Friday, February 18, 2011

Lexical Stupidity Strikes Again!

It’s getting too easy to bash the ineptitude of Yahoo! News.  However, when the results are good for a giggle or two, they are worth citing.  Fortunately, this time the case has nothing to do with the bungled management of what purport to be “Top Stories.”  Instead, the humor can be found further down the page under “Explore Related Content.”

The story at the top of the page has to do with the arrival of Sutter, a seven-year-old Welsh corgi (with a Facebook page and a Twitter account), at the Governor’s Mansion in Sacramento, California.  Sutter originally belonged to Governor Jerry Brown’s sister, Kathleen;  but she decided that the dog would prefer staying in California to moving with her to Chicago.  So brother Jerry is now responsible for Sutter, and the two seem to be getting along nicely.

Now we get to the fun part.  Of the four “related content” items, one is a rather attractive photograph of Sutter posing with Brown’s wife, Anne Gust Brown.  Then there is a video of state senate proceedings, but it turns out that the state is Illinois, meaning it was triggered by references to state government and that mention of Chicago.  Then there is a new story about Kaiser Permanente.  No, Kaiser is not expanding into animal care;  but one of their competitors is Sutter Health Care.  So, even though Sutter is not mentioned in the article, this poor dog’s name clearly triggered the selection of the item.  Finally, there is a photograph of the latest version of the Boeing 747-8.  Posing in front of the new plane is the engineer known as the “father of the 747.”  His name is Joe Sutter.  Would Yahoo! News have “thrown him this bone” had it not been for the “political appointment” of his namesake?

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