Did you canvass the views of editors?

If the writer for Yahoo! Makers had canvassed the views of editors, she might have learned that canvas is a noun (and only a noun) that refers to a heavy fabric. If she wanted to take a survey or poll, or wanted to scrutinize a subject, she might have learned that the word is canvass:

canvas diy

Where do you put ice cream hoards?

Do you need a freezer in the garage to stash ice cream-loving hoards? Hordes of people want to know. Maybe we can ask the writer for Yahoo! Travel:

hoards tra

Downright wrong

There are at least two words in this article from Yahoo! Makers that are downright wrong. One of them is downright:

down right all together diy

I’d be downright ashamed if I wrote that and if I didn’t know the difference between all together (which means that members of a group are performing some act as a unit) and altogether (which is completely, totally, and altogether different).

This bears no resemblance to the correct word

Unless Abercrombie & Fitch are stripping down to their skivvies, this bears only the slightest resemblance to the correct word on Yahoo! Style:

bare sty

Stationery on the mind

Did the writer for Yahoo! Makers have stationery on her mind when she wrote this?

envelopes stationary

Is that why she chose to use envelope (which is a form of stationery that holds bills from the electric company and birthday cards from Aunt Hazel) instead of the verb envelop? It might have been better if she thought about stationery and not stationary, which means not moving.

See ‘Game of Thrones’ prime minister tonight!

Yesterday marked the premiere episode of this season’s “Game of Thrones.” According to Yahoo! Style, we’ll be introduced to a prime minister tonight:

premier sty

What’s stationary?

Here’s a headline on Yahoo! Makers that tells us exactly nothing:

diy stationary

First, consider whether DIY (which is short for “do it yourself”) is synonymous with homemade. It is, isn’t it? So why use both? Then there’s the adjective stationary (which means “not moving”) that lacks a noun to modify. What’s the missing word? Does this headline refer to a homemade stationary bike? Judging from the picture, I think this headline is telling us something: The writer doesn’t know the difference between not moving and writing paper (which is stationery).

If you forget which is which, try this mnemonic: Both stationery and letter contain ER.

It’s the principle of the thing

I don’t know if Yahoo! Style has a principal editor — someone in charge who is capable of improving the articles it publishes — but it sure could use one. I’m thinking of someone who knows the difference between principle (which is a rule or standard) and principal (which is not):

principle glamor sty

As for glamor, the American Heritage Dictionary tells us:

Many words, such as honor, vapor, and labor, are usually spelled with an -or ending in American English but with an -our ending in British English. The preferred spelling of glamour, however, is -our, making it an exception to the usual American practice. The adjective is more often spelled glamorous in both American and British usage.

Cue the laughter

Cue the laughter! Unless the writer for Yahoo! Makers thought the “hilarity” was standing in a line, she picked the wrong homophone:

queue hilarity diy

Here’s a piece of advice

Here’s some advice to the Yahoo! Style writer: Make peace with a good dictionary:

said his peace sty

There. I’ve said my piece.


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