That’s my word and I’m stickin’ with it

In an age when writers — even professional writers like those at Yahoo! Makers — don’t know much about the language they’re writing in, you’re bound to find an incorrect word:

in an age where 1

The writer is so fond of the word where to refer to time (instead of when), she repeats:

in an age where 2

She may not be the most careful writer, but ya’ gotta give her credit for persistence.

Spreading goo with a goo bomb

Yikes! Who would want to diffuse a goo bomb, which would spread its contents?

diffuse tv

Methinks the writer for  Yahoo! TV would suggest defusing the bomb, to make it fuse-free and nonexplosive.

Lafayette shooting authorities had mental problems

In a startling revelation not reported by legitimate news media, the writer for Yahoo! Politics tells us that the “authorities” investigating the Lafayette theater shootings had their own mental health problems:

history of mental news

Oh, what a difference a dropped word can make!

Whoever decided this was correct…

Whoever decided that whomever was correct in this excerpt from Yahoo! Style was wrong:

whomever decided sty

The pronoun whomever is the objective case of whoever, meaning that it can be the object of a preposition, but not the subject of a verb like, oh, say decided.

Sometimes I think writers use whom and whomever because they think it sounds more sophisticated or erudite. When used correctly, it might.

I’d be Blogger Laura

Whoa! Here’s a coupla creative uses of capital letters on Yahoo! Beauty:

actress model cap bea

Can you imagine if everyone thought it was correct to capitalize a person’s occupation when it preceded a name? Then we’d be reading about bombastic Businessman Donald Trump, retiring Comedian Jon Stewart, and the late Author E.L. Doctorow.

And I’d be Blogger Laura. Hey, I kinda like that.

Will this produce reader pushback?

Readers of might consider a little pushback when it comes to the Internet giant’s policy of refusing to proofread or edit its content. Maybe then it would eliminate repeated words and arbitrary hyphens in words like pushback:

fp push-back 2

But is pushback, even if spelled correctly, the right word? Probably not. It means a resistance or opposition to something, like a policy, plan, or strategy. What Macy’s is doing competing with Amazon or responding to Amazon.

A terse comment

I’m going to make a terse comment about this photo caption on Yahoo! Style: It sucks.

terse sty

There. That’s terse. It’s brief, concise, and to the point. I have no idea what the writer thinks terse means, but it doesn’t mean whatever she thinks it means.

Mad Libs of the Internet

It’s time for another round of Mad Libs of the Internet where you, the reader, must supply the missing word or words. This time the pranksters at have left out a verb:

fp doesnt big

I think this should be “Erin Allard doesn’t hunt big bucks.” What’s your suggestion?

Published before its time

It looks like no one checked this photo caption on Yahoo! Style before it was published:

tk style

The letters TK are what real journalists use to stand for “to come,” meaning that some details will be filled in later by the writer and that the text is not ready for publication. So it’s both surprising to me that the writer knew this abbreviation and not surprising to me that the article was published with it intact.

Infamous writing

Once again a Yahoo! writer shows his ignorance of the English language by using the word infamous as if it were a synonym for famous. It is not. Here’s what the Yahoo! Travel writer said:

infamous tra

That Sunday brunch would be infamous if it had poisoned of hundreds of patrons, maybe even causing a few deaths. It would be infamous if it were the site of a mass murder perpetrated by the wait staff. To be infamous, it must have an exceedingly bad reputation; it must be notorious or been involved in a heinous crime. I don’t recall that being the case. But I could be wrong.


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