Battling verbosity

If battling means “fighting against,” does “battling against him” mean “fighting against against him”? I say “Yes!” But the editors at the Yahoo! front page say “Huh?”

fp battling against

Rihanna scared off by one photographer

Here’s some surprising information about singer Rihanna on Yahoo! Style:

paparazzo sty

Just ignore the redundant dollar sign and the word dollar, which is weird. Focus instead on the paparazzo. It’s hard to believe there was only one pestering her; I would have thought there would be paparazzi. Of course, I would have also thought the writer knew that paparazzo is singular; paparazzi is its plural. The rest of the sentence totally eludes me; I have no clue what the writer is trying to convey.

Go play outside!

My advice to whoever wrote this for Yahoo! Makers: Step away from the keyboard and go play outside for a bit. I think you’re a little stressed and could use a break. Then come back and remove a couple of words from this headline:

play in the out diy


It’s chock-full of errors

How can one little paragraph be so chock-full of errors? Simple. It’s from Yahoo! Makers, where quality writing is not a priority.

london bridge

The preferred spelling at the American Heritage Dictionary is chock-full, although chockfull is also acceptable. The preferred reference by anyone familiar with English is Big Ben, not the Big Ben. If the writer is referring to London Bridge (with a capital B) it doesn’t get the before it either. But if she’s referring to generic bridges, it doesn’t get a capital B. Who knows what she means?

Befitting a high school newspaper?

I’ve seen high school newspapers that are better written than Yahoo! Style. You don’t need a high school diploma to spot the missing word between in and white or to find the misspelled white. All you need is a basic knowledge of English to know that these errors are not befitting a professionally written website read by millions around the world:

is befitting for sty

This may take require a proofreader

Welcome to writing in the 21st century, where the Yahoo! front page may take (or require) a proofreader to clean up the errors:

fp may take require

Where else would they be?

Not to be confused with knee epaulettes, waist epaulettes, or foot epaulettes, shoulder epaulettes are featured on Yahoo! Style:

epaulettes sty

What this writer doesn’t know is that epaulettes are, by definition, shoulder ornaments. The word epaulette is derived from épaule, French for shoulder.

Nonsense non-sentence

This looked like it was going to be a real sentence on the Yahoo! front page, but one word too many turned it into a non-sentence:

fp after and

The writer should have deleted either after (at the beginning of the sentence) or and (in the middle).

Woe is me!

Woe is me! I made the mistake of reading this headline on Yahoo! Style:

woes me 1

I couldn’t figure out if Mr. Blacc had won the writer over or bowled her over. Does it matter? This writer was obviously suffering from the encounter and it spills over into her writing.

This gal loves her some commas, which she sprinkles liberally throughout the piece along with an extraneous word or two. But the fun for us is trying to figure out how a black suit comes with a white jacket:

woes me 2

Let’s say fare-thee-well to “has fared him well,” because that makes no sense. This writer is obviously a tad vocabulary-challenged. Perhaps she meant “has served him well.” A dictionary might just serve her well.

woes me 3

Ack! I’m running out of red ink!

Few things irk me more than really bad writing by people who are paid to write. Unless it’s management that allows really bad writing to be published. And one indication of bad writing is the amount of red ink I bleed on a page. So, this article from Yahoo! Style is really bad and I’m really irked.

Omitting a hyphen from an age is a relatively minor, but totally unnecessary, mistake:

bush 1

Using the wrong word? Not minor mistake in my opinion, although I alternately agree and disagree that the writer should be taken out behind to the woodshed:

bush 2

It’s hard to imagine a writer confusing alternatively with alternately. With mistakes like that, this writer will never receive the acclaim of legitimate writers, unless she acquires the services of a competent editor:

bush 3

Her word choice continues to be sketchy at best: No, didgeridoos and balalaikas are not a few instruments, they are two instruments:

bush 4

More red ink! I need more red ink! Or at least an explanation for why there’s a the in front of Bush’s mystique but none in front of performer, why she didn’t put the only in front of the word it modifies (which is one), why it’s not an accidental death, and why this writer can’t match a verb (which should be have kept) to its subject:

bush 5

Just how old is a bohemian? And is a “slight bohemian age” like dog-years?

bush 6

I guess we should expect a writer who doesn’t know the difference between a bohemian age and a bohemian edge to care about spelling a name correctly, like Clare Waight Keller:

bush 7

Are you still with me? If so, then you got to the best of the worst word usages of all times: the blouses with the bellowing sleeves. I’ve heard of loud prints, but never loud sleeves. I wonder if they’re red.


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