It’s a dead ringer for the wrong word

The English language gets put through the wringer over at Yahoo! Style:

thru the ringer sty

I have no idea why the writer thought “through the ringer” made sense. This is a wringer, the part of a washer that squeezes out the water from clothes:


So, “through the wringer” is the correct idiom.

No need to spend money on gifts!

There’s no need to spend money on holiday gifts this year. According to, there’s free promotional items (also known as swag) for the taking. You can learn more in Yahoo!’s movies gift guide (or movie gift guide, seems that Yahoo! editors can’t figure out what to call it). And if you’re not into blockbuster hits, you can get home movies, though I don’t know whose home they were taken in:

fp swag

Do you have any idea what that means?

Before you use a word, especially if it has more than one syllable, make sure you know what it means. If you don’t, then you may end up looking as vocabulary-challenged as this writer for Yahoo! Style:

proprietor to sty

A proprietor is an owner. It makes no sense in this context, even if the writer had used the preposition of instead of to. I haven’t a clue what words the writer should have used since I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. Maybe next time the writer will consult a dictionary before using big words. Nah. That would never happen at Yahoo!.

I bet they hate that

I don’t know how many golf caddies one can find at the customs gate at an airport, but if you’re in a hurry, jump on one! I’m sure he’ll appreciate that.

P.S. That’s not my advice, it’s the advice from a writer at Yahoo! Travel:

caddies trav

And if you can’t find a caddie, try jumping on a golf cart.

What are this black rinds?

Is it asking too much that the writers at Yahoo! Style use words that actually make sense?

this black rinds sty

Were the black rinds that Ms. Lovato was wearing from some citrus fruit, like a lemon or an orange? And why were they black? And why was she wearing those and not some thin black rings?

Life in the Royal Statute Factory

Although this writer for Yahoo! Style claims “we’ve all read the history books,” I don’t think she learned a lot:

ordinance sty

I’m not referring to her inability to pound out the word battlefield. Or her insistence on using a hyphen after an adverb ending in -LY. I’m referring to her mention of the Royal Ordinance Factory, which would be a place where statutes, regulations, or orders are manufactured.

It’s too bad there’s no ordinance prohibiting the incorrect use of words in a public place. This gal would be arrested and sent up the river because anyone who “read the history books” knows that military material, including weapons and ammunition, is ordnance.

Wrap yourself in this

The Yahoo! Style staff should try wrapping themselves in the pages of a dictionary. If someone taught them how to swathe themselves in words, they might improve their vocabulary:

swath sty

They might learn that swath is a noun, never a verb, which means “a wide path.” The verb that means “to wrap or envelop” is swathe.

Did you consult a dictionary?

I don’t think this writer for Yahoo! Makers is from the United States, because she doesn’t have a typical American vocabulary. Most Americans know that “dry goods” are textiles, fabric, clothing and the like. But not this gal, who thinks that dry food (which in my house means the kibble we feel the dog) is called dry goods:

dry goods diy

So where does the canned cranberry sauce fit in?

Running roughshod over the language

Yahoo! Movies ran roughshod over the English language with this interpretation of a common idiom:

rough shot mov

Would that be an Alp?

Wouldn’t it be great if the writers for Yahoo! Style were familiar with basic English expressions? Then, we wouldn’t be subjected to mysterious word usage like this:

stems around sty

Did the writer mean “stems from”? If that has you confused, that a peek at this:

sneak peak sty

What peak is she referring to? An Alp?


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