Don Johnson attends premiere of ‘Don Johnson’

Well, hello, Miss Steele.

That’s the way this opening on Yahoo! Movies should have been punctuated if you’re an old-school punctuationist:

don johnson movies

That’s not the only punctuation problem in this excerpt: There’s the period outside the quotation marks (in the U.S., it goes before the closing quote) and the missing hyphen in 23-year-old. And while we’re talking errors, how about that extra word in “attended to”? Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith attended the premiere of “Don Johnson.” I wonder if it’s anything like the recently premiered “Don Jon.”

Flexing his weight

Why is it so difficult? I really don’t understand how a professional writer can tap out a city and state and not put at least the comma between them. But that’s what the writer/editor for Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally” did:

coppell texas no com sports pr

But what can you expect from someone who misspells Aliso Viejo and thinks that flexing weight makes sense?

coppell texas no com sports pr 0

Go take a Flying Jeep

Is there some law against using punctuation in a headline? Is that why the writer for Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally” omitted the comma after Dubois and the hyphen in off-road?

jeep sports pr 1

Whatever everpresent means to the writer, it means little or nothing to the reader. Maybe he thinks it means “always in existence,” in which case, it certainly doesn’t apply to any automobile. Technically (and grammatically) speaking, who should be used to refer to human beings only and not to some comic strip character with a tail. Wouldn’t it be great if the writer had looked at the picture he included with the article before deciding to call the mascot “Flying Jeeps”?

jeep sports pr 2

Perhaps if the writer knew how to pronounce cache (it’s just like cash), he would have chosen a more appropriate word, like cachet (which is pronounced cashay):

jeep sports pr 3

I think there’s a word missing here, but I have no idea what it is:

jeep sports pr 4

Once in a while a set of errors happens to land in a single paragraph. One of those errors is a subject-verb disagreement and the others involve the spelling of Merrillville:

jeep sports pr 5

What sound does a flying tomato make?

When a flying tomato lands, I imagine a “splat” sound. But what sound does it make in flight? That’s the question I’m left with after reading this on Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally”:

hear that

See that, readers? That’s what happens when you neglect to include a comma before the name (or nickname) of the person being addressed. The Flying Tomato is Shaun White, an American professional snowboarder and skateboarder.

A 5-year-old would know better

Even a 5-year-old would know that there’s a hyphen missing from this caption on Yahoo! Shine:

5-year old shine

Breaking news: Dress did not attack people

Listen, people! If you think that the dress that Jennifer Lawrence wore to the SAG Awards ripped, criticized, or attacked people, you are mistaken. I know this because I read it on Yahoo! Shine:

rip people shine

If you think that the writer of that headline is ignorant of the need for a comma to set off a direct address, you would be correct. The writer is actually addressing people and a comma before people would have told you that. Get that, people?

Absolutely appositively wrong

It’s a little thing, but it means a lot. At least to me. I’m talking about the comma, of course. And about the grammatical geniuses on the Yahoo! front page who have no idea when to use one:

Here’s a hint: There’s a comma missing after the word installment. And for those who are still following along, it’s required because Skyfall is in apposition to installment.

An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that defines or further identifies the noun or noun phrase that precedes it. If an appositive is essential to the meaning of the noun preceding it, then there’s no comma between the two. So, this would be correct:

The hit singer lends her lush vocals to the 007 installment “Skyfall.”

If the noun preceding the appositive provides sufficient identification on its own, use commas around the appositive. The title “Skyfall” is an appositive. It’s not essential to uniquely identify the noun installment  because there’s only one next 007 installment; there’s no confusion about which 007 movie the writer is referring to.

The hit singer lends her lush vocals to the next 007 installment, “Skyfall.”

So, that’s the grammatical geek explanation. My explanation is, put a comma wherever you think there should be a pause.

She’s not even trying

Some professional writers get paid even when they put little or no effort in the accuracy and quality of their writing. Those writers usually work for Yahoo!. And often, they write for Yahoo! Shine and produce articles like this.

What object would make a 6-foot trail behind a woman? Oh, maybe a 6-foot train:

Is Frieda Pinto related to Freida Pinto? That misspelling can’t distract me from the writer’s inability to use the correct word. The wrong word (finding instead of find) certainly detracts from the article:

I would be belittling the writer’s ability if I said she is one of the sloppiest scribes on the Web.

She definitely has a problem including indefinite articles (which would be a and an):

If you thought the writer just made a typo when she wrote about that 6-foot trail, think again. I wonder if it was a man arranging Eva Longoria’s backside. Lucky guy:

Hey, writer, try using a comma once in a while:

Hey, writer, try using a dictionary, too. You might find out how to spell cat’s-eye, flattop, and Martian. Consult a real editor and you might find out there’s no apostrophe in 1960s.

Here’s the final proof that this writer isn’t even trying. She probably misheard this actress’s name on some cheesy celeb-gossip TV show. So, she thinks this is Marion Cotillard’s real name:

A smorgasbord of errors on

The Yahoo! front page, home of the Web’s most visited site, offers us a potpourri of perfidious proofreading problems, starting with Pilates:

Pilates is a proper noun; it gets a capital P.

Proper punctuation eludes the proofreaders, too, with this missing comma:

Jimmy Buffett is not a buffet, which is like a smorgasbord, but with an early bird special:

Is that a period, a decimal point, or just another typo?

Rounding out the problems on is the worst misstep of them all:

I read it or I didn’t. I forget

Did the writer for Yahoo! Shine really read the newspaper article that she wrote about? Or did she read it and forget what she read?

Um. Maybe she should have read the newspaper banner that she so graciously included in the article. Or maybe she tried, but Jeffersonian Democrat was just too long for her to remember, so she made up a name for the newspaper.

I guess she didn’t actually read the newspaper article either, because she would have seen that the subject was from Brookville and her son is Scott Bennett:

If she had proofread her writing, she would have found out that there’s a typo:

I’m not suggesting the writer is dumb, but she doesn’t know that a comma is required before but when it joins two independent clauses. And perhaps she was playing hooky the day her elementary school teacher taught the class how to spell:

This is a relatively minor point, but there needs to be two hyphens in this age:

I guess she forgot that, too.

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