Don’t make it so obvious

If you’re going to spell a word (like, oh, say gala) with and without a capital letter, don’t do it in an obvious place where your readers can’t miss the inconsistency:

fp gala uc lc

This lesson in what not to do was brought to you by the people at

It’s the democratic process, but the Democratic candidate

If you’re writing about democracy, then you’re writing about the democratic process. But if you’re writing about a candidate of the Democratic Party, then you’re writing about a Democratic member of the party. If you’re writing for the Yahoo! front page, you probably don’t know or care about the difference in capitalization:

fp democratic

Committed to quality?

Here’s a little paragraph that’s bound to have you questioning the commitment to quality of the Yahoo! Style writer:

city of angels

Just how many names can one writer screw up? There’s the nickname of Los Angeles, which should be City of Angels, followed by pathetic attempts at banging out Naomi Campbell, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jaime King, and the ever-difficult to spell Kingdom. I’m pretty sure I overlooked a few other goofs, but these were enough to convince me that this gal isn’t exactly the Joan Didion of her generation.

Write what you know

Aspiring writers are always being told to write about what they know. Except, for maybe this writer for Yahoo! Makers, who didn’t get the memo:

eydn diy

You might overlook the misspelled Edyn, though it’s kinda germane. If you know anything about Wi-Fi, you know it’s a trademark with a hyphen and two capital letters. If you know anything about sixth-grade science, you know that pH has only one capital letter, and it ain’t the P.

It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature

It’s not nice to downgrade Mother Nature to a mere common noun. She deserves those capital letters that are missing on the Yahoo! front page:

fp mother nature

Did you just dash that off?

Did the writer of this teaser on Yahoo! Celebrity just dash it off? I’d say so:

dash cel

The first hint was the mention of Dash boutiques since there’s only one Dash boutique in Hollywood. Obviously the writer didn’t have time to verify that little fact. Then it was the undercapitalized Pilates, which is a proper noun. But who has time to check a dictionary? Finally it was the mismatched subject (signs) and verb (which should be prohibit). OK, that’s not the result of dashing off a sentence; that’s the result of being poorly educated.

Recipe for disaster

Yahoo! Makers features a lot of recipes, and all of them are horribly written. No one could possibly follow them successfully. In addition to failing to list all ingredients, the recipes include grammatical and spelling errors and typos (of course). Here’s what is supposed to be Japanese and an ingredient called 4 each eggs:


You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In today’s episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom” we see the results of capitalization confusion on the Yahoo! front page:

fp uva

There’s some inconsistency in the media as to which is the correct shorthand for the University of Virginia: Rolling Stone uses UVA while other sources use UVa. But there’s no confusion about using both simultaneously: It’s just wrong.

What do Patti LaBelle and Kit Harington have in common?

What’s wrong with Patti LaBelle? Only this: In a headline on Yahoo! Style, her big B gets downgraded to a little b:

labelle sty

And what does Ms. LaBelle have in common with Kit Harington? He, too, got the “I don’t give a crap about spelling” treatment on the same page:

harrington sty

It’s not about gifts

When I read this headline on Yahoo! Makers I thought the article was about the spiffiest gifts — presents that you might give a friend or relative:

gifs diy

But that wasn’t a typo; it was the result of a brain cramp. The article is about GIFs. GIF is an acronym for Graphic Interchange Format and it’s all caps.


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