Scotch that spelling!

Some trademarks are so common in English that they have become common nouns. But Scotch tape isn’t one of  them. The Yahoo! Style writer should have capitalized Scotch or referred to the sticky stuff as cellophane tape:

How about a little vocabulary building?

Here’s a sign a Yahoo! Style writer could use a little vocabulary-building course. Or absent that, a competent editor with a high education:

smattering sty

Could there be plenty of stars and a smattering of celebrities at a party? Yes, but only if you think smattering means “lots, loads, tons” and not “a small number.”

Readers’ favorite writer

If you’re one of those readers who cringes when you encounter a typo or — horrors!— a grammatical error, you’ll want to skip this article on Yahoo! Style. The writer seems to have a problem with a common rule we all learned in third grade:

starss style

Perhaps the writer didn’t know if she was writing about one star (and therefore should use star’s) or more than one (requiring stars’). So, she combined the possessives into misguided mashup.

What’s missing?

Everybody knows that an apostrophe can be used to form a contraction, where it indicates an omitted letter. So what letter was the Yahoo! Style writer omitting when she wrote this?

ole fashioned sty

Is ‘ole fashioned short for pole fashioned? role fashioned? mole fashioned?

Stay in school and get that diploma!

My advice to this associate editor for Yahoo! Style? Stay in school and get that high school diploma. Or take some GED classes that include basic English vocabulary. Then, you might not make this embarrassing mistake:

matriculation ceremony

That’s from an article about a student graduating from high school, not entering a college or university, which is what matriculation means. It’s a word I’d expect would be familiar to a high school graduate. But maybe I’m wrong.

One day’s worth of errors

This doesn’t represent one day’s worth of errors; it just represents a single error in a single caption on Yahoo! Style:

three weeks worth sty

This is what the Associated Press calls a quasi possessive. If you’re as confused about whether it requires an apostrophe, I have a little trick you can use so you don’t embarrass yourself in public.

Chickens’ hit

Why was the Yahoo! Style writer confused about how to form the possessive of a plural noun like chickens?

chickenss prom sty

Maybe she couldn’t decide if the apostrophe went before or after the S. So, she put it before and after the S. That’s actually quite a clever solution. Totally wrong, though.

Was the dictionary inaccessible?

Was a dictionary inaccessible when the Yahoo! Style writer published this?

unaccessible sty

The American Heritage Dictionary doesn’t acknowledge unaccessible; the few dictionaries that include unaccessible define it as a synonym for inaccessible, which is the preferred word..

That time the writer muffed the caption

Proving once again that knowledge of fashion, clothing, or accessories is not a requirement for employment at Yahoo! Style, this writer muffs a photo caption:

muffler 1

Was that a muffler (which is a long scarf) keeping the princess’s hands warm, as the writer alleges? No, it was a fur muff:

muffler pic

It reminds me of the times the writers didn’t know a garter from a garter belt. Or a cameo from a cami dress.

Subject matter experts need not apply

If you’re looking for a writing gig and you know nothing about fashion, don’t know how to do a Google search, and don’t care about accuracy, Yahoo! Style might be the place for you. You’d be joining the ranks of writers who can’t tell Lyst from Lyft, and furthermore, don’t care:

lyst sty

The largest competitor of Uber is not Lyst, which is an e-commerce site. The writer got a little confused: Uber’s competitor is Lyft. But a simple Google query would have told her that.

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