It’s a democratic process, but the Democratic party

Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for the presidency, but you wouldn’t know it if you read this on Yahoo! Style:


As a common noun, democratic refers to a democracy or people in general. But if you’re referring to the political party in the U.S., it’s Democratic, with a big D.

Speaking of a big D, that’s the grade I’d give this writer for coming up with Clintons’s.  I’d be appalled if I hadn’t seen that error so often on Yahoo!. It seems Yahoo! writers (and their editors, if they have them) don’t know that the plural of Clinton is Clintons and the possessive of  Clintons is Clintons‘.

Hard to beat this

It’s hard to beat this for the number of errors in a single sentence:


I can’t explain why the Yahoo! Style writer included a registered trademark symbol with a product name, unless she’s under the illusion that she has to protect a trademark. Which brings me to the question: Why didn’t she recognize Velcro as a registered trademark, too? Because that would be as wrong as not capitalizing Velcro.

Don’t you wish we could all be flies on the wall when the writer discusses this with her editor? What would her argument be? Oh, never mind. I forgot: Yahoo! doesn’t believe in editors.

Can you spot it?

Can you spot the misspelling from


The white dog with the spots is a Dalmatian. The breed is named after Dalmatia, an area on the Adriatic Sea.

Maybe this wasn’t written in this country

While reading this photo caption on Yahoo! Style, I was struck by the writer’s use of the British whilst:


Perhaps Yahoo! outsourced the writing to an almost-English-speaking country. Maybe this was written for a UK site, and not for the American market. Maybe that’s why the writer capitalized queen; in some countries that are not the United States, that might actually be correct. And maybe that Lady Fag she writes of isn’t related to Ladyfag, the writer from New York City. The typo of that for than might be okie-dokie in the land where she lives. But in no English-speaking country is is what makes an acceptable substitute for the correct are what make.

It’s not the same

Some people believe that real estate agent is a synonym for Realtor. One of those people writes for Yahoo! Finance:


A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors. All Realtors are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are Realtors. The word Realtor is a service mark of the organization and is a proper noun.

Like the city in Belgium

You don’t need to take a trip to Belgium to know that its capital is Brussels. You don’t even need to be a college graduate, because most of us learned that fact in eighth grade. Most of us, but not everyone at Yahoo! Style, where someone forgot the S at the end of the city’s name:


The vegetable, believed to be named for the Belgian city, is the Brussels sprout (or sometimes, brussels sprout).

Does your Rolodex include an editor?

Perhaps if the writer for Yahoo! TV had the services of an editor, he would have known that Rolodex is a trademark meriting a capital letter:


File that away for future reference.

Warren capital letters

Are the folks at Yahoo! Finance waging a war on the use of capital letters? Is that why they neglected to capitalize Warren Buffett’s name?

warren buffett lc fin

Is Yahoo anti-Republican?

Is this a political statement from the editors at Are they so anti-Republican that they won’t even recognize the party as a proper noun?

fp republican lc

Capital punishment

Stop. comparing. me. to. an. editor.

That could have been written by the editor at who isn’t clear when to capitalize mother:

fp my mother

Here’s a hint: Don’t capitalize mother, father, sister, and the like if the word is preceded by an adjective. So, it’s my mother, a great father, my mean-girl sister.

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