So much to know

Professional writers have to carry around a lot of knowledge. They need to know grammar, spelling, English, and maybe something about the subject of their writing. At least that’s what I thought until I started reading Yahoo! Style. As it turns out, you don’t need to know much to be a paid professional there. You can drop words from sentences:

saddle bag sty

You can display an ignorance of your subject matter. (The handbag style known as a saddle bag was not inspired by a saddle. It was inspired by a little something called a saddle bag — which attaches to a saddle.) You certainly don’t need to know how to spell giddyup, which is an interjection used here as a verb. And you don’t need to provide details like the number of bags in the world. Personally I think that last sentence should include “only one billion trillion of each.”

Lafayette shooting authorities had mental problems

In a startling revelation not reported by legitimate news media, the writer for Yahoo! Politics tells us that the “authorities” investigating the Lafayette theater shootings had their own mental health problems:

history of mental news

Oh, what a difference a dropped word can make!

Mad Libs of the Internet

It’s time for another round of Mad Libs of the Internet where you, the reader, must supply the missing word or words. This time the pranksters at yahoo.com have left out a verb:

fp doesnt big

I think this should be “Erin Allard doesn’t hunt big bucks.” What’s your suggestion?

Let’s be honest

Let’s be honest: This Yahoo! Style writer has no idea that let’s is a contraction of let us and requires an apostrophe:

lets be honest sty

She also doesn’t realize that eleven years is not a wait, but a length of time, which might be a long time to wait for something. Maybe she thought eleven years is a long time to wait for an education, and dropped out of high school. Maybe if she had stayed in school she would have learned a little grammar, like matching a pronoun with its antecedent.

Reader seeking missing word

At least one reader of yahoo.com is seeking a missing word from this sentence:

fp seeking

Is that Spanglish?

¡Ack! What language was this written in? Some hybrid of Spanish and English?

sweat ans

Maybe next time the writer for Yahoo! Answers attempts to write a sentence, he or she won’t feel it necessary to use an inverted exclamation mark and won’t fall asleep before completing that sentence.

Readers are trying resolve missing word mystery

Where did it go? How did a word slip out of the Yahoo! front page without an editor or proofreader noticing? Readers are trying to resolve this mystery:

fp trying resolve

Put a little word in the ol’ sentence

A missing word isn’t the worst mistake the writer for Yahoo! Makers made. It’s the apostrophe that signals a missing letter that is:

ole apos mak

An apostrophe can be used to form contractions and it’s used to show how a word is pronounced, often with the final letter missin’. So, what letter is missing from ole’? I think it’s an O: oleo, a popular word in crossword puzzles and a shortening of oleomargarine, more commonly known as margarine.

Nitpicnicking

I admit it: Sometimes I’m just really nitpicky. I read a sentence like this one on Yahoo! Makers and say (sometimes out loud): What the heck does the writer mean?

picnic 1

Is she saying that sitting down at a dinner table (as opposed to preparing that dinner) requires no thought, but a “picnic situation” (which I presume is different from a picnic) requires thought and planning? I don’t get the comparison. I also don’t get why logisics and differnt passed through the spell-checker unchecked. Oh, yeah, I forgot: Yahoo! writers don’t use spell-checkers.   They also don’t believe in proofreading for missing words. But I quibble.

And and I don’t understand how a writer can misspell separately, since separate appears on every list of the 100 most commonly misspelled words. Shouldn’t a professional writer know that?

picnic seperately

Is it nitpicky to expect that a writer would know that picnicing, if it were a real word, would be pronounced pick-nice-ing?

picnic ing

In order to maintain the hard C sound at the end of picnic, the writer should have added a K: picnicking. But I pick nits.

It’s never too late proofread

Proving that it may be too late for some people to learn to proofread, the home page of Yahoo! Makers features a faulty headline:

to late learn diy hp

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