What’s an virtual shoe-in (besides an incorrect use of the indefinite article an)? A virtual foot, of course. That wasn’t what the writer for Yahoo! News meant, though:
He meant “a virtual shoo-in.”
Would you trust a news article if you find a factual error? A really, really obvious error. Like this article on Yahoo! News that alleges there is not a single black governor in the United States:
I’m not the most political-savvy old person, but I do know about Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts and an African American. If you spot an error like that, does it affect your opinion of the accuracy of the whole article?
How many typos, misspellings, and wrong word choices does it take before you question the credibility of a news article? If the article is written by a Yahoo! News staffer, I start with an attitude of skepticism, which is buttressed by the errors that are sure to be there.
I can count on there being at least one homophonic error. In this article, the writer claims an ice sculpture was discretely wheeled into a hotel suite:
Unless that sculpture was delivered in bits of ice cubes, it was brought in discreetly, so as not to attract attention.
A typo in a photo caption isn’t the worst thing you’ll find in the article:
But a second homophonic error just might be:
Perhaps it’s a rite of passage at Yahoo! News: You can’t get a byline until you’ve made at least three boneheaded mistakes in a single article.
Here’s a makeshift spelling of makeshift:
There’s nothing wrong with this paragraph except for the arbitrarily capitalized former and the spelling of Dinesh D’Souza and Cathy McMorris Rodgers:
Two of those mistakes would get you sent to the woodshed in a legitimate news organization. But wait! There’s more! Here, the writer claims there was a big band consisting of 16 pieces:
and yet in the photo caption, he’s added a musician:
Perhaps the writer was enjoying the contents of the kegerator when he wrote this:
and then forgot that if you use a dollar sign, you shouldn’t also use the word bucks (because that would be “20 dollars bucks”):
So, I’m not trustin’ too much (if anything) I read from this author. I guess for some, getting an article published is all that matters:
Ever seen someone furl their brow? Me neither. Apparently the writer for Yahoo! News‘ “The Ticket” has:
I’ve seen people furrow their brow, which creates wrinkles. But furling a brow would roll it up, which has got to be painful.
Perhaps this makes sense to the writer, but it’s nonsense to me:
Did he mean “in shielding the public from the existence of aliens”? Because that’s altogether (entirely, completely, and utterly) different from what he wrote.
With the writer’s limited knowledge of English, it seems like nitpicking to mention that Congress, when referring to the U.S. government, is capitalized, but congressional isn’t:
Is it too much to expect that someone who writes for a so-called news site would bother to find out how to spell a subject’s name? If you’re talking about Yahoo! News‘ “The Ticket,” the answer is yes:
The writer arbitrarily hyphenated Elizabeth Colbert Busch’s name and can’t be bothered correcting a typo.
Keep in mind, as you read this one sentence from Yahoo! News’ “The Ticket” — with its misspelled sergeant, the misspelled Terrance Gainer, and the typo — that this is what passes for journalism at Yahoo!:
If the writer can make so many sloppy mistakes in a single sentence, what are the chances there are other errors in the article? Very high.
The “journalist” for Yahoo! News‘ “The Ticket” doesn’t place a heavy emphasis on choosing the correct word:
He definitely hasn’t set his sights on eradicating homophonic errors.