Head over heels

Remember the saying “Time wounds all heels”? When my friends and I were in our teens, we used to think it has hilarious and a genius takeoff on the saying “Time heals all wounds.” We knew the difference between heals and heels, which is more than I can say for the staff at Yahoo! Finance:

heels fin

What’s your editor doing?

You probably don’t want to do what this editor for Yahoo! Sports did — mistaking you’re for your:

youre dad mlb

I don’t think the writer is confused by a possessive pronoun (like your) and a contraction (you’re, meaning “you are”). He did manage to use you’re correctly at the start of the sentence.

Is that a pleasure-school administrator?

The crucial difference between Yahoo! Style editors and the rest of the English-speaking world? Yahoo! Style editors don’t know the difference between a principal (which is a school administrator or something that is highest in rank or importance) and a principle (which is a rule or standard):

pleasure principal sty

They just had to put that headline in the largest font imaginable. But, minutes later, the editors changed it! When I saw that they had added a picture to that headline, I was hopeful that they’d also see the error of their ways. But, noooo:

pleasure sty

That’s altogether different

What the Yahoo! Sports meant was altogether; that’s altogether different from all together:

all together sport

Writing elicits guffaws from readers

What did the Yahoo! Sports writer do to elicit such a response? He did this:

illicit mlb

I almost spit out my nonfat, sugar-free vanilla latte when I read illicit (which means “improper or unlawful”) instead of elicit.

I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

I wasn’t surprised when I saw that the news editor for Yahoo! Style used the word continuously (which means “without stop or interruption”) instead of continually (which means “recurring frequently”). It’s a common mistake among Yahoo! staffers. I wasn’t surprised when I read the next sentence — I was shocked.

uk sty 1

It is beyond my comprehension how anyone — anyone — could make a mistake that profoundly stupid. (Actually the rest of that sentence makes no sense, either. I guess this “news editor” thought Mrs. Cameron would stop wearing clothes from the United Kingdom because it was leaving itself.)

One out of two

If we were talking about baseball, a .500 batting average would be record-shattering. But this is yahoo.com, one of the most visited pages in the universe, and 50% isn’t good enough. Using two only once, instead of using it correctly twice, is akin to striking out:

fp to

It’s the principle of the thing

It’s entirely possible that the writer for Yahoo! Style is correct:

principle instructor sty

I suppose Ms. Mitchell might actually be a principle instructor, teaching people about some unnamed rule or law. It’s possible. But it’s not correct. Ms. Mitchell is a principal (or primary or chief) instructor.

I can’t remain neutral

I just can’t remain neutral about this color palate on Yahoo! Style:

color palate sty

The duchess might have a great palate, but that means that her sense of taste is refined. Her outfit, however tasteful, is in a neutral color palette.

Somebody’s job might be on the chopping block

Can you imagine making these mistakes, which are seen by millions of people around the world, and still keeping your writing job?

personal affects sty

In my day (which was actually many decades ago), you make mistakes like that and you’re told to pack up your personal effects because your job is on the chopping block. Of course, in my day, professional writers knew the difference between affect and effect and knew that people bid on personal effects on an auction block.


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