Which states are you referring to?

If you’re referring to the United States (as this writer from Yahoo! Style is), then it’s the States:

the states sty

If you’re referring to some states, and not the whole country, then use the states.

It’s chock-full of errors

How can one little paragraph be so chock-full of errors? Simple. It’s from Yahoo! Makers, where quality writing is not a priority.

london bridge

The preferred spelling at the American Heritage Dictionary is chock-full, although chockfull is also acceptable. The preferred reference by anyone familiar with English is Big Ben, not the Big Ben. If the writer is referring to London Bridge (with a capital B) it doesn’t get the before it either. But if she’s referring to generic bridges, it doesn’t get a capital B. Who knows what she means?

How many can you find?

Here’s a fun game brought to you by Yahoo! Makers. How many homophonic errors can you find in a single article on the site? It’s really not hard to spot the pales instead of pails:

palettes diy 0

Searching for homophones, you’ll pass a totally random comma, followed by a totally random capitalized Chief. The split backyard isn’t the worst mistake you’ll come across on the way to the palettes that should be pallets.

palettes diy 1

You might not notice this (but I did): That paragraph claims the article was written by someone working for Katie Brown. But one look at the article’s byline says otherwise:

palettes brown

Oopsie. Don’t you love it when you catch a writer in a lie?

Back to our homophone hunt: Passing the now one-word backyard, you’re bound to find an error that even your kids can spot:

palettes diy 11

Overlooking the incorrectly capitalized plywood, you’ll find another palettes:

palettes 22

This is where you’ll find the next homophonic horror, a confusion of where for wear:

palettes diy 3

Holy moley, there’s another palettes and a comma where a semicolon belongs:

palettes diy 4

One more palettes? This has got to be the last:

palettes diy 5

Nope. There’s one more and a little advice, which I take to mean “pallets that are the same height”:

palettes diy 6

How many did you find? I found these four: Pales/pails. Palettes/pallets. You’re/your. Where/wear. What about you?

Bird’s nest rears its head

Yahoo! Makers makes more than its fair share of errors, including capitalizing century for no logical reason. But the best of the worst gaffes is the mixed metaphor of a bird’s nest rearing its head. It’s inevitable:

birds nest diy

How many mistakes can you make?

How many mistakes can you make in a single sentence? If you’re the writer for Yahoo! Style, at least four. You’d start by claiming that Jennifer Hudson has children. She does not; she has one son. Then you’d omit the hyphen in the noun carry-on. Then you’d screw up identifying the children in the picture and claim that SpongeBob doesn’t need a capital B:


Here’s the picture. The boy in the plaid shirt is Jennifer Hudson’s only child. The boy not in the “gingham button down” is the one with the SpongeBob “rolling suitcase.”

jhud pic

On the plus side, the writer did spell Jennifer Hudson’s name correctly. There’s that.

They’ve done it again

Oops. They’ve done it again. And again. The writers at Yahoo! Style simply haven’t mastered English grammar and continue to commit obvious and egregious grammatical gaffes. First, it’s the mismatch of a singular subject (Sophie Webster) with a plural verb (have done). How does such an obvious error get past the editors? Oh, yeah, there are no editors.

have done coca cola sty

Then there’s the glaring use of lead (which, when pronounced led, is the stuff inside a pencil) instead of the past tense led. Not content with showing an astounding ignorance of grammar, the writer displays a complete disregard for the trademarked Coca-Cola.

They’ve done it again. And they’ll do it again.

Did you not see it coming?

Were the editors at the Yahoo! front page caught totally off-guard? Did they not know about the combine, the National Football League’s showcase of college players? It seems that way. Surely if they knew it was coming, they would have agreed to treat it as a proper noun:

fp combine uc

Or maybe as a common noun:

fp combine lc

Remembering and forgetting wild things

Do you remember the ’60s song “Wild Thing”? This Yahoo! Makers writer remembers the song, but not its real title. She remembers the decade it was popular, but not where an apostrophe goes when writing about it. (The apostrophe is used to indicate the missing number 19, not to indicate a plural: ’60s.) She remembers how to spell valentine, but not that it’s a common noun when referring to a loved one. Oops. She didn’t remember that a question ends in a question mark:

wild thing diy 1

And I don’t remember seeing a misspelling of retailer Michaels this wild:

wild thing diy 2

Fluff it up

If you love Marshmallow Fluff as I do, you’d recognize this mistake on the Yahoo! front page:

fp marshmallow fluff

Marshmallow creme is a generic noun; Marshmallow Fluff is a trademark.

It’s not Valentine’s Day

What can I say? What can anyone say after reading this on Yahoo! Style?

choose former

Published on February 12, two days before Valentine’s Day, this little article can’t get anything right, even though it was written by Yahoo Style “Editors.” They don’t know it’s not Valentine’s Day; they can’t even spell Valentine’s Day. As if that’s not bad enough, they recommend some outfits (in red, the traditional color for the holiday) for readers who choose to ignore the day. Is it possible that the team of “editors” has confused former and latter? Yup.


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