All by one photographer

I know that paparazzi can seem to be everywhere, but is it really possible that one photographer took all the pictures for this article on Yahoo! Movies?

paparazzo mov

It’s possible, but not likely. What is likely: The writer thinks that paparazzo is a plural, meaning photographers. It is not. It is the singular of paparazzi.


Would you call it a photographers?

No, you wouldn’t refer to “a photographers,” would you? That makes as much sense as writing about “a paparazzi,” since paparazzi is the plural of paparazzo. But that’s what the writer for Yahoo! Style did:

a pap sty

Grammatically challenged

Long-time readers of Terribly Write know all too well that many Yahoo! writers are grammatically challenged. Here’s more proof from Yahoo! TV:

pap was tv


Oy! When it comes to words based on Italian, they’re even more challenged. The word paparazzi is plural; its singular is paparazzo. A paparazzo is “a freelance photographer who doggedly pursues celebrities to take candid pictures for sale to magazines and newspapers” (American Heritage Dictionary). The word is taken from the name Paparazzo, a character who was a photographer in Federico Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita.

As for the end of that paragraph: I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. None.

Keeping up with the paparazzi

If the writer had been keeping up with Italian, this mismatch of subject and verb wouldn’t have appeared on Yahoo! omg!:

pap is omg

If there’s just one photog, that’s a paparazzo; more than one is paparazzi. The word paparazzo is taken from the name of a character in La Dolce Vita, a 1960 film by Federico Fellini.

‘Teenage Paparazzo’ and the (misplaced parentheses)

There’s more one than one teenage paparazzo on the new documentary “Teenage Paparazzo,” according to Yahoo! TV:

I don’t know how a writer makes a mistake like that, with the title of the show right in front of his or her eyes. But I guess it’s not surprising considering the writer can’t see the misplaced parenthesis, either.

The only thing being ruined is the English language

How many crimes against the language can one writer commit before an article is totally ruined? I think it just takes one, if it involves yelling at your readers: 

In case your standards are different, the article on Yahoo! Shine provides additional evidence of the ruinous felonies: The comma is wrong and Marc Mezvinsky is actually Ms. Clinton’s fiancé. Speculation is singular and requires a singular verb. Why separate a verb from its subject with another comma?

Bard College gets ruined with the just one capital letter:

The worst-case scenario for readers? That this writer will continue to produce crap without regard to grammar. I don’t know what Shine’s standard is for numbers, but most authorities recommend not spelling out numbers as large as 100. Something’s obviously wrong with the writer’s thinking: I know one word is capitalized, but is it paparazzi or secret service? She picked one and it was the wrong one:

Gawd, why can’t professional writers spell Hillary Clinton’s name correctly?

I’m done. The article has been ruined for me. How about you?

Paparazzi confound writer

It’s a sad day when a writer (this time on Yahoo! omg!) doesn’t know how to match a verb with its plural subject:

Paparazzi is the plural of paparazzo.

Britney Spears and cringe-inducing errors

When I see some errors on the Web I think that the writer is sloppy, lazy, and maybe devoid of some basic smarts. I don’t mean to be rude, but that’s what I thought when I read an article about Britney Spears on Yahoo! Shine. Among the clichés, punctuation problems, and bloated sentences are these cringe-inducing errors: 


Apparently the writer knows that paparazzo is the singular form of paparazzi, but couldn’t figure out that the plural form of paparazzo is paparazzi.

Did you make questionable dating choices in the 1920s? I’m thinking maybe the writer got a tad bit confused and used an apostrophe (which signals the omission of letters or numbers) here:


What’s worse than confusing a Mouseketeer with a musketeer? Confusing a Mouseketeer with a musketeer AND misspelling musketeer:


Kevin probably came out looking like a real standup citizen, not just a citizen who can stand up:


I’m not sure that Ms. Spears hired Mr. Lutfi as both her manager and her boyfriend (maybe just as her boyfriend), but I am sure his name is incorrect:


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