Lightening the load

After I got over my horror at seeing the pronoun it used to refer to the plural planes, I thought I was more or less immune to the writing mistakes I was sure to find in this article on Yahoo! Travel:

lightening travel

But I was wrong. I’m appalled that a professional writer thinks that lightening is something that can strike a plane. It is not. It is the act of making a plane lighter. The scary stuff in the sky is lightning.

Lightening an announcement

What was the writer for thinking by lightening the word announcement by one letter?

fp lightening

Maybe the writer was struck by lightning just before sitting down at the keyboard. Yeah, that’s it.

Maybe you should slow down

Was it the writer’s lightning quick keystrokes that led to this homophonic horror on Yahoo! News?

lightening news

Nah. The writer just doesn’t appreciate the difference between lightning (that flash of light in the sky) and lightening (which is the act of making something lighter).

What are the odds?

The odds of being struck by lightning are about the same as the odds of finding an error-free article on Yahoo! News’ “Who Knew?”

lightening who knew

Spider-Man, Steven Seagal and Lightning Bolt

That’s what the writer for Yahoo! News’ “Who Knew?” should have written: Spider-Man here:

cologne 1

and Steven Seagal and Lightning Bolt here:

cologne 2

Lightening the load with lightning-fast speed

I wonder how many mistakes a writer for has to make before being fired. In some situations, someone could be terminated with lightning-fast speed, especially if they made a mistake like this:


If Yahoo! actually employed editors and proofreaders, removing weak writers could be lightening their load.

The New York Times would not make that mistake

Oh no it didn’t! When I read this on Yahoo! Shine, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Had the Gray Lady actually made this mistake?

lightening strike shine

Don’t be silly. Of course not. The Yahoo! writer screwed up and substituted the word that means “making light or lighter or brightening” for the word lightning.

Screwing up with lightning speed

How fast is “lightening speed”? Is it the rate it takes to bleach a red T-shirt pink? Is it as fast as lightning speed, which is the rate at which Yahoo! Shine writers make mistakes?

A real lightning rod for criticism

A mistake on Yahoo! News’ “The Ticket” can become a lightning rod for criticism, especially when the writer doesn’t know the difference between lightning and lightening:

Lightening means “making lighter”; lightning is the stuff that accompanies thunder.

Lightening the mental load

Sometimes being a writer is just soooo hard. You have to be able to use a computer and that keyboard thingie. You have to be able to write real words — and not just any words, they have to be the right words. But sometimes I get so nervous about trying to pick the absolutely, totally correct and awesome word, that I make a mistake.

Like just today, I was writing an article for Yahoo! Shine and I needed to find the right word to go before the word bolt. Was it lightning or lightening? If only there were some way to see which word to choose. Like a picture or something, ya know?

I remember what Mark Twain said. He was a great American writer. Mr. Twain said, “The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” Or maybe he said “lightening and the lightening bug.”


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