I’m soooo confused

Sometimes I’ll read a sentence on Yahoo! and there’s numbers in the sentence, and I try to do a little first-grade arithmetic (cuz I don’t trust Yahoo! writers’ numerical abilities), and I wind up with a headache. This is one of those times. After reading this on Yahoo! Celebrity, I’m very confused (and in need of a Tylenol):

I guess Mr. Pitt and Ms. Jolie have been together for 12 years. But they’ve been married for two more? I’m so confused. Have they been married two more years than they’ve been together? Like, 14 years of matrimony? Is that even possible? Maybe they got married by proxy two years before they actually met. Or maybe the writer is a tad confused and meant they “had been together for 12 years and married for two.”

Would that be a Kaiser or onion roll?

White privilege has played a roll, according to Yahoo! Style:

I’m just wondering what kind of roll it was. Was it a Kaiser roll, an onion roll, or an egg roll? I’m also wondering if an editor played a role in this homophonic hilarity.

The one thing everyone gets wrong about proofreading

Just about everyone makes a mistake when writing. Relying solely on a spell-checker for proofreading services is one of those mistakes. Spell-checkers can’t tell you if your perfectly spelled word is actually the wrong word. Just ask the folks at Yahoo! Finance:

A couple of S’s?

It’s become almost a daily occurrence at Yahoo! Style: the inability to form possessive of a plural noun:

What the heck is so hard about this? If you’re writing about one couple, it’s couple’s. If more than one couple, it’s couples’. If you’re really confused, it’s couples’s and it’s wrong.

While I’m pondering the reason for that common mistake, perhaps you’ll solve another mystery for me: Why did the writer (and presumably her editor) refer to a boy with the pronoun her? Is this a transgender thing?

Not to be confused with imaginary bodies

I’m not surprised anymore when I see that writers for Yahoo! Style have no idea how to make a possessive out of a plural noun. It happens nearly every day:

So, the writer and editor didn’t know that athletes’s makes no sense (they should have written athletes’). What surprises me is the fact that they thought they needed to make it clear that it was physical bodies, and not imaginary bodies, that are the focus of “microagressions” (they should have written microaggressions).

Duggar family renting to religious tenant

The Duggar family, known in the States for their reality TV show, their strict fundamental beliefs, and their overly large family, is renting space to a religious tenant.

The Yahoo! Style article doesn’t mention if the renter is living with the Duggars. But renting to a Christian is certainly in keeping with the family’s religious tenets.

Close enough

Don’t expect these folks to do actual research. A simple Google search is too much of a bother for the writers and editors at Yahoo! Celebrity. They’re happy letting us know that Taylor Swift’s estate is “near Rhode Island”:

So, it might be in Massachusetts or Connecticut or even Narragansett Bay. Real journalists would take the time to learn that Watch Hill, the location of Ms. Swift’s mansion, is in Rhode Island. I’d say that’s pretty “near.”

Bask in this!

I hopin’ one of my loyal readers can explain this sentence from Yahoo! Style:

Can you be “hugging onto” a person or simply hugging them? Or hanging onto them? What does that mean?

While you’re at it, maybe you can explain how one basks in firework beauty. Are you warmed by a single pyrotechnic device? Or are you enjoying fireworks, which is an actual display of the devices common on the Fourth of July.

A good time to stop

Yahoo! News makes a good case for stopping a search:

This doesn’t pass the smell test

If only there were a way for the Yahoo! Style writer to verify the spelling of the captions she writes. Maybe if she had a picture of the eau de parfum she’s writing about, she wouldn’t make these misspellings:

Oh, wait! Here’s the actual picture that goes with that caption:

Maybe she didn’t think she needed to look at it. But when writing this caption:

. . . don’t you think she should have checked out the picture of the bottle of eau de parfum, which is quite different from cologne and eau de cologne:

Well, she finally got the product right in this caption:

. . .  but not the name of the manufacturer:

If these captions didn’t appear right next to the product pictures, perhaps no one would have noticed that the writer can’t copy words right under her nose. But they’re there and there’s no amount of eau de parfum that can cover the stink.

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