Do you know what it is?

Do you think that the editors at know what a Realtor is? I don’t. If they knew that Realtor is a service mark for a real-estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors, they wouldn’t have treated the word as a common noun:

fp realtor 2

Nice tries, but wrong

This writer for Yahoo! Finance seems a little confused about where to put a hyphen:

nobel prize fin

The writer’s not confused about capitalization, though — just wrong. It’s Nobel Prize, with two capital letters. Oh, that hyphen? It belongs after Nobel Prize: Nobel Prize-winner Stiglitz and Nobel Prize-winning economist.

Are we agree’d?

You don’t write free’d or flee’d or agree’d, do you? So, why on God’s green Earth did the Yahoo! Makers writer think she needed an apostrophe in the past tense of pee?

mom peed diy

And while I’m questioning her knowledge of English, I’ll pose one more query: Why didn’t she capitalize mom?

Why is it Speaker Boehner?

Why does Speaker Boehner get a big fat S in his title? Because he works in the capital! Ha-ha! That’s just a little grammar humor. It looks like the writer for has a sense of humor, too, because this is pretty funny:

fp speaker lc

Not a subject-matter expert

You don’t need to be an expert on the subject you’re writing about if you’re writing for Yahoo! Makers. If you can’t spell E. coli, and you can’t take the time to Google it, don’t worry! Close enough is good enough for Yahoo!:

e-coli 1

Of course, you might lose some credibility with your readers, but they’ve probably come to realize that Yahoo! isn’t exactly a trustworthy source of scientific information.

‘Tis ’tis, not tis’

We all know that an apostrophe is used to create a possessive or a contraction. So, what how is this apostrophe used on Yahoo! Makers?

tis apos diy

It’s not likely that it’s used to form the possessive of tis, is it? So it’s creating a contraction. But a contraction of what? It’s actually a contraction of it is. The first I is omitted and the correct contraction is ’tis.

‘Tis time to consider the writer’s use of the word mom. She should have made that Mom. Here’s a free, no-cost, gratis tip for the writer:

If you’re unsure if you should capitalize a term for a relative, try substituting the person’s name. If it makes a grammatically correct sentence, then capitalize the term. Try it: My mother is the best. (See? No capital M in mother.) But: It’s time to thank Mom.

If that doesn’t work for you, try this other hint: If the noun (mother, father, etc.) is preceded by a possessive pronoun (like my or his), don’t capitalize it. Like this: He thought his mother was the best. It’s time to thank your mom.

So, when the writer isn’t butchering the language, she’s butchering Sarah Michelle Gellar’s name. And to show that she really, really knows nothing of pop culture, she implies that Beyoncé and Solange’ mom has other daughters. Maybe they’re hidden in the walk-in closet, because the rest of the world knows of only those two.

Spelling-gate part deux

Way back in January, there was a controversy in football that dominated the headlines. The folks at called it deflate-gate and deflategate, because nobody cared about consistent spelling and looking like they worked for a blog written by some drunk guys sitting in a bar.

Now, months later, the controversy has reared its head again, and the folks at the Yahoo! front page still haven’t gotten their act together. There’s this spelling, with a capital D, that the writer thought merited quotation marks:

fp deflate 2

But this writer thinks that’s a bunch of baloney (or has no idea that someone else is also writing about the same subject) and came up with this spelling:

fp deflate 3

But wait! There’s more! Someone else agrees with deflate-gate, but takes issue with Wells report (with a lowercase R) and decided this was right:

fp deflate 1

So, in summary, it’s deflategate when it’s not deflate-gate or “Deflategate.” You can read more about it in the Wells report, unless it’s the Wells Report.

It’s not an acronym

The Met Gala, benefiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, was held this week. It was widely covered on news and fashion sites, including Yahoo! Style. So, why did this writer for Style think it was an acronym?

met cap sty

Perhaps she thought it was the Mimes Entertainment Training Gala, to support nonspeaking entertainers. Anyhoo, the writer persists in referring to it as the MET Gala, but we shouldn’t be surprised. Anyone who doesn’t recognize headpieces as one word is sure to make a variety of mistakes, including nonsense about “the shorter you go, might be the way forward.” WTF?

My advice to this writer: Please do a little research. Use the Shift and Cap Lock keys judiciously. And try to write actual sentences.

Don’t make it so obvious

If you’re going to spell a word (like, oh, say gala) with and without a capital letter, don’t do it in an obvious place where your readers can’t miss the inconsistency:

fp gala uc lc

This lesson in what not to do was brought to you by the people at

It’s the democratic process, but the Democratic candidate

If you’re writing about democracy, then you’re writing about the democratic process. But if you’re writing about a candidate of the Democratic Party, then you’re writing about a Democratic member of the party. If you’re writing for the Yahoo! front page, you probably don’t know or care about the difference in capitalization:

fp democratic


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