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?

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:


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

Remembering and forgetting wild things

Do you remember the ’60s song “Wild Thing”? This Yahoo! Makers writer remembers the song, but not its real title. She remembers the decade it was popular, but not where an apostrophe goes when writing about it. (The apostrophe is used to indicate the missing number 19, not to indicate a plural: ’60s.) She remembers how to spell valentine, but not that it’s a common noun when referring to a loved one. Oops. She didn’t remember that a question ends in a question mark:

wild thing diy 1

And I don’t remember seeing a misspelling of retailer Michaels this wild:

wild thing diy 2

Fluff it up

If you love Marshmallow Fluff as I do, you’d recognize this mistake on the Yahoo! front page:

fp marshmallow fluff

Marshmallow creme is a generic noun; Marshmallow Fluff is a trademark.

It’s not Valentine’s Day

What can I say? What can anyone say after reading this on Yahoo! Style?

choose former

Published on February 12, two days before Valentine’s Day, this little article can’t get anything right, even though it was written by Yahoo Style “Editors.” They don’t know it’s not Valentine’s Day; they can’t even spell Valentine’s Day. As if that’s not bad enough, they recommend some outfits (in red, the traditional color for the holiday) for readers who choose to ignore the day. Is it possible that the team of “editors” has confused former and latter? Yup.

Finding refuge and WikiLeaks

The founder of WikiLeaks (notice its camel-case spelling?) is doing something with refuge according to yahoo.com:

fp keeping refuge

He could be seeking refuge, finding refuge, or taking refuge. But he is not keeping refuge.

Creativity on Groundhog Day

Those wacky writers at Yahoo! Makers sure are creative! They can come up with more ways to misspell words than a classroom full of first graders! Just take a look at how this writer spells groundhog (she thinks it’s a proper noun!), can’t, and Groundhog Day:

ground hog diy

At least this writer didn’t capitalize the words, but she thinks the critter is two words. It isn’t:

ground hog

But, wait! There’s more! Another person at a keyboard at Makers thinks February 2 is Groundhog‘s Day with an apostrophe and an S:

groundhogs day diy

That’s not nearly as creative as the time a Yahoo! writer claimed it was groundhog’s day.

Those writers really are an imaginative group.

It’s the New Jersey and Texas governors

Yahoo! News gives us this governor — except that the editors think that the word is Governor, with a great, big G. There’s the New Jersey governor:

governor cap news 4

and the Texas governor:

governor cap news 3

That’s Governor Christie and Governor Abbott. The title is capitalized only when it immediately precedes the name of the officeholder.


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