It’s just an estimate

I guess this event will be starting at an estimated time of 2 PM. Or maybe an established time of 2 PM:

est style 2

In my estimation, the writers for Yahoo! Style have no idea what the abbreviation for Eastern Standard Time is. Here’s a hint, it doesn’t include a period.

If only there were a way…

If only there were a way for writers to see the exact spelling of a product they’re writing about. Something like oh, maybe a picture of the product. If the writer for Yahoo! Shine had a picture, perhaps she could see how to spell Sandler and Watercolour:

sadler 1

Oopsie. There’s a picture, but she still got the product name wrong. Maybe that’s just an anomaly.

Except that it’s not. Here she manages to miss O2M, too. And not content with messin’ with the product name, she messes with punctuation (with an extraneous period and mysterious comma), grammar (it’s should be its), and spelling of techie (she makes up her own spelling because the one in dictionaries is just too ordinary, and she needs to flex her creative muscle):

sadler 2

I thought there was an actual photo of a product by Ginvera, but noooo. I am wrong. It is a pgoto of something from Ginevra:

sadler 3

If only this writer could actually copy words that are right in front of her, perhaps we might be willing to overlook her other literary shortcomings.

The belt and suspenders of writing

Unsure of how to abbreviate a word? Lack the confidence to use an apostrophe or a period? Then use them both! That’s what the writer/editor for the Yahoo! front page did:

fp govt

There are several acceptable ways to shorten the word government, but using both an apostrophe and a period is not one of them.

It’s not tele vision

Perhaps it’s a love of punctuation that drove the editor for Yahoo! Shine to write TV with periods (it’s not an abbreviation of tele vision) and tearjerkers with a hyphen:


According to several dictionaries (including the American Heritage Dictionary, which the editor could have found on the Yahoo! network), there’s no hyphen in tearjerker.

Writing about the movies

If you’re writing about the movies and you know nothing about writing — or movies — you might work for Yahoo! Movies:

sturgess movies

A real cinema maven knows who Preston Sturges is and knows how to spell his name. A real writer would never form the plural of brother with an apostrophe. And a real writer who writes for a U.S. audience knows that the period goes before the closing quotation mark.

Thank you, Captain Obvious

Who woulda thunk it!? There it is, right on Yahoo! Shine: Anything that is negotiable is — wait for it — negotiable! Yes, everything negotiable is negotiable, except for school administrators:

It’s fairly obvious that the writer doesn’t know the difference between a principle (which is a basic truth, law, or assumption) and a principal (which is someone or something with the highest rank, like a school administrator).  You know what else is obvious? That the writer didn’t do a spell check, because even the crappiest spell checker would find this repeated word:

(Some writers don’t know that if the words within parentheses are a complete sentence, then the ending punctuation belongs inside the parentheses, too.) Oops, here’s a misplaced period:

And here’s another homophonic horror: The possessive pronoun its instead of the contraction it’s:

It’s getting more obvious that the writer doesn’t know when to use an apostrophe, because she missed one here, too:

Pronouns are pesky little things, aren’t they? They generally have to refer to a noun, and when they don’t, they just don’t make a lot of sense:

Is it asking asking too much that a professional writer proofread her work or at least use a spell checker?

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.

No!. Not that!.

Good grief! What kind of education did the Yahoo! Shine writer get? Did it include anything about English grammar and punctuation? Anything? Maybe she was out the day her third-grade teacher told the class not to use both an exclamation mark and a period at the end of a sentence.

Did the teacher also say something about making sure your sentences weren’t sense-free? It was probably unnecessary — except for one little girl who missed the whole point.

But I quibble. So far, Yahoo! Shine is getting raves from unexpected critics. OK, I made that up. In fact, I have no idea what that would mean. I was just parroting what the writer told me:

Wait for it!

Some things are just worth waiting for. Take this little paragraph from Yahoo! Movies — it’s got some great grammatical gaffes. But the best goof is the last. And it’s worth wading through the misplaced period (in the U.S., it belongs before the closing quotation mark), the factual error (the Pickford-Fairbanks marriage actually lasted 16 years), the misspelling of Charlie Chaplin, and the incorrectly named Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Did you wait for it? It’s hilarious, isn’t it? Who the heck thinks Mr. Fairbanks resided as the first president? We all know he resided in Pickfair.

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