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?

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we’re treated to the indecision of Yahoo! editors as to the correct spelling of air strike (or is it airstrike?):

fp airstrikes air strikes

The American Heritage Dictionary prefers airstrike, although air strike is also acceptable. So just pick one and go with it.

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

Time to call a cease-fire

It’s a cease-fire on the Yahoo! front page:

fp cease-fire

Except when it’s a ceasefire:

fp ceasefire

What do you do when you work for a media company with no standards for spelling and style? Do you use cease-fire or ceasefire? Or do you use both?

fp ceasefire cease-fire

Both spellings are acceptable, although the American Heritage Dictionary prefers cease-fire.

What do you do when there are alternative spellings for a word? You pick one.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In today’s installment of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we encounter a case of dueling cases:

fp skymall

Should the name of  the in-flight catalog be written with a single capital letter, or should it be written in “camel case,” with a capital letter in the middle? Obviously the folks at have no idea. So they did it both ways!


It’s not a scandal of Watergate proportions, but controversy surrounding deflated footballs has taken over the Yahoo! front page.  So, it’s kinda surprising that the writers can’t figure out how to spell it. Someone thinks it’s deflate-gate:

fp deflate-gate

And someone else thinks it’s Deflategate:

fp deflategate

Can’t these so-called professional writers communicate with each other and agree on one spelling?

Mass medium

This is not a cause for mass hysteria, just individual concern about the poor folks who slave away over keyboards at the Yahoo! front page. Do they have time to do anything besides pound the keys? Do they have time to run to the coffee bar for a quick jolt of caffeine? Do they have time to communicate with each other? Doesn’t look like it.

When it comes to writing about a Mass in Manila, one writer uses the American Heritage Dictionary’s preferred capitalization:

fp mass cap

Presumably another writer chooses the lowercase version, which the dictionary considers acceptable:

fp mass lc

Don’t these people talk to each other? Don’t they refer to the same dictionary? Apparently not.

Just call it a sparkling wine

There’s some disagreement in the writing world about some words. No surprise. One of those words is Champagne (or maybe it’s champagne). The American Heritage Dictionary says to capitalize the word when referring to the region in France, lowercase it for the bubbly beverage. The Associated Press style is to capitalize it in all usages. Which is correct? It depends on house style. So, maybe the house style at Yahoo! is to capitalize it:

fp cham uc

Except when it’s not the house style:

fp cham lc

The solution is to adopt one capitalization style or one authority on writing and follow it consistently.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

It this installment of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we see more evidence of why you should get your news from some other website:

fp 5 7 killed

Make a short list

If you can’t remember how to spell a word, add it to a short list of words that you find challenging. That might have helped the writers at, who can’t agree on whether short list is one word:

fp shortlist

or two:

fp short list


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 890 other followers

%d bloggers like this: