In an article about gifts for Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, the Yahoo! Style writer screws up a basic fact as well as a basic spelling:
The new princess is not the grandchild of Queen Elizabeth; she is the great-grandchild.
If you overlook the misspelled leather (how do you make a mistake like that?) this excerpt from Yahoo! Style doesn’t look too bad. Until you realize that the writer doesn’t know a number from a letter:
How do you write 00:45:50 in “big, bold letters”? Is it ZERO ZERO COLON FORTY-FIVE COLON FIFTY? Wouldn’t it be easy to write the number in big, bold numerals?
If you’ve been reading Terribly Write for a while, you know that the writers at Yahoo! Style are particularly challenged when it comes to issues such as grammar, punctuation, and spelling. So it’s no surprise that a writer thinks there should be a hyphen after an adverb ending in -LY and that she can’t spell anointed:
When she’s not mangling the language, she’s mangling the facts. She claims Prince William wore a morning coat for his wedding. This is a morning coat:
This is what Prince William actually wore:
It is a military uniform and what we might call a jacket is referred to as a tunic. But I can see how one might confuse it with a morning coat because they both have two sleeves.
Ow! Numbers make my head hurt. Please don’t make me write about numbers. Or write numbers. Or think about numbers. Not even a number like the year. (I think it starts with a 2 and a 0.) And don’t even think about asking me to do fractions. I’m just a writer for Yahoo! Style and I can’t do arithmetic, much less real math.
So, now you know why I’m not sure of the year. We’re halfway to 2015, right? That’s what I wrote here:
But then I thought maybe we’re already in 2015 and since it’s the end of April, maybe we’re not quite halfway to 2015 or even halfway through 2015. Now my head really hurts. I think I’ll go take an Advil and lie down.
If you read this on the Yahoo! front page, you might be wondering how Blake Lively could wear 256 outfits in one week:
That would require a lot of changes of clothes; in fact, she’d have to average 36 outfits a day. She’d have to change outfits not just between engagements, but during engagements and in the limo driving to engagements.
So, why did the writer publish such a dumb statement? Because Ms. Lively asked designers for 256 outfits prior to her press tour. During the weeklong tour, she wore a total of 18 outfits. That’s just a tad different from what you read here.
Oh, and the use of was? If making grammatical errors were a sport, this writer would be considered an Olympian. A statement contrary to fact requires a verb in the subjunctive mood; in this case that’s were, not was.
The Yahoo! Style editors made an oddly stupid comment about Amal Clooney:
Are those people so ignorant that they don’t know that the flag of Great Britain is red, white, and blue? Or do they think that a “Brit” can’t be patriotic? Or are they just really stupid? I know it’s rude, but I’m going with all three.
Today’s Dumbest Statement comes to you via Yahoo! Style:
There’s just so many things wrong with this photo caption that maybe it’s qualifies for the Dumbest Statements of the Day. Or the month.
There’s the creative use of an apostrophe in Mr. Franco’s name, as if his first name is Jame.
There’s the horrendous claim that Jack Kilmer is Mr. Franco’s offspring. (Here’s a little clue to the writer: a progeny is a descendant or offspring. That’s not the same as a prodigy, which is the word a literate person would use.)
Let’s not overlook the parenthetical statement that implies James Franco is a 19-year-old, who starred in his own film, “Palo Alto.”
Finally we learn that James Franco, the 19-year-old, is a fan of Val Kilmer’s son and Saint Laurent, which strikes me as a bit of a non sequitur. Perhaps both James Franco and Saint Laurent are fans of Mr. Kilmer’s son. Who is also Mr. Franco’s son.
I’m so confused.