I do not think it means what you think it means

If you’re a writer whose words are read by millions of people around the world, you shouldn’t use words that you don’t understand. Or that you only think you understand. The yahoo.com writer responsible for this brilliant sentence probably thinks it makes sense. It does not:

fp drudgery

Drudgery is “tedious, menial, or unpleasant work” (American Heritage Dictionary). So, what did the writer really mean? I have no idea. Do you?

That’s not nice

It’s not nice to laugh and point at others who have stumbled. Case in point, the writer for Yahoo! News’ “Trending Now” who has a little problem with English:

case and point ledge

I point this out to be instructive: The idiom is case in point.  And any father would be wise to keep a baby off a building’s ledge. But it wasn’t a ledge that was attracting the toddler; it was a balcony.  As Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.

Headline mix-up

I can’t imagine what a “pregnancy mix” would be, but it sounds like it involves multiple sperm donors and a Waring blender.

mix shine

An alternate explanation? This is just one more mix-up on Yahoo! Shine.

Not affordable?

I guess maybe a spell-checker just isn’t affordable for the folks at the Yahoo! front page:

fp affordabe

Let’s hope this puts an end to the typos on yahoo.com:

fp and end

Neither is correct

The word pair neither…nor is a correlative conjunction. They go together like peas and carrots, as Mr. Gump would say. Except on Yahoo! Movies:

neither or movies

and Yahoo! Sports:

neither or sports

Watch this!

Do you think the editor was watching the Yahoo! Shine writer compose this headline?

watches on shine

I hope not. I hope a real editor knows that watch means “to look on” and that the on is redundant. Either “…as Kate Middleton watches” or “…as Kate Middleton looks on” is correct. (Of course, there are those who would also argue that referring to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as “Kate Middleton” constitutes a higher crime.)

When a spell-checker isn’t enough

I’m constantly bitching about the misspellings on Yahoo!. I don’t understand why writers don’t use a spell-checker to catch misspellings like immitations and annoucement. Sometimes, however, (actually, I say always) you need a real human bean spell-checker. Someone who could read this on Yahoo! Finance and know that it’s wrong:

as simple impossible finance

Let me make this as simple as possible: No spell-checker would flag that as incorrect.

Only a live proofreader or editor would spot this error — unless, of course, they work for Yahoo! Shine:

kicked our of shine

There’s no spell-checker that would notice that this isn’t the right word on Yahoo! News:

manger news

Hugely unsuccessfully writing

Here’s a hugely unsuccessful sentence on the Yahoo! front page:

fp successfully

It’s official: That’s the wrong word

Using the wrong word isn’t all that unusual on Yahoo! Shine. Sometimes the writer uses a verb (like, oh, say, maybe officiate), when a noun is called for (I’m thinkin’ something like officiant):


An officiant officiates at a religious or other ceremony, such as a wedding.

Is David Ortiz out of sports?

David “Big Papi” Ortiz has a special relationship with Boston. You’d think that it would have something to do with his job as a DH for the Boston Red Sox, but it has nothing to do with “the world of sports,” as they say over at the Yahoo! front page:

fp world of sports

If you don’t find it in the world of sports, does that mean Mr. Ortiz has left Fenway Park and baseball? Perhaps the geniuses at yahoo.com really mean that the relationship is rare or even unique in the world of sports.


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