write for editing her stuff:

Lordie knows someone should be editing it.

Breaking up over the breakup

It just cracks me up when editors can’t figure out how to use a dictionary. If they took the time to look up breakup, they might avoid the inconsistency that showed up on the home page of Yahoo! Shine:

That doesn’t look right. Maybe it should be:

The editor was right 50 percent of the time. That’s good enough, isn’t it?

It’s one bad breakup

Please don’t break up breakup when you’re using it as a noun.

Breakup is one of 30 words that are most often incorrectly hyphenated on Yahoo!. Today the breakup appears on the Yahoo! front page:

break-up fp

Bristol Palin, please stay in school

If you’re offering advice to a teen mother, you need to know your stuff. You need to know how to communicate it in a way that inspires confidence. And you don’t need to make the same mistakes that the writer of a Yahoo! Shine article makes.

Don’t break up breakup when you use it as a noun, but do add a hyphen in single-parent when using it as an adjective:


I’d be really surprised if Ms. Palin got a degree from a high school. Normally, a high school offers only diplomas:


But, it’s probably a good idea for her to continue her education so that she doesn’t perpetrate the errors found here:


Either is singular and requires a singular verb (like, is). And if the writer correctly formatted the link, then it is correct. Whether or not the information that the link goes to is correct is an entirely different matter.

There’s that broken up breakup again:


I have no idea what the heck the writer meant here:


and the horribly misspelled camaraderie doesn’t inspire confidence:


The misplaced period belongs inside the parentheses, which contains a complete sentence:


Again with the broken up breakup:


I don’t know why you’d need to “open the circle” of support to highly involved people, since it seems to me that they are already involved. But that’s the advice here, complete with the incorrect hyphen following the adverb highly:


I’m convinced. The lesson here is stay in school. And learn to write well if you want to be taken seriously.

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