This is no time to be discreet

Actually, this is the perfect time for discreet and the absolutely wrong time for discrete:

discrete new

Unless the Yahoo! News writer meant the subject was looking for a psychiatrist in separate parts, she should have used discreet, which means “possessed of, exercising, or showing prudence and self-restraint in speech and behavior.”

Not discreetly placed

This hyphen from Yahoo! Style is not discreetly placed; it’s as clear as day:

discretely-placed sty

If you care about writing that is scrupulously correct, you wouldn’t put a hyphen between an adverb ending in -LY and the word that follows it. If you care about being understood and not looking like an undereducated dilettante, you’d use discreet when you’re referring to something that was designed to attract little attention.

Seriously, editors, be more discreet

Seriously. If the Yahoo! Style editors are going to make a homophonic error, don’t you think they should be more discreet and print it in really teeny, tiny letters?

discrete sty

If they act with restraint and prudence, they’re being discreet. Separate and distinct parts are discrete.

Building charging stations one at a time

According to Yahoo! Makers, you can get wireless charging stations that are built in, one at a time:

discretely diy

That’s what it says, but what the writer meant was they’re discreetly built in, so that they’re not noticeable.

Getting your nails done, one at a time

Men who want to get their nails done individually, and not in a lump, should head on over to the salons mentioned on Yahoo! Style:

discretely style

These salons do nails discretely, as separate and distinct parts. I’ll bet they also perform their services discreetly, so as not to attract unwanted attention.

A news source you can trust?

How many typos, misspellings, and wrong word choices does it take before you question the credibility of a news article? If the article is written by a Yahoo! News staffer, I start with an attitude of skepticism, which is buttressed by the errors that are sure to be there.

I can count on there being at least one homophonic error. In this article, the writer claims an ice sculpture was discretely wheeled into a hotel suite:

cpac 1

Unless that sculpture was delivered in bits of ice cubes, it was brought in discreetly, so as not to attract attention.

A typo in a photo caption isn’t the worst thing you’ll find in the article:

cpac 2

But a second homophonic error just might be:

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Perhaps it’s a rite of passage at Yahoo! News: You can’t get a byline until you’ve made at least three boneheaded mistakes in a single article.

Here’s a makeshift spelling of makeshift:

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There’s nothing wrong with this paragraph except for the arbitrarily capitalized former and the spelling of Dinesh D’Souza and Cathy McMorris Rodgers:

cpac 5

Two of those mistakes would get you sent to the woodshed in a legitimate news organization. But wait! There’s more! Here, the writer claims there was a big band consisting of 16 pieces:

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and yet in the photo caption, he’s added a musician:

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Perhaps the writer was enjoying the contents of the kegerator when he wrote this:

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and then forgot that if you use a dollar sign, you shouldn’t also use the word bucks (because that would be “20 dollars bucks”):

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So, I’m not trustin’ too much (if anything) I read from this author. I guess for some, getting an article published is all that matters:

cpac 10

Filming a little at a time

If the movie “Escape From Tomorrow” was filmed discretely, as alleged on Yahoo! Movies, then it was filmed with unconnected, distinct parts:

discretely movies

If, however, it was filmed surreptitiously, then it was filmed discreetly.

Height of indiscretion

While most mothers try to nurse their babies discreetly, according to Yahoo! Shine this mother managed to nurse her infant separately from something — I’m guessin’ it was her child.


The height of indiscretion

There’s a certain lack of good judgment — or indiscretion — in this writer’s choice of words on Yahoo! News:

discretely news

Discreet means “marked by, exercising, or showing prudence and wise self-restraint” or “modest.” Discrete means “separate and distinct.”

I’m not going to be discreet

Some situations call for diplomacy, discretion, and tact. This is not one of those situations. At Terribly Write, it is never one of those situations, because a professional writer who screws up the English language will incur my wrath. And this article from Yahoo! Shine is just one more wrath-incurring example.

I’ll never understand a professional writer misspelling a name. This spelling of Mr. Hollande’s name would be betterlooking if it were François, and not the female name Françoise:

And poor little Giulia Sarkozy doesn’t get better treatment by the writer who doesn’t even bother to come close to the correct spelling:

So, the writer didn’t want to leave out Ms. Bruni-Sarkozy in the insult department, with a manglement. And she follows it with some bit of incomprensibility, which I think means “trying to adopt the nickname Jackie O,” which doesn’t make much more sense. Then there’s a little missing word:

She really has problems with the indefinite article a, dropping it like she’s just learning the language. Which she may be. That could explain the whole “ski rink” thing, which must be an enormous rink:

Oh, this is a cozy misspelling of Bruni-Sarkozy. And it’s followed by the name of a movie that looks more like the name of an eau de parfum; that’s why movie titles are usually in quotation marks.

Lordie, someone please tell this girl about Twitter:

I’m not going to be discreet about this: The writer is an idiot. I suspect she is so ignorant of English that she doesn’t know that discreet has a homophone that is spelled d-i-s-c-r-e-t-e and means something entirely different:

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