Mistakes, big and small

There are little mistakes and big mistakes. And then there are the mistakes made by Yahoo! Shine‘s senior features editor. They tend to be really big, stupid mistakes.

This misplaced period is one I’d classify as a little mistake. The period belongs before the closing parenthesis because the words inside the parentheses form a complete sentence:

I’m still trying to figure out what screaming fans hoard. Autographs? Photos of the royals?

Maybe the editor has been watching too many episodes of “Hoarding: Buried Alive.” Maybe she has a limited grasp of English, and can’t tell the difference between hoard and horde and eke and leak. Maybe she’s just an idiot.

She’s made up a term! Good for her! Now all she has to do is make up a consistent spelling for it:

There’s some reference to Freddie Mercury’s band, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense in this context:

If she meant the woman who wears the crown in England, then she should have written queen. It’s not a proper noun unless it directly precedes the queen’s name.

Mistakes, big and small and stupid. You’ll find them every day on Shine.

A true marvel of writing

Occasionally, I come across writing that is so bad that I marvel at the ineptitude of the writer and her employer’s indifference to quality. That’s the case with this article from Yahoo! Shine. There are so many errors here that it would take me the better part of a day to explain them all. And I’m not willing to give this piece of crap the better part of anything.

So, here goes the shortest explanations I can come up with in the shortest amount of time. You’re welcome to fill in the details. But for now, just marvel at the sheer number of little red circles.

The TV show “Skins” should be in quotation marks (or something to indicate it’s a title), networks should be network. I may be hopelessly unhip, but I have no idea what “record scratch” means. Can anyone enlighten me?

The indefinite article an is wrong, plotline isn’t one word, and 17-year-old would be correct here:

Wait! Looks like plot-line needs a hyphen! Something is wrong: Either a is correct or doubles is correct, but not both. The word is safeguarding, without a hyphen:

I think maybe English isn’t this writer’s native language, because I’ve never seen demanded used in this way:

She also has no idea how to use punctuation and how to capitalize the name of the film “Hounddog.” I don’t think anyone oversees her writing.

WTF? How did this mess get past her editor’s eyes?

It’s Martin Scorsese and it should be are, not is:

Misplaced punctuation and a missing word here:

It should be Colin Farrell, much-hyped, and it was. Then there’s the missing comma and some nonsense about Mr. Farrell:

More misspelled names: Nabokov and Adrian Lyne would be correct. And another unnecessary comma:

Are ya still with me? Check out the wrong word, the misspelled word (it should be innuendo) and the nonsense words.

Let’s call this a careless typo:

The expression is “the bulk of.” There’s a misplaced period (it belongs before the closing quotation mark), misspelled Fijian island, and missing hyphen in 15-year-old. And more utter nonsense that’s actually quite funny.

This article is just a marvel, no?

Someone’s been dipping into the holiday punch

Put down the holiday punch or spiked eggnog or whatever the heck you’re drinking. It’s affecting your writing. Yes, I’m talking to you, the writer for Yahoo! News‘ “The Cutline.”

Maybe you’re completely sober, which makes your mistakes even more unforgivable. Take this misspelling of Adrian Lamo’s name:

I love the name Kevin Evan. Not so much that I’d actually lie about the name of the editor-in-chief of Wired.com. His name is Evan Hansen. And with Kevin Poulsen he wrote one or two lengthy responses. As Yahoo!’s crack journalist, you apparently had a little trouble distinguishing between one and two. Or maybe just counting to two:

Was it the alcohol talking when you messed with Glenn Greenwald’s surname? Or when you told us that an agreement would have to be agreed-upon. Thanks for the info:

Maybe the eggnog goggles made this misplaced punctuation look right to you:

It’s not right. When parentheses contain a full sentence that’s not embedded in another sentence, the period goes inside the parens. Just so you know.

Now go take a couple of aspirin and lie down.

Posing as a writer

In an article about a study of how people pose for pictures, a senior features editor for Yahoo! Shine does a little posing herself — as a writer.

Unfortunately, she can’t quite handle some of the finer points of writing, like punctuation. (A period belongs inside parentheses if it completes a sentence.) And she has a little problem with facts: The journal Evolutionary Psychology published the study:

She hasn’t asked for advice, but of course I have some for her: Honey, instead of a vowel, maybe you should go to Barnes and Noble and buy a dictionary:

While you’re there, pick up a copy of “Common Errors in English Usage”:

I see you don’t need a copy of “The Joys of Engrish.” You seem to have mastered that:

And if you and your employer are serious about producing quality writing, try a class in English as a Second Language.

That wacky writer is at it again!

That wild and wacky staffer at Yahoo! Shine is at it again! But I’m on to her. No way will I get punk’d by that merry prankster. I know that the writer is just messin’ with me and her handful of readers.

Don’t you think she’s kidding about the location of the question mark, the eight that should be eighth, the homophonic errors (it’s instead of its), the misspelled Nielsen, the missing hyphen, the incorrect comma, and the missing comma?

No professional writer could make that many mistakes without trying. See? She makes one mistake again, just to prove that she’s joking:

Ha! She probably thought she could slip in three misspelled celebs, and no one would notice. But, noooo. Anyone with an IQ in the triple digits knows it should be Jon Cryer, Pee-wee Herman, and Jim Bob Duggar:

The missing quotation marks around the show’s title is just to show that she has a sense of humor about writing and she expects you to have one, too:

Another mangled Jon Cryer and a misplaced period (it belongs before the closing parenthesis since it applies to the sentence within the parentheses) would have slipped by an unsuspecting reader.

But not me! I’m on to her! She’s joking, and you and I are in on it.

Sensitive subject gets insensitive treatment

If you’re writing about a sensitive subject like suicide, give it the respect it deserves, and not the shoddy treatment it gets on Yahoo! Shine.

Perhaps the transsexual who attempted suicide, Nadia Almada, prefers that her name be misspelled, keeping her somewhat out of the spotlight:

I’m pretty sure celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay would prefer his name be spelled correctly:

The misplaced comma, missing hyphen, and incorrect hyphen in bipolar are more evidence of the lack of regard for the subject:

The other mistakes in the article are the kind you can expect every day from this writer. She can’t cover up this mistake. It’s a verb. It doesn’t need a hyphen:

If your dream is to be a writer, try exercising a little respect for the English language:

Learn to proofread so your writing won’t be missing a word:

The correlative conjunction is not only…but also. And aftercare is the correct spelling here:

There’s an S missing here:

There’s another misspelling of Gordon Ramsay’s surname. Did the writer just make up a spelling for Gail Simmons? Because Googling it would be too hard? Or she doesn’t have respect for the TV personality? Another misplaced piece of punctuation and an incorrect comma separating a subject from its verb show a lack of respect for the language:

Where’s the apostrophe that would make this correct?

Misspellings, grammatical errors, and just plain sloppiness; they all show a lack of respect for the subject, the language, and the reader.

This is not a newspaper: Lower your expectations

Don’t expect to find the same standards of journalism you’d find at The New York Times on Yahoo! News‘ “The Upshot.”  Every day the online blog of Yahoo! News’ professional writers offer some of the best typos, misspellings, and factual errors available online.

In a single sentence a writer can omit a word, capitalize a common noun (seasons aren’t proper nouns), and misplace punctuation (the period belongs before the closing parenthesis):

A funky character isn’t out of character for online stories:

It’s a homophonic error that’s also quite common:

Another missing word and a typo prove the point: Don’t expect perfection when reading anything on Yahoo!.

Mesbian or just a mess?

It could have been a clever, humorous article about male lesbians, or mesbians. Instead it’s just a mess. The article, on Yahoo! Shine, illustrates how grammatical errors, misspellings, and other goofs can turn a writer from the source of humor to the target of derision.

Not all errors, however, are horrifying. This lowercased Ani DiFranco isn’t horrible, just careless:

The apostrophe needed to indicate that some numerals are missing is a rookie mistake. But when it’s missing in let’s (to indicate it’s a contraction of let us), it’s misleading:

There’s a missing word in “reminded her about breast cancer checks,” and a verb (like was) is needed before “way too.” Eyebrow is one word and a sentence needs some sort of punctuation to show it’s ended. I recommend a period before the right parenthesis.

Unless the markets are selling actual farmers, there should be an apostrophe in farmers’ markets:

Matte sounds like some sort of flat coffee drink. I’d prefer a latte:

Why, oh why, would someone put a hyphen here?

Perhaps if the writer had a dictionary on her bookshelf, and referred to it occasionally, she wouldn’t make two words out of one and wouldn’t misspell Anais Nin:

I have no idea who or what a “nag chopra” is, but the incense is called Nag Champa and it might be in the hands of a Buddha on a windowsill:

More errors like splitting pickup

misspelling patchouli and misplacing a period might be overlooked by some readers, but not all:

Clearly there’s a misspelling here, but what about the capitalized Mesbian? Who knows if that’s correct? Not the writer, who coined the term and can’t decide if it’s a proper or common noun:

Jeez. Look something up, will ya? It’s Adrian Grenier and prototype, not these messes:

Yet another typo (or considering this writer’s spelling ability, it might just be a misspelling):

And did she could actually think this is a word?

More proof that this spelling-challenged writer shouldn’t be allowed out on the Web without benefit of an editor:

Honey, it’s Patagonia. And you’ve turned a potentially entertaining article into a mess.

Time to break up with your bad writing habits

It’s time for a breakup for this writer on Yahoo! Shine. It might leave her heartbroken, but the time has come.

It’s time for her to break up with her bad writing habits, including arbitrarily hyphenating words.

It’s time for her to call it quits with typos. Can you tell if Laurie plans to see multiple shows or just one show? Nope. You might read and re-read the sentence hopefully, looking for the answer. But you won’t find it:

It’s time for her to learn to punctuate correctly. A roundup of mistakes wouldn’t be complete without mentioning yet another hyphenation abomination and a misplaced apostrophe:

Another bad habit? The writer continues to have trouble with typing the correct number of hyphens in an age here:

and here:

Wait! There’s an extra hyphen here! Maybe she could move it to somewhere else:

It’s time to drop the habit of using celebrity names without checking the spelling. Poor Bret Michaels can’t catch a break with Yahoo!’s writers. Does anyone know what “solidiers” are? Not me!

I do know what this is — a typo that’s supposed to be an abbreviation for New Kids on the Block:

More? A missing hyphen and an unnecessary apostrophe in what should be mid-30s, followed by a typo and a missing hyphen in the compound adjective full-length:

A new habit she should develop? Reading what she’s written to make sure nothing left out:

More of the punctuation problems with a missing hyphen. As important as she might think a breast is, it’s not a proper noun. Finally, it looks like a rather feeble attempt at humor, implying that Danny’s mum is the daughter of a fan of the NKOTB:

Maybe transposing letters isn’t a bad habit; maybe it’s a result of undiagnosed dyslexia:

Another misplaced phrase has me wondering: Why was Joey waiting outside his house at 2 in the morning? And why is this writer still employed?

Yikes! Maybe this writer really is dyslexic and maybe the Space bar on her keyboard malfunctioned when she tried to type cruise ship:

I think she should send a thank-you note to Terribly Write for editing her stuff:

Lordie knows someone should be editing it.

A camel is not a steed

OK, so maybe this isn’t the worst typo ever to appear on Yahoo! Shine:

And the missing hyphens in 31-year-old and misplaced period isn’t horrible:

But calling a camel a “steed”? That’s bad. A steed is a horse. A camel is not a horse. Therefore, a camel is not a steed.

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