So you think you can capitalize. . .

The writer and editor of this excerpt from Yahoo! Style probably think they know when to capitalize a word:

In this case, they would be wrong. When referring to the United States, States is a proper noun. (So, if you live in Australia and want to visit three states, you have to travel to the States.)  They probably also think they know the title of that TV show called “So You Think You Can Dance.” They’re almost right: There is no question mark in the title.

Is this a case of fake news?

If a major Internet news site like Yahoo! News writes a headline about someone it calls Greg Allman, is it fake news?

The editors haven’t just misspelled Gregg Allman’s name; they’ve overcapitalized or undercapitalized the name of his band. It seems they just can’t decide if it was the Allman Brothers Band of The Allman Brothers Band.

The real Twitter problem

When an Internet giant makes a mistake in a headline on its front page, it’s impossible to ignore:

The real problem is the misuse of a trademark. When referring to the social network, Twitter is a trademark deserving a capital letter.

Scotch that spelling!

Some trademarks are so common in English that they have become common nouns. But Scotch tape isn’t one of  them. The Yahoo! Style writer should have capitalized Scotch or referred to the sticky stuff as cellophane tape:

I just can’t go on

I tried reading an article on Yahoo! Style, but I just can’t force myself to read beyond the first paragraph. It is so stunningly awful in its grammatical mistakes and ignorance of basic English, that I gave up. Here’s what I found with just a cursory examination of the ‘graph; I’m sure I missed a few things that merit attention:

My experience tells me that this writer is not a native English-speaker. Her mistakes are ones that are common with people who did not grow up speaking and writing English. But there’s no excuse for not providing her with a competent editor, if only to save her from embarrassments like these:

  • 18 years old should be 18-year-old. He is 18 years old, but he is an 18-year-old model.
  • instagram follower should be Instagram followers.
  • on first name term seems to be a bastardization of on a first name basis.
  • to loose his cherries for the first time is not just a vulgar expression, it’s kind of a stupid metaphor. First, she means lose, not loose. And one can only lose one’s cherry (which is singular) once. So I’m really confused as to what this is purported to mean. Maybe it just means the writer is both careless and ignorant.
  • There’s a missing the in at Coachella music festival.
  • will also be is redundant when one ends a sentence with too.
  • been to famous music festival needs a the.

I’m sure I missed something, and I didn’t even touch on the run-on sentences. Please, Yahoo!, get this gal an editor!

Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and manmade errors

Maybe the writer for Yahoo! Style is dealing with a funky keyboard with an occasionally inoperable Shift key and a space bar that’s kinda jacked:

Just in case the writer actually made these mistakes intentionally, let’s school her: Big Bird and Cookie Monster are Muppets deserving of being treated as proper nouns. And manmade is one word according to the American Heritage Dictionary, though it allows the hyphenated man-made.

An Olympic size error

On one of the most visited sites in the world, an Olympic error:

fp-olympic

How does this happen?

How does this happen? How does a Yahoo! Style editor look at the acronym UNICEF and see all those capital letters and decide it should be spelled like this?

unicef-sty-hp

What does it do?

If you’re looking for a decadent candle to give this holiday season, take a look at this recommendation from Yahoo! Style:

it-does-sty

It’s not the greatest description of the candle. The writer managed to get the name of the product wrong (it’s Campagne d’Italie, not d’italia). And she mentions something that it does, but I don’t know what that is. As for the holder, the writer is correct when she says it’s “marble-esque” (though I’d prefer an actual word like “marble-like”) if she means actual marble. Yes, indeedie, it comes in a marble holder.

Other mistakes pale in comparison

I love sharing my classy spirits and bubbly, so I was interested in this description of a gift on Yahoo! Style:

pale-sty-1

I assumed the writer meant bubbly (which is slang for champagne) and not bubbles, but with Yahoo! writers, you never know… Anyhoo, here’s that “Champagne pale”:

pale-pail-pic

Now the American Heritage Dictionary says that when you’re writing about that sparkling white wine, it’s champagne, but the region it comes from is Champagne. Maybe the writer uses a different authority for spelling and capitalization. That could happen.

The item in question sure does look pale; in fact its color is very, very light. You might even call it a “pale pail” — that is, if you knew the difference between pale and a pail.

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