What do you play on a foot court?

This little paragraph from Yahoo! Movies brought back childhood memories for me:

free reign foot court movies

I remember when there were no spell checkers. It was a time when we had to proofread our own writing. I remember, too, a tennis court where we would play tennis. I remember a basketball court where we would play basketball. But I don’t recall a foot court. What would you play there? Footsie? And I remember that when I was given free rein I was allowed to play without restraint.

Reign of error

It’s just one more homophonic error in a long line of errors. This time it’s from Yahoo! News and it’s by a writer who forgot that a queen reigns and the things you use to control a horse are reins:

sq ft news 2

Is it too much to ask that you rein those errors in?

If I could tell the writer for Yahoo! TV anything, I’d tell him to rein in his errors. I’d probably have to explain that a monarch reigns; the things you use to control a horse are reins:

hom reign tv

I’d take this writer aside and tell him that even one error is too much. This is not too much; in fact, it’s one letter short of too much:

hom to much tv

Someone please take the reigns!

Someone — anyone — who works on Yahoo! Movies and is familiar with English, please take the reigns and replace it with reins:

reigns movies

Someone should take the reigns

Someone working on the Yahoo! front page — preferably someone familiar with the English language — should take the reigns and replace it with reins:

fp reigns 2

A monarch reigns. A horse bridle has reins. When used to mean “control, guidance, or restraint,” the expression is “take the reins.”

Know won wood right sew pourly

These eras halve two bee scene too bee believed.

Due ewe no the difference between bite and byte? The writer four Yahoo! News doesn’t:

bytes news

Eye think an editor is kneaded to rain inn the gaffs on Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally”:

reining sports pr

and on Yahoo! omg!:

bare for bear omg

This whirred on Yahoo! Shine has a hole different meaning from the write whirred:

stationary shine

and sew does this won:

pair shine

Taking the reins

The editor for Yahoo! Shine should have taken the reins from the writer and corrected this homophonic horror:

reigns shine

End the reign of error!

It’s not unusual to make a teensy, weensy mistake when you’re writing. A simple typo, like typing it instead of is, is the kind of error most readers can overlook. But there are some mistakes that readers can’t overlook and can’t forgive. One of those is misspelling the name of your subject and doing it in a headline. That’s what the writer did on Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally” when writing about a team from McDonogh School:

mcd 1

If only there were a way the writer could see the name of the high school — like a photo of the team wearing jerseys with the school’s name. Wait, wait! This article is accompanied by a photo and this time the writer actually spelled McDonogh correctly. Unfortunately, he misspelled Baltimore — but it’s not his fault. He didn’t have a picture of Baltimore in front of him:

mcd 3

But that’s just a typo, which any good proofreader would have spotted. But this is just an out-and-out error:

mcd 2

Perhaps it’s time the writer handed the reins over to a real editor or proofreader — one who knows that a monarch reigns and a horse is controlled with reins.

Give up the reins

If you make mistakes like those made by the author of Yahoo! Sports‘ “Puck Daddy,” you should consider letting someone take the reins and edit your work:

reigns sports 1

If you don’t know that a monarch reigns and a horse is controlled by reins, you need a little editorial support.

If you’re writing an article about Glen Gulutzan, the editor might let you know if you misspell his name:

reigns sports 2

And if that editor knows that whom is the objective case of who (and is therefore correct as the object of a preposition), hand over the reins. Just be sure that the editor knows that when a subject is joined by or, the verb (which should be is) agrees with the noun closer to it:

reigns sports 3

Reign of error

This 2-sentence excerpt comprises some common mistakes you’ll see on Yahoo! Movies:

free reign movies

There’s the misuse of comprised of, which should be comprises or consists of or something similar. Then there’s the use of twenty-six, which isn’t a mistake if that’s the house style. But, most style guides recommend using digits for numbers that are 10 or above. What’s not a matter of house style? The use of a semicolon, which should be a comma.

When it comes to language, style and punctuation, it appears that the writer had free rein.


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