3 signs you’re in the wrong job

If you’re an editor for Yahoo! Shine, you may be in the wrong job. Here are just three signs from the Shine home page that should have you considering a career change.

The first sign that perhaps you’re not cut out for writing or editing is your inability to match a verb with its subject:

need shine hp


Another sign that should have you questioning your role: You think this is how to show the decade known as the ’80s:

80s shine hp


And the third sign you’re in the wrong job? You can’t tell the difference between a possessive pronoun (like your, meaning “belonging to you”) and a contraction (like you’re, meaning “you are”):

your shine hp

What is wrong with yahoo.com?

There are always errors on the Yahoo! front page, but it seems that lately they have multiplied. Could the Internet giant be outsourcing the writing to a non-English-speaking country? Or are internal changes and a drop in stock price responsible? Terrible typos, capitalization catastrophes, grammatical goofs, wayward words, and pointless punctuation abound. What’s behind all the errors?

Even when the day isn’t going your way, don’t you think you should proofread to make sure you used the correct word?

Even if you’re under a tight deadline, wouldn’t you check the capitalization of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s name?

And couldn’t you do a quick read, just to see if you omitted a word?

Don’t you think a professional journalist would know that Western is capitalized when it refers to a region of the United States?

Shouldn’t you expect a writer or editor to know that the correct word is that, and not which? Wouldn’t you think that a writer would decide if Taliban is plural or singular, but not both?

Couldn’t you spot a typo that never should have seen the light of day?

Isn’t it common knowledge that an apostrophe isn’t used to create a plural of years or decades?

What’s going on at yahoo.com? Or is this just what readers can expect from now on?

Michael Jordan: Not the greatest basketball player of all time

You see, Michael Jordan is the great basketball player of all time, but not the greatest, according to Yahoo! Shine:

I’m certain that made sense to the writer, who is probably still learning English. Just as “the Air Jordans” would make sense to a non-native English speaker.  And just as best-selling would look fine without the hyphen and 1990s looks fine with the apostrophe, and sneak looks just as good as sneakers.

Oversize goofs about Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts’ smile is so large, it might be called oversize. Except on Yahoo! Shine, where it would have a gap:

But enough about the goof, let’s focus on the fact that Ms. Roberts is one of the biggest movies.  But for reals, in the ’90s (which is how you actually write the decade), she was one of the biggest movies. And silly you thought she was just a movie star.

When does school start?

I can’t wait until the kids are back in school again. Then maybe they won’t be hacking into Yahoo! Shine, and messin’ with the photo captions:

Man, there’s no way a professional writer could jam so many mistakes in so little space, right? Any high school graduate knows that the 1990s doesn’t have an apostrophe to make it plural. Any fourth grader could spot the typo in “after he divorce.” The staff on any high school newspaper knows you don’t use both “in addition” and “not only… but also” in the same sentence. And if you must use the correlative conjunction “not only… but also,” put the gosh darn words in the right place (and while you’re at it, correct that other typo): Diana was known not only for her amazing sense of style, but also for her charity work.

School can’t start soon enough.

One mistake alongside another

It’s just one mistake alongside another on Yahoo! Movies:

The misspelled alongside is almost forgivable, as are the missing apostrophes in ’80s and ’90s. But getting the title of a film wrong on a site devoted to films? I’d give the writer a grade of less than zero.

A very, very rare finale

Here’s a spelling that’s so rare, I’ve never actually seen it before:

I think it’s a case of the writer (on Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time”) trying too hard to be absolutely correct, but the result is absolutely incorrect. Sorry, the word is finales (no Frenchification required).

This might also be a case of the writer attempting to show punctuation prowess, but failing:

Is that a question? Uh, no.

Later, the writer seems to be trying to honor a mom and dad with capital letters. Sorry, but mom and dad in this context aren’t proper nouns:

Finally, there’s a missing hyphen in what should be Canadian-produced and a misplaced apostrophe in what ought to be ’80s:

So, there’s an uncommon error in this article, and there are some not-so-usual goofs, too. But I give the writer credit for the creativity he’s displayed. Nice job!

The worst trend in writing

Reporting on celebrity fashion trends requires absolutely no knowledge of celebrities or designers. Or at least if you write for Yahoo! Shine, knowing how to spell the names of celebrities and designers is purely optional. In fact, knowing how to spell anything is purely optional. Case in point: Shine’s feature “The Thread.”

The writer doesn’t bother spelling Angie Harmon’s name correctly:

A misplaced apostrophe is a relatively minor offense when it happens once:

But when it happens again, it’s bound to rile some readers:

Also? Using that to refer to real human beings isn’t considered wrong, just “impolite.” Omitting any kind of punctuation around a movie title (like “Twilight”) isn’t impolite; it’s just wrong.

Again ignoring the journalistic convention of correct spelling, the writer hacks up Leighton Meester. (Or maybe I should say, the hack hacks it up):

The pronoun them has no visible antecedent and using who’s instead of whose is the kind of mistake you might expect from a fourth grader.

If you’ve read this far, you shouldn’t be surprised by a missing word and a misspelling of Claire’s:

Let’s hope this is just a typo and that Amanda Peet wasn’t actually wearing Mischa Barton:

I’m not the only one who cares about good writing, you know. I think the Olsen twins might care about how their name is spelled:

Shoes like platforms are usually sold in pairs:

Betsey Johnson is one designer whose name doesn’t require spelling accuracy. Same goes for celeb Taylor Momsen:

As for the funky characters that appear to be two hyphens? God knows what that is supposed to be, though a period or semicolon would be correct.

No surprise here. Another punctuation problem: Lindsay Lohan needs an apostrophe and an S:

Is this a new trend in writing on Yahoo!? Or just an especially egregious example of a longstanding acceptance of horrible writing?

Oprah’s show desinged

Do you think the writer of Yahoo! TV‘s “Daytime in No Time” is implying that the residue from some scorching was removed from the “Oprah” set?

oprah tv dint

That could just be a careless error, like the misplaced apostrophe in ’60s (it should be moved to the left to indicate an omission of the numerals 19). Or maybe it just needs to be moved to show’s, where it’s totally missing, not unlike the hyphen that belongs in Emmy Award-winning.

Poor Gisele Bundchen can’t get no respect

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen can’t get no respect from the writer of this Yahoo! Shine feature:


Writers who respect their subjects take care of little details like, oh, spelling their name correctly. I guess some people just can’t be bothered to check the spelling:


It’s not like it’s that hard to google a name. But quality doesn’t seem to be a major concern at Shine. If it were, then there wouldn’t be the redundant “just because of looks alone” or the missing quotation marks that tells the reader that “Project Runway” is a title:


Or the missing apostrophe that indicates that something is missing in the ’80s:


I’m guessing that there’s a word or two missing here and that the writer meant that lookups for silver are higher than those for gold:


But what to make of this:


I guess it’s no surprise that Ms. Bundchen gets no respect. It seems like the writer doesn’t respect her feature enough to spell it the same way twice:  


And the comma after choice? What’s up with that? I can’t wait for a brand-new episode of The Thread or thread or whatever.

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