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.

Did I mention the bedrooms?

When you’re selling your house, be sure to advertise the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Maybe mention it twice. It’s just that important. And that’s why the writer for Yahoo! Celebrity mentioned it twice:


That’s an F for failure

If this photo caption from Yahoo! Style were written by a fourth grader, it’d get an F for a big fat failure:

show pre-nuptials sty

How the heck does this get published by one of the largest Internet companies in the world? The repeated word, the use of an apostrophe for an abbreviation, the misspelled launched and polka are all bad. Very bad. But the worst of these horrendous errors is the totally nonsensical, meaningless pile of words that ends the paragraph.

Do I repeat myself? Repeat myself?

“It was repetitive,” said the reader said of the Yahoo! front page :

fp said said

Flaming out

This sentence on Yahoo! Celebrity started out OK, and then flamed out when it came to spelling flambéed and avoiding duplicating words:

flambed cel

How’s that proofreading going? How’s that proofreading going?

It’s not uncommon to see mistakes on Yahoo! DIY. It’s not uncommon to see mistakes on Yahoo! DIY. Like repeated sentences. Like repeated sentences. And sentences that never get an end because the writer nodded off. And sentences that never get an end because the writer nodded off.

ind wed diy

Kinda illustrates the need for proofreading, doesn’t it?

The plays the things

Does this mean that Nick Jonas plays twice as much or twice as hard as others? What does this repetition on Yahoo! Celebrity really mean? Oh, yeah. It means nobody there bothers to proofread:

plays plays celeb

Style really does bite!

At Yahoo! Style, writing mistakes aren’t restricted to the words on a Web page — they extend to videos, too. Who could miss this misspelling of Café d’Étoile? Oh, yeah, that would be everyone at Style:

cafe detolie style

That video is part of a series called “Style Bites,” and it couldn’t be more aptly named, unless it were called “Writing on Style Bites.” Because the writing really is awful — far below any standard you should expect from a professionally written site. Where else can you see a misspelling of both Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli?

cafe detolie style 2

UPDATE: Well, lookie here. The brain trust at Style made some changes to that paragraph, correcting the spelling of Ms. Streisand’s name, overlooking the misspelling of Ms. Minnelli’s name, and misspelling Tinker Bell’s moniker:

cafe detolie style 3

And they’ve add some information about Mr. Mackie: He doesn’t consider himself a fashion designer in this episode. But I really wasn’t expecting him to design fashions in an online video. So that’s not news, is it?

The really bestest change was to the name of the video series: Fashion Bites. So, now it’s the subject of the website that bites. But really, Style bites, too.

Caught up in Phillip Phillips

Maybe the writer for the Yahoo! front page got caught up in the whole repeating name thing with Phillip Phillips and and couldn’t help a random repetition:

fp and and

What color is a little black dress?

The editors for Yahoo! Style, who collectively wrote an article about Jennifer Aniston, forgot what the abbreviation LBD means and how to form the plural of LBD:

black lbd style

LBD is short for “little black dress.” Hence, the adjective before LBD is a little redundant. And the plural of the abbreviation doesn’t include an apostrophe.


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