Errors pervade Yahoo

Errors pervade the writing at Yahoo!, like this misused word from Yahoo! Sports:

purveys mlb

Purvey means to “provide or sell.” The word that means to “spread throughout” is pervade or permeate.

Not an unusual error

There seems to be a general impression with Yahoo! staffers that the correct indefinite article before a word starting with a vowel is an, not a. Sometimes it is. But not always, as illustrated on the home page of Yahoo! Celebrity:

an uterine cel

It doesn’t matter what letter the word begins with; it matters what letter it sounds like it begins with. So, it’s an unusual rule, but a useful one.

Head over heels

Remember the saying “Time wounds all heels”? When my friends and I were in our teens, we used to think it has hilarious and a genius takeoff on the saying “Time heals all wounds.” We knew the difference between heals and heels, which is more than I can say for the staff at Yahoo! Finance:

heels fin

Stick to what you know

My advice to this Yahoo! Style writer: Stick to what you know. I have no idea what that might be, but it isn’t animal husbandry:

lactose sty

Lactose isn’t necessary for the digestion of milk; it is found in milk. The enzyme that’s necessary to break down lactose is lactase.

This is not Absolutely Fabulous

In a brief paragraph about the new flick “Absolutely Fabulous,” the Yahoo! Style staff manages to screw up the movie’s title, squish together two words (which I wouldn’t have bothered to mention, except there it is), and come up with a new preposition for the common expression reminisce about:

ab fam sty

What’s your editor doing?

You probably don’t want to do what this editor for Yahoo! Sports did — mistaking you’re for your:

youre dad mlb

I don’t think the writer is confused by a possessive pronoun (like your) and a contraction (you’re, meaning “you are”). He did manage to use you’re correctly at the start of the sentence.

It’s so unclear

After reading this on yahoo.com, I can’t figure out which players were fined:

fp its players

Were all WNBA players fined? It seems unlikely, but I’m hard-pressed to find any other singular noun that could be the antecedent for its. It’s more likely that the players on three teams were fined. If that’s the case, it’s clear that the writer should have referred to their players.

Readers’ favorite writer

If you’re one of those readers who cringes when you encounter a typo or — horrors!— a grammatical error, you’ll want to skip this article on Yahoo! Style. The writer seems to have a problem with a common rule we all learned in third grade:

starss style

Perhaps the writer didn’t know if she was writing about one star (and therefore should use star’s) or more than one (requiring stars’). So, she combined the possessives into misguided mashup.

Except for the differences, they’re the same

The staff at Yahoo! Movies seems to be just a little bit challenged, vocabulary-wise. And facial-hair-wise, too:

handlebar sty

That claim that Mr. Depp sported a handlebar mustache is a little misleading. This is the facial hair that the writers claim is called a handlebar mustache:

handlebar pic sty

And this is a handlebar mustache:

handlebar pic

They look exactly the same, don’t they? Well, no. They look completely different, but I quibble.

Stephen Colbert would know better

The editors over at yahoo.com seem to be engaging in a little truthiness themselves, spelling a word coined by Stephen Colbert without regard for logic or evidence:

fp truthiness

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