Know thy subject

This should be one of the basic commandments of journalism: Know they subject. At least know how to spell your subject’s name. That’s not exactly the philosophy over at Yahoo! Style, where they can’t spell Lilly Pulitzer’s name:

lily pulitzer sty

That’s not as bad as the spelling they used the last time they wrote about the company.

This is just not right

Yahoo! Makers’ writers display some really creative ideas — especially when it comes to the English language. I’ve references to a “right of passage,” but have never seen one that had the additional creativity of hyphens:

right-of-passage diy

So wrong — and yet so innovative! Is the ability to misspell a common idiom in multiple ways a rite of passage for Yahoo! writers?

Setting my sights

So I set my sights on homophonic errors on Yahoo! Parenting and found this:

sites tra

Who was the bomber

Is this as confusing to you as it is to me? This headline on the Yahoo! front page has me wondering: Was the mosque bomber a Shiite or did the bomber attack a Shiite mosque?

fp id-ed

A hyphen would have made it clear that it was a Shiite-mosque bomber. And where did the missing hyphen go? It went into ID-ed, which should be ID’ed (according to the American Heritage Dictionary).

Of all the grammar mistakes made by Yahoo! writers and editors, this is probably one of the worst because it’s in the first word of the first sentence of the first paragraph. And it’s soooo obviously wrong:

me and my par

I don’t know anyone, much less a professional writer, who would say that, much less write that. The Yahoo! Parenting writer needs to go back to second grade or start hanging out with people who speak correct English.

You, me, and the rest of the English-speaking world know that the correct pronoun is I, not me. And if it sounds awkward as the first word that’s because it shouldn’t be the first word. The pronoun I should come second in the compound subject: My 7-year-old son Jack and I.

How to be an up-and-coming writer

Are you an up-and-coming writer? If so, don’t follow the example of this Yahoo! Beauty writer, who doesn’t know that upcoming means “occurring soon” and not “gaining prominence” (that would be up-and-coming):

upcoming farrah

Written by a Millennial?

Americans bemoaning the state of public education need look no further than the Yahoo! front page for an example of the failure of schools to teach the basics:

fp millenials

I’m guessin’ that the headline was written by someone in the U.S. (though I could be wrong and it could be written in another country) and that the writer is a Millennial who never learned to spell and who can’t be bothered to consult a dictionary or a spell-checker.

Is that a new word in sports?

Is this such a new word in American sports that the writers at Yahoo! Sports had to resort to using the British spelling?

offence spo

This isn’t the worst offense possible; it’s just a slap in the face of American readers, who are used to see offense.

Cancel that

This cancelations come up one letter short on the Yahoo! front page:

fp cancelations

Although canceled and canceling is the preferred spelling in the U.S. (in other English-speaking countries, it’s cancelled and cancelling), cancellation, with two L’s is the universally preferred spelling.

Whilst I was reading

I thought I was reading the U.S. version of Yahoo! Style, until I stumbled on this:

sun dress whilst grey sty

In the States, sundress is one word, the preferred word is while (whilst is chiefly British and sounds pretentious to American ears), and the preferred spelling of the color is gray.


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