Everyone needs an editor

If your first sentence in your first paragraph contains these errors, shouldn’t you think about hanging up your keyboard?

way 1

If you don’t know the difference between a contraction (like you’re) and a possessive pronoun (like your), you don’t know enough to hyphenate a compound modifier (like Oscar-winning), you match a hyphen (which should be an em-dash) with a comma (which also should be an em-dash), you omit words, you hyphenate seaside, and you can’t spell Steve Carell, should you call it quits?

Not if you’re a writer for Yahoo! Movies. And not if you’ve been writing for years for well-respected publications like The New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, More, Interview Magazine, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Cosmopolitan and Self. Those are publications with standards higher that Yahoo!’s. You’d never find that many egregious mistakes in an entire article, much less an opening paragraph. What gives?


A writer for print publications is used to the support of competent editors. At Yahoo!, this writer’s words are published — gross mistakes and all — without benefit of editing.

That paragraph isn’t an anomaly. The article continues with a total miss at AnnaSophia Robb and 14-year-old:

way 2

There’s the reality nit-picky double double-quotes and the typoed tween:

way 3

And to prove that this so-called movie critic has no idea that she doesn’t know how to spell Steve Carell’s name, she screws it up three more times here:

way 4

and here:

way 5

and here:

way 6

Would you expect to see something of this quality in a legitimate news source or magazine? No, because those publications employ editors. And this writer is obviously dependent on them.


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:

icons to covet shine

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!:

It’s not Veterans Day

In an attempt to honor Veterans Day, a writer for Yahoo! Shine gives it a decorative flourish with an apostrophe:

When she’s not adding unnecessary punctuation marks to holidays, the writer is misquoting Dr. Jill Biden, who generally speaks in complete sentences:

Do I really need to explain what’s wrong with being home from the holidays? Or that post-traumatic stress disorder isn’t a proper noun, but it does sport a hyphen?

Oh, so now she uses a hyphen! But a hyphen is no substitute for an em dash — it just confuses me because a hyphen joins words. And it’s still not Veterans Day with an apostrophe:

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.

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