How does this happen? How does a Yahoo! Style editor look at the acronym UNICEF and see all those capital letters and decide it should be spelled like this?
If you’re looking for a decadent candle to give this holiday season, take a look at this recommendation from Yahoo! Style:
It’s not the greatest description of the candle. The writer managed to get the name of the product wrong (it’s Campagne d’Italie, not d’italia). And she mentions something that it does, but I don’t know what that is. As for the holder, the writer is correct when she says it’s “marble-esque” (though I’d prefer an actual word like “marble-like”) if she means actual marble. Yes, indeedie, it comes in a marble holder.
I love sharing my classy spirits and bubbly, so I was interested in this description of a gift on Yahoo! Style:
I assumed the writer meant bubbly (which is slang for champagne) and not bubbles, but with Yahoo! writers, you never know… Anyhoo, here’s that “Champagne pale”:
Now the American Heritage Dictionary says that when you’re writing about that sparkling white wine, it’s champagne, but the region it comes from is Champagne. Maybe the writer uses a different authority for spelling and capitalization. That could happen.
The item in question sure does look pale; in fact its color is very, very light. You might even call it a “pale pail” — that is, if you knew the difference between pale and a pail.
Not sure if a word should be capitalized? Just do what the editors at Yahoo! Finance do, and capitalize it half the time:
Maybe your readers won’t notice that you’re inconsistent or unable to make up your mind. Maybe your readers know that if you’re following the Associated Press style, you’d write Cabinet when referring to the U.S. president’s team of department heads and advisers.
Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for the presidency, but you wouldn’t know it if you read this on Yahoo! Style:
As a common noun, democratic refers to a democracy or people in general. But if you’re referring to the political party in the U.S., it’s Democratic, with a big D.
Speaking of a big D, that’s the grade I’d give this writer for coming up with Clintons’s. I’d be appalled if I hadn’t seen that error so often on Yahoo!. It seems Yahoo! writers (and their editors, if they have them) don’t know that the plural of Clinton is Clintons and the possessive of Clintons is Clintons‘.
It’s hard to beat this for the number of errors in a single sentence:
I can’t explain why the Yahoo! Style writer included a registered trademark symbol with a product name, unless she’s under the illusion that she has to protect a trademark. Which brings me to the question: Why didn’t she recognize Velcro as a registered trademark, too? Because that would be as wrong as not capitalizing Velcro.
Don’t you wish we could all be flies on the wall when the writer discusses this with her editor? What would her argument be? Oh, never mind. I forgot: Yahoo! doesn’t believe in editors.
While reading this photo caption on Yahoo! Style, I was struck by the writer’s use of the British whilst:
Perhaps Yahoo! outsourced the writing to an almost-English-speaking country. Maybe this was written for a UK site, and not for the American market. Maybe that’s why the writer capitalized queen; in some countries that are not the United States, that might actually be correct. And maybe that Lady Fag she writes of isn’t related to Ladyfag, the writer from New York City. The typo of that for than might be okie-dokie in the land where she lives. But in no English-speaking country is is what makes an acceptable substitute for the correct are what make.
Some people believe that real estate agent is a synonym for Realtor. One of those people writes for Yahoo! Finance:
A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors. All Realtors are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are Realtors. The word Realtor is a service mark of the organization and is a proper noun.
You don’t need to take a trip to Belgium to know that its capital is Brussels. You don’t even need to be a college graduate, because most of us learned that fact in eighth grade. Most of us, but not everyone at Yahoo! Style, where someone forgot the S at the end of the city’s name:
The vegetable, believed to be named for the Belgian city, is the Brussels sprout (or sometimes, brussels sprout).