Dreams of becoming a writer dashed

If you’re the person responsible for this teaser on the Yahoo! front page, I’m afraid your dreams of becoming a successful writer have been dashed:

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At least your dreams of becoming a successful writer in English have been dashed by your ignorance of common idiomatic expressions.


None too pleasing

Anyone reading this article on Yahoo! Shine will be none too pleased with the quality of writing:

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Some readers will notice a misspelled Nadja Auermann:

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Others will be grateful for the information that Gianni worked with his sister before his death, because after his death he just wasn’t pulling his weight:

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Even the most careless of readers will stumble on this repetition repetition:

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Lovers of “Saturday Night Live” will be appalled that Horatio Sanz’s name is a bit screwed up:

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Anyone who can read the poster behind Nicki Minaj knows more than this writer; they know she’s wearing Versace for H & M:

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It’s impossible to explain how the writer came up with this riff on “Sex and the City” — and why she thinks a hyphen is an acceptable substitute for a real dash:

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Maybe the writer was feeling a bit edgy when she tried to pound out “The Edge of Glory”:

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I don’t imagine there are too many people who would take their eyes off Ms. Bundchen long enough to read about her blunging back:

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You just have to wonder

You just have to wonder what was going through the Yahoo! Shine writer’s head that made her think that twentysomethings was a proper noun:

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I wonder what’s so hard about copying the name Center on Education and the Workforce. You don’t have to remember it or know how to spell it. All you have to do is copy it and paste it into the article. I can almost understand not capitalizing mom, though it’s a proper noun in this context. And Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

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There’s no need to capitalize Mr. Carnevale’s title; there is, however, a need to learn to spell millennial:

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The number of errors skyrocketed with this excerpt, which includes the split-up skyrocket. The author also confuses a degree with a diploma; a high school graduate has a diploma, not a degree. Again with the capitalized twentysomethings! And then there’s an alleged quote, which I’ll bet you dollars to donuts is really a misquote BECAUSE IT MAKES NO SENSE:

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Sorry about the ALL CAPS. I get carried away sometimes when I read something that’s so badly written by a person who is actually paid to write. And especially one who can’t be bothered to spell-check:

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Nice try here with the comma. Unfortunately, it’s wrong. It should be a semicolon because the sentence comprises two independent clauses that are not joined by a conjunction:

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So, this brings us to the next misspelling of millennials — a spelling that the author clings to like a drowning man clutching an anchor. Perhaps she wouldn’t be so clingy if she bothered to do a spell-check:

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There’s an attempt here to use hyphens, but they’re wrong. To show a range of ages, the writer needs hyphens and a space and the word to, like this: 18- to 24-year-old. And that other hyphen is no substitute for a real dash:

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I’m just guessin’, but I don’t think the writer has a bachelor’s degree in English:

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You just have to wonder how a professional writer can make so many mistakes and still get paid.

Only three?

This is practically perfect. It’s the first sentence in an article on Yahoo! Shine and it only has three mistakes! There’s only one misspelled name (it should be Farrah Fawcett), there’s only one punctuation mistake (that comma should be an em dash), and only one incorrect word:

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I don’t know anyone who covets beauty icons, do you? They might envy icons or wish to emulate or copy icons — but have a desire to own a beauty icon? Not so much.

This is not pretty

I’m not responsible for the teeny weeny type or its pale color in these excerpts. I think that it’s a way to discourage you from actually reading the article on Yahoo! Shine. I wish I had taken the hint, because what I discovered was not pretty.

I could never in four score and seven years understand omitting a comma (or two) in “red, white, and blue.” Just like I will never understand why the writer thinks twitter is a common noun. I suppose to some tween-age mind twee-ful makes sense. Maybe I don’t get it because I am old.

Sections of the flag code are numbered with real numbers, not spelled-out numbers. And “Eek!” is what a cartoon character says when she sees a mouse. Maybe the writer is trying to eke out a little attention with her creative use of the language:

Again with the dropped commas? Why?

The man’s name is William Moulton Marston, not this:

Wonder Woman carried the Lasso of Truth. I figured that out on my own. But I don’t know what the rest of the sentence is supposed to mean:

Does anyone really confuse Wonder Woman’s costume with a swimsuit? I guess the writer thinks that’s what Wonder Women wears to the beach, and she changes to her real Wonder Woman costume in a cabana. (The other not-so-pretty things in this paragraph are a relatively minor goof of a missing word and a wrong word, which I can only hope is a typo.)

This writer needs to learn something about punctuation. A hyphen is no substitute for a dash. A hyphen joins words; a dash separates them. And random commas don’t help your readers; they just frustrate them. And I really don’t know what to say about triangular fabric that has opportunity.

The rest of the article consists of photos and their captions, which for some reason are actually readable, though the literary quality is not an improvement. We really shouldn’t be subjected to an all-American error on Independence Day:

I’m pretty sure the word video is not part of the video’s title and that the writer published this article before it was ready:

And finally, a gaffe à la Yahoo!:

That’s about per for the course

Once again displaying a disregard for grammar, a journalist for Yahoo! News mistakes whom for the correct word and a hyphen for a dash:

There’s no explaining how mistakes like these get passed on to the reader:

But that’s about par for the course at Yahoo! Also common is the use of the hyphen when a dash is required. At least the writer tried to include the HTML symbol for an em dash, but failed. But that’s not the worst of this mess. I’d say forgetting to complete a sentence is a high crime in journalism:

Mistakes like this can be really damaging to a news source’s reputation:

It would be damaging, that is, if anyone considered Yahoo! a reliable source of news.

“Hello, pot. This is kettle calling”

While some blog readers are judging Greta Van Susteren’s intelligence, others are judging the abilities of a Yahoo! News journalist to write about the subject.

Readers are probably questioning a writer who can’t spell the name of the Fox news host nor the subject itself:

If they’re like me (and who is?), they’re thinking that the writer has a problem with the Space bar on his keyboard and that he doesn’t proofread anything he writes:

… and that he doesn’t know the difference between a hyphen and a dash. There’s that problem with the Space bar again:

Dispensing with part of Ms. Van Susteren’s surname (and misspelling the part that’s left), the writer also includes an unnecessary S in the possessive of Morris:

Hello, pot? I think there’s a kettle at Yahoo! calling.

I’d stop right there if I were you

Oh, lordie. Why would anyone continue reading this article from Yahoo! News when this is in the first sentence?

Undeterred by the misspelled duchess, I read the rest of the article so you don’t have to. With the number of errors it contains, you all owe me big time. I stumbled on some nonsense and a hyphen that should be an em-dash:

I groaned at a typo and the reference to “the Ferguson”:

I smirked at the missing word followed by the misspelling of Mr. Mahmood’s name:

I scratched my head at the parenthesis without its partner:

… and a quotation mark without its mate, and a then instead of than:

See? Now are you glad you didn’t read that.

It’s not good news

I’m sorry to be the one to say this, but I must. The blog Yahoo! Profiles News is just not good. It may contain useful information, but with the number of errors it displays, who can trust it?

Here are just a few examples: The use of a hyphen instead of a dash is a relatively minor but annoying problem. But the inability to distinguish between a singular noun (like parenthesis) and its plural (parentheses) does not reflect well on the writer and his or her employer:


A simple hyphen would make right hand right, and changing your contact card to a contact card would make the sentence actually understandable:


It’s such a common mistake on Yahoo! that I’m surprised someone hasn’t told the writers there that it’s is not a possessive pronoun:


The subject of this sentence is singular, and its verbs should be, too:


And finally, I’m altogether confused by the use and placement of all together here:


Slapdash writing is half right

Someone at Yahoo! Shine was trying to use dashes correctly — to indicate a sudden break — but misplaced one:


The second dash belongs after girls. But the first one is correct! That’s 50 percent right! Not bad if you’re satisfied with slapdash writing.

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