What do Patti LaBelle and Kit Harington have in common?

What’s wrong with Patti LaBelle? Only this: In a headline on Yahoo! Style, her big B gets downgraded to a little b:

labelle sty

And what does Ms. LaBelle have in common with Kit Harington? He, too, got the “I don’t give a crap about spelling” treatment on the same page:

harrington sty

It’s not about gifts

When I read this headline on Yahoo! Makers I thought the article was about the spiffiest gifts — presents that you might give a friend or relative:

gifs diy

But that wasn’t a typo; it was the result of a brain cramp. The article is about GIFs. GIF is an acronym for Graphic Interchange Format and it’s all caps.

Is Pi Day finally over?

Is March 14, Pi Day, finally gone for a year? I only ask because I can’t bear to see that mathematical ratio known as pi capitalized. And Pi Day was the only reason this writer for Yahoo! Makers has to mention it:

sweet tooth

Let’s hope she doesn’t have to write about desserts ever again. Because see “being a hopeless sweet tooth” has really soured me on her writing. She needs to brush up on her idioms: No one is a sweet tooth, but many people have a sweet tooth.

Kids at the keyboard

The kids at the keyboards at the Yahoo! front page are probably too young to have made a Ferris wheel from the components of an Erector set:

fp erector

In those days, children used their hands to create all sorts of neat stuff with the metal parts. In those days, everyone knew that Erector was the name of the building set and that it was a trademark.

Not too bright

It’s time to shine the Terribly Write spotlight on Yahoo! Style again. The offending paragraph claims that Paris is “the city of lights.”

city of lights sty

It is not. Paris is known as The City of Light. Apparently the author didn’t feel it necessary to get it right. That’s not too bright in my book.

Which states are you referring to?

If you’re referring to the United States (as this writer from Yahoo! Style is), then it’s the States:

the states sty

If you’re referring to some states, and not the whole country, then use the states.

It’s chock-full of errors

How can one little paragraph be so chock-full of errors? Simple. It’s from Yahoo! Makers, where quality writing is not a priority.

london bridge

The preferred spelling at the American Heritage Dictionary is chock-full, although chockfull is also acceptable. The preferred reference by anyone familiar with English is Big Ben, not the Big Ben. If the writer is referring to London Bridge (with a capital B) it doesn’t get the before it either. But if she’s referring to generic bridges, it doesn’t get a capital B. Who knows what she means?

Bird’s nest rears its head

Yahoo! Makers makes more than its fair share of errors, including capitalizing century for no logical reason. But the best of the worst gaffes is the mixed metaphor of a bird’s nest rearing its head. It’s inevitable:

birds nest diy

How many mistakes can you make?

How many mistakes can you make in a single sentence? If you’re the writer for Yahoo! Style, at least four. You’d start by claiming that Jennifer Hudson has children. She does not; she has one son. Then you’d omit the hyphen in the noun carry-on. Then you’d screw up identifying the children in the picture and claim that SpongeBob doesn’t need a capital B:

jhud

Here’s the picture. The boy in the plaid shirt is Jennifer Hudson’s only child. The boy not in the “gingham button down” is the one with the SpongeBob “rolling suitcase.”

jhud pic

On the plus side, the writer did spell Jennifer Hudson’s name correctly. There’s that.

Did you not see it coming?

Were the editors at the Yahoo! front page caught totally off-guard? Did they not know about the combine, the National Football League’s showcase of college players? It seems that way. Surely if they knew it was coming, they would have agreed to treat it as a proper noun:

fp combine uc

Or maybe as a common noun:

fp combine lc

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