Your membership in Editors for Excellence has been canceled

Can’t the folks who write and edit the Yahoo! front page agree on anything? Do they own a dictionary or know how to access a dictionary on that newfangled Internet? Apparently not. Somebody at thinks this is the correct spelling for the past tense of cancel:

fp cancelled 2

and somebody (who knows, maybe the same person!) thinks it’s this:

fp canceled

According to the American Heritage Dictionary (which is the resource they’d find on the Yahoo! network, if they deigned to consult an authority), the preferred spelling is canceled, though cancelled is acceptable. One or the other, guys. Not both.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom” we’re confronted with protesters on the Yahoo! front page. And protestors:

fp protestors bot

What gives? Don’t these people talk to each other? Can’t they decide how they’ll spell a word that appears daily on Yahoo!? Here’s a crazy idea: Stick with the spelling that’s shown in a dictionary, preferably a dictionary everyone agrees on. If that’s the American Heritage Dictionary, then the correct spelling is protester.

Will the Senate be in session?

When Prince William visits the U.S. next month, he’ll spend time in New York City and the U.S. capital, which is Washington, D.C. The U.S. Capitol, which the writer for Yahoo! Style thinks is the city, is actually a building:

capitol style

The word capitol, with an O, is a building where state legislatures meet; with a capital C, it’s where the U.S. Congress meets. If you mean anything else, then use the word with two A’s: capital.

More editors, fewer errors

Imagine if Yahoo! News had editors who understood basic grammar and word usage. You might just see fewer errors in headlines:

less arrests news

Use less (and not fewer) for countable items such as errors, mistakes, goofs, and gaffes.

Am I too late?

It’s hard to keep up with all the holidays in the fall and winter. There’s Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, not to mention Name Your Car Day (that was on October 2) and Dictionary Day (in honor of Noah Webster, who was born on October 16). And there are lots of others. Maybe even hundreds of special days. So, the writer for Yahoo! DIY should be forgiven for publishing this article just a tad late:


Talk about garbage!

Did you know … That this little bit of advice from Yahoo! DIY makes absolutely, positively no sense:

drilling holes

Where was I supposed to drill holes? On the bottom of my garbage? Like, on the banana peels and on the bottom of the empty Papa John’s pizza box? Does drilling holes make taking the holes out easier? (Really, I’m seriously trying to find the antecedent of the pronoun them, and it can only be holes.)

No suction? No, sucks.

Is not this is not looking quite what?

Is not this sentence from Yahoo! Sports is looking quite weird:

is not sports

More trick than treat

I have no idea what this means. But it’s on Yahoo! Style so it’s not surprising that a headline makes no sense:

katy perry wins

Maybe it’s just one more trick played on readers by Yahoo! staffers.

It’s not nice to trick your readers

Trick or treat! It’s Halloween and in honor of this special day, the folks at Yahoo! DIY have a special trick just for its readers. It’s a photo caption that got me a tad curious:

pulls weight

The caption was written as if the photo were taken this year, although it mentions the year 2011.

Odd, no? Not really. It’s just a little Halloween fun that the writer was playing on the reader. Maybe she just didn’t have time to rewrite this caption from Reuters in 2011, which I found on

pulls weight 2

It’s not nice to trick your readers. Not even on Halloween.

That would be difficult

It would be difficult to be the lowest rung on any totem pole, despite what you might read on Yahoo! Travel:

rung on totem pole travel

A totem pole does not have rungs. Ladders have rungs.


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