What can you glean from this?

Here’s a shining example of an incorrect word choice on Yahoo Lifestyle:

It’s so glowingly bad it practically gleams. What can you glean from this mistake? That Yahoo doesn’t think competent editors are necessary and using the correct word is irrelevant.

 

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What color is the roof of your mouth?

Somehow, the writer for Yahoo Lifestyle managed to see the roofs of the mouths of a “stylish group.” I wonder what a brightly colored palate looks like:

I also wonder why the writer and her editor don’t know that palate refers to the roof of the mouth and palette refers to a selection of colors. (I also wonder why there’s a hyphen following brightly. It’s considered wrong to put a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word it modifies.)

Quote unquote

Whose back did Lola Openg want scratched? That’s the question I’m left with when I read this on Yahoo Lifestyle:

The writer alleges that Ms. Openg said, “Scratch her back.” Whose back would that be? In fact Ms. Openg asked Alexa, “Scratch my back.” That’s a bit different, isn’t it? And that illustrates what happens when a writer and editor have no idea what a direct quote is.

Apostrophe-impaired?

Is there a shortage of apostrophes at Yahoo Lifestyle? Or is it just a shortage of editors who know how to use them? Here’s a headline and teaser that has me questioning if Yahoo hires only apostrophe- and spelling-impaired editors:

OK. So that was just a careless mistake (or two or three). The actual article must be better, right? Wrong. Those folks at Yahoo are still apostrophe-impaired, unable to put them in two places in one sentence:

Let’s take the charitable view that this is just a typo and not the result of a writer’s unfamiliarity with a common expression like “fill it up”:

I’d overlook this mistake (just like the writer overlooked the word to before walk), if it were the only goof, but alas, it’s not:

Another apostrophe goes missing here, but maybe it’s just the result of a malfunctioning keyboard:

But, wait! There’s more! After I wrote this post, the headline and teaser were corrected. Somewhat:

It looks like the editors noticed the missing apostrophe and the typo. Good job! Maybe next time they’ll learn to use a spell-checker and proofread before publishing. If not, I may just harass them some more.

This needs to be fixed

I wish I could say that neither the writer nor the editor needs to brush up on grammar, but I can’t. Someone at Yahoo Lifestyle needs a refresher on matching a verb to a subject:

When a subject consists of two nouns joined by neither…nor, the verb must agree with the noun closer to it. So these are both correct:

  • Neither my sister nor my mother needs to read junk like that.
  • Neither my sister nor my parents need to read junk like that.

Break up that breakup

Did the editors at Yahoo Lifestyle break up with their dictionary? Is that why they used the noun breakup instead of the phrasal verb break up?

Think about it: If breakup were a verb, what would its past tense be? Breakupped?

Writing and editing are exciting

OK, so maybe writing and editing aren’t exciting — at least not all the time. Perhaps if the editors at Yahoo Lifestyle found them exciting, we wouldn’t be subjected to this:

Pleading or pledging

Readers could be pleading with the editors at Yahoo Lifestyle to employ a proofreader, or at least a spell-checker:

You needs a proofreader

Just in case you need some proofreading inspiration, take a look at this from Yahoo Lifestyle:

A hairy problem

Why on God’s green earth did the Yahoo Lifestyle writer think this is correct?

I think she was going for hairdo, and became a tad confused. The contraction ‘do is often used on Yahoo in place of hairdo. The apostrophe is supposed to indicate that there are letters missing, so the writer was really describing a hair hairdo. But according to the American Heritage dictionary, do (sans apostrophe) is correct and hairdo is one word.

 

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