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.

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.

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

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In today’s installment of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we witness the results of two people who write for and can’t figure out if it’s a children magazine or a children’s magazine:

fp children mag

Your membership in Editors for Excellence has been canceled

Can’t the folks who write and edit the Yahoo! front page agree on anything? Do they own a dictionary or know how to access a dictionary on that newfangled Internet? Apparently not. Somebody at thinks this is the correct spelling for the past tense of cancel:

fp cancelled 2

and somebody (who knows, maybe the same person!) thinks it’s this:

fp canceled

According to the American Heritage Dictionary (which is the resource they’d find on the Yahoo! network, if they deigned to consult an authority), the preferred spelling is canceled, though cancelled is acceptable. One or the other, guys. Not both.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom” we’re confronted with protesters on the Yahoo! front page. And protestors:

fp protestors bot

What gives? Don’t these people talk to each other? Can’t they decide how they’ll spell a word that appears daily on Yahoo!? Here’s a crazy idea: Stick with the spelling that’s shown in a dictionary, preferably a dictionary everyone agrees on. If that’s the American Heritage Dictionary, then the correct spelling is protester.


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