If you’re referring to the United States (as this writer from Yahoo! Style is), then it’s the States:
If you’re referring to some states, and not the whole country, then use the states.
How can one little paragraph be so chock-full of errors? Simple. It’s from Yahoo! Makers, where quality writing is not a priority.
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 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.”
On the plus side, the writer did spell Jennifer Hudson’s name correctly. There’s that.
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:
And I don’t remember seeing a misspelling of retailer Michaels this wild:
What can I say? What can anyone say after reading this on Yahoo! Style?
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.
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:
At least this writer didn’t capitalize the words, but she thinks the critter is two words. It isn’t:
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:
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.
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:
and the Texas governor:
That’s Governor Christie and Governor Abbott. The title is capitalized only when it immediately precedes the name of the officeholder.