And then I stopped reading

I admit it. I really wasn’t interested in this article from Yahoo! Style, but I thought I could force myself to read it. And then I read it. Actually, I only read the first paragraph and couldn’t bring myself to read any further:

You may think you know Yahoo! writers, what with their use of incorrect words, but you don’t know half of it. My comments are based on the evidence (not based off of it). This paragraph is the latest brainchild of a Yahoo! writer (of “I don’t know where to put the parenthesis fame”).

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What to expect

If you’re a regular reader of Yahoo! Shine, you know what to expect — mistakes, and lots of them. You know that writers often drop words, especially little ones:

You know that the writers often misspell names, like Allison Benedikt. (If you can’t look at the name and reproduce on a keyboard, try copy and paste. It really is that easy.) You also expect punctuation errors. (If there is a complete sentence within parentheses and it’s not embedded in another sentence, put the period in there, too.)

In this article about the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” the writer shortens the title to “What to Expect.” But, it should get some capital letters and quotation marks; otherwise, it just looks like a confusing mess. Another expected missing word (the expression is “weighing in on”) and a misspelling (it’s copycats):

And depending on whom you ask, who is the wrong word. (If you ask a Shine writer, they probably think it’s OK.)

One misspelled name is never enough for Shine staffers. Vicki Iodine sounds like a healer. Or a typo. Her name is Vicki Iovine.

What to expect when you’re reading Shine: Errors. And lots of them.

Maybe she’s an egomaniac

What do you call a writer whose works appear on one of the most popular sites on the Internet, and yet doesn’t bother to spell-check her pearls? Arrogant? Lazy? Or maybe simply an egomaniac who doesn’t believe she could make a mistake? Me? I’d call her a writer for Yahoo! Shine:

Someone who doesn’t bother to proofread her gems wouldn’t notice a missing parenthesis, a missing word, a misspelled FAO Schwarz, and the quaint amidst:

This description of a hairstyle is so confusing, I bet even the writer has no idea what she meant:

It should come as no surprise that the woman knows little about punctuation or grammar. The period belongs before the closing parenthesis (because that’s a complete sentence inside the parens). She could remove the ring more easily (an adverb is required to modify the verb remove). Is tweet a proper noun? No, it’s not. It’s now accepted as a verb:

Here’s a sighting of a homophonic error and a truly ridiculous grammatical error:

Maybe this writer is an egomaniac. Maybe she needs to ask for an editor. Maybe she just doesn’t care.

When lightening strikes

Reading this article on Yahoo! Shine had me wondering: What happens when a “mega-mansion” is struck by lightening? It gets lighter. Black turns to gray; beige turns to white; red turns to pink. It could be worse: It could be struck by lightning. That would be bad. Like, burning up the house bad.

Not really bad, but really wrong was failure to capitalize Boy Scout:

A premiere is the opening or debut of a movie or play. Premier means “first in position or rank.” Guess which word the writer should have used here:

Oh, this is relatively unimportant after those errors, but the writer placed that period in the wrong place. It belongs after the right parenthesis because it applies to the entire sentence, not just the words in the parens.

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.

Don’t bother applying for these jobs

Are you a journalist looking for a job? The media reporter for Yahoo! News has found a few openings, but is he qualified for any of them? Not if the hiring organizations value little details like accuracy.

In the article, the Yahoo! staffer decides to relocate Sarasota, which is on the coast of central Florida, to the southeastern corner of the state:

He obviously has a little trouble with punctuation (omitting a comma and adding a parenthesis), proofreading (doubling a word), and spelling difficult place-names like Berkeley:

So this Yahoo! reporter may not be ready for respected journalistic organizations. But he’s doing just fine at Yahoo!, where the bar is considerably lower.

Not an editor in sight

Apparently when this article was written for Yahoo! Shine there wasn’t an editor in sight:

That might be why this word is indistinguishable from a wrong word:

When did cottage cheese become a proper noun? Uh, never. And when did Jell-o become a common one? Uh, only in the writer’s mind. Can anyone explain what “in an era where less processed foods are healthier” means? Even if the writer had used the correct word when instead of where, I’d still be lost. And let’s talk about her inability to distinguish a contraction from a verb and a typo from right word:

Perhaps an editor might have spotted the an extra word, misplaced punctuation, and a misspelled Bieber and pomade:

It takes a great deal of moxie to use a Latin abbreviation when your English is so wobbly. The correct abbreviation is et al. The Internet still requires a capital letter. The plural of BlackBerry is BlackBerrys. (The whole “change the Y to I and add ES doesn’t apply to proper nouns.)

How does the writer get away with errors that proliferate in her writing?

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.

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