Who is a brand?

There are more errors than you think that are on Yahoo! Style, including the use of who for a nonliving thing (twice!) and a holiday called Independence:

who sty

The pronoun who should be used only for people (and possibly animals with human-like characteristics); the correct word is that (in this excerpt) or which. The holiday the writer refers to is called Independence Day.

Adapting to change

Readers of the Yahoo! front page are probably wondering if an adaption of a novel is anything like an adaptation:

fp adaption

It is. The word adaption means adaptation, the preferred word that appears far more often than adaption. Some authorities don’t recognize adaption as an actual word; some recommend replacing it with adaptation. And at least one says that you should never use both words.

July 4th fireworks

If you live in the United States, you’ve heard of July 4th and the tradition of exploding fireworks. But if you write headlines for Yahoo! Makers you might be a little confused between the difference between firework (which is device that is exploded) and fireworks, the actual display of the explosive devices. And you might not know how to spell July:

julty diy

That’s two mistakes that are simply made by careless writers or editors.

Having a bad day?

Someone (or someones) must be having a bad day over at Yahoo! Celebrity, because there’s more than an average number of mistakes on the site’s home page.

Maybe the writer is a bit under the weather, and didn’t think to hit the Shift key when writing about the Bible:

cel bible

Or maybe the writer is struggling with the whole transgender thing, and it’s affected his or her spelling:

cel trangender

That might explain difficulty with choosing a pronoun here:

cel pic of her

The pronoun her is close, and yet so wrong. A reflexive pronoun like herself is required when the pronoun refers to the subject of the sentence.

Well, the day is young (at least where I am); maybe it’ll get better for the folks at Yahoo.

Fans watch out

I’m probably one of the few grammar fans who always watch out for mismatched subject-verb pairs. It stems from childhood when my friends and I would each pick a subject and then try to find the correct verb. I would have been thrilled to read this on Yahoo! Sports, with its mismatch of subject (fans) and verb (which should be watch) and where instead of when:

watches spo


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.

Where can you find C-suit executives?

Have you heard of C-suite executives? They’re the men and women at the C-level of a corporation: chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief operations officer and others. What do they wear? C-suits? That’s a new term just coined by a Yahoo! Finance writer, though I suspect she inadvertently dropped a letter:


I do not think it means what you think it means

Mysterious words have proliferated throughout Yahoo! Style as a result of one writer’s ignorance of basic English:

proliferated sty

I do not think proliferated means what she thinks it means. She probably thinks it means infiltrated. It does not.

Tennis skirt, anyone?

It wouldn’t be a proper Yahoo! Style article without an incorrect word changing the meaning of a sentence:

tennis skirt

Prime ministers on the English channel?

Huh? I have no idea what prime ministers (AKA premiers) on a channel have to do with Caitlyn Jenner. Those editors at Yahoo! Style always manage to confuse me:

premiers channel

I think I’ll just give up trying to figure out what that means. I’m going to watch a little TV. Maybe I’ll catch Ms. Jenner’s show, which premieres on the E! network.


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