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?

You don’t know what that means, do you?

I’ve thought for some time now that Yahoo! Style employs children to do its writing. Or maybe the site sends all writing tasks overseas to third-world countries where English isn’t a first or even second language. After reading this, I’m convinced there’s a third option: Style uses children in third-world countries to do its writing:


Doesn’t every adult (and 95% of teens) living in the English-speaking world know that a nymphomaniac is a woman who engages in unrestrained sex? If so, how would you explain this error?

Christian Grey to play an actor?

Just reading this is torture enough. It’s from Yahoo! Style and it’s an example of how screwed-up a sentence can be if one little word is out of place:

grey as sty

The writer asks, what actor will Mr. Grey play? It’s a little confusing since Mr. Grey is a character and it’s generally understood that an actor plays a character, and not the other way around.

What the writer meant: Which actor will we see as Mr. Grey now?

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.

Did you do any research?

How much research do you think this Yahoo! Style writer did before publishing this?

his own sty

I’d say none. If she had considered that the subject’s name was Bianca, she might have verified that the Milan fashion design graduate was a female, deserving of the pronoun her, not his. She might even have gotten her surname correct as well; it’s Luini. I have no idea why she thought it was anything else.

Possibly the dumbest thing you’ll read today

Sometimes I read something on Yahoo! that is so ridiculous that I’m appalled. This is one of those times. This is likely to be the dumbest thing you’ll read today or maybe your entire life. It’s from Yahoo! Style, a site not known for its brainy writers:

hundreds of thous

This Einstein tells us that it takes “hundreds of thousands of hours” to make one Oscar gown. I think she just pulled that number out of her Spanx. One hundred thousand hours is about 4, 166 days or more than 11 years. I don’t think most actresses think that far ahead. I just don’t think Dakota Johnson ordered her dress 11 years ago, when she 14.

Of course the more than 11 years it takes to make the gown doesn’t include the millions of embellishments. Why would it? Time doesn’t include beads or sequins. Maybe she meant that millions of beads, sequins, etc. also go into the making of a gown. Except that’s another stupid statement since there is no way a single gown could include millions of anything. And a single gown does not take hundreds of “human hands” to make.

Other than those nits, everything else about this excerpt is spot-on.

Not to be confused with Uptown Abbey

Everyone I know is a fan of the PBS series “Downton Abbey.”  I thought it was a universally loved show, until I read this on Yahoo! Style:

downtown abbey sty

One thing’s for sure, this is a writer who’s unfamiliar the series and with contractions and their need for an apostrophe.

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

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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