Inducted into Wrong Word Hall of Fame

The Yahoo! Style writer should be indoctrinated inducted into the Wrong Word Hall of Fame for this goof:

indoctrinated into sty

Dumbest Statement of the Day

I hesitate to call this the Dumbest Statement of the Day because the day is still young (at least where I am) and there’s still plenty of time for Yahoo! staffers to make boneheaded mistakes. With that caveat in mind, I present this headline from the home page of Yahoo! Style:

ballerinas sty hp

The “ballerinas” in question are male dancers. No real ballerinas (who are exclusively female dancers) appear in the commercial. It is just a figment of the writer’s brain and tenuous grasp of the English language.

Writing is such a hassle

Writing is such a hassle. You have to know how to spell. You have to know grammar. You have to know dozens — maybe even hundreds — of words. Except if you write for Yahoo! Style, where writing seems to be hassle-free. You can even use the word hassle when you forget what a tassel is called:

hassle ties sty

For the record

For the record, petit is pronounced like petty and is used mainly in law to mean lesser in seriousness. Maybe you’ve heard of petit (or petty) larceny? It doesn’t mean short and slender or small in size. That would be petite. And that’s the word the Yahoo! Style writer should have used:

petit sty

Exuding a passion for words

Here’s a writer for Yahoo! Travel who exudes a passion for words:

exuberate trav

She loves words so much that she uses them in new and whimsical ways — ways that bear no resemblance to their actual meaning.

The spelling’s right, but the word is wrong

I’m a big believer in using a spell-checker. I don’t expect it to find every mistake I make and I don’t rely solely on one to do my proofreading. But as useful as one is, it won’t find a mistake if it’s spelled correctly. So, even if the writer for Yahoo! Makers used a spell-checker (which would make her unique in the universe of Yahoo! writers and editors), this spelling would have passed muster:

schilling diy 1

as would this one:

schilling diy 2

The problem? A schilling was a currency in Austria, not England, before the country adopted the euro. The currency that was used in England is a shilling — without a C.

But surely a spell-checker would have snagged payed as a spelling culprit, no?

payed diy 2

Uh, no. The past tense of pay is payed —  when the verb is used to mean “to cover or coat with a waterproof material.”

Clearly, the writer could have used a little help with spelling, but only of the human kind. In the meantime, she got paid to use the wrong words.

Stick to two-syllable words

My advice to this writer for Yahoo! Style? Stick to words you know and understand. Maybe just use words of no more than two syllables. That way, you won’t look so uneducated and ignorant:

suffragettes sty

A suffragette is a woman who fights for the right of women to vote. It is not a synonym for feminist.

Go figure!

It figures that the writers or editors or whoever on Yahoo! Celebrity don’t know what a figurine is:

figurine celeb

A figurine is not a wax figure. It is not a statue. It is a small molded or sculpted figure or statuette.

It’s nothing to sniff at

Getting a common idiom wrong is nothing to sniff (or even sneeze) at, especially when it shows up on a professionally written site like Yahoo! Style:


Breathe new life into your writing

You know how this writer for Yahoo! Makers could breathe new life into her writing? She could learn the difference between the noun breath and the verb breathe:

breath diy


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