That’s not all right

Not everything in this paragraph from Yahoo! TV’s “Primetime in No Time” is all wrong — just a few things. Like “especially between Kenya Moore went after…” What’s with that? And why does the writer forget to include the in “tumbled to (the) ground” and “stormed off (the) set”? But the bigger issue is the use of alright, which is considered nonstandard. Are you all right with that spelling?

alright tv

Here’s what the American Heritage Dictionary says:

Despite the frequent use of the form alright the single word spelling is still widely viewed as nonstandard. In our 2009 survey, more than two-thirds of the Usage Panel rejected alright in examples like Don’t worry. Everything will be alright, whereas over 90 percent accepted all right in the same examples. This resistance may seem peculiar, since similar fusions incorporating all, such as already and altogether, have never raised any objections. The difference may lie in the fact that already and altogether became single words back in the Middle Ages, whereas alright has only been around for a little more than a century and was called out by language critics as a misspelling. Readers may view the use of alright, especially in formal writing, as an error or a willful breaking of convention.

From freedom to slavery

In a show segment called “Real Housewife’s Embarrassing History Gaffe” on Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time,” the writer makes an even worse history gaffe than the housewife’s:

freedom to slavery tv

What was he thinking!? Did he have “12 Years a Slave” on the brain? Did he really not know that the Underground Railroad (which he spells two ways — with and without caps) was path from slavery to freedom?

Has anybody EVER proofread this?

Has someone proofread this? I mean, someone with at least a passing familiarity with English grammar? I ask because it’s clear that the writer for Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time” doesn’t know that the past participle of sing is sung:

Plural mistakes

What is it about the apostrophe that is so appealing to writers that they want to put it in every plural word they write? Case in point: An article from Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time” where the writer misuses an apostrophe here:

and here:

and four times here:

The Santa Clause without Tim Allen

“The Santa Clause” was a popular holiday movie starring Tim Allen. This is not that Santa Clause: 

It’s just a homophonic gaffe from the writer of Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time.” Hey, it could be worse. He could have called him Santa Claws.


Is it fear of that little punctuation character that drives Yahoo! staffers to misuse the apostrophe? They use it to form the plural of words, like this from Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time”:

They avoid using it in a contraction like it’s:

And fear it in possessives, even when it’s required in headlines like this one from Yahoo! News‘ “Trending Now”:

Apostrophobia? Or simply a case of carelessness and indifference?

Not even trying

Nothing says “I’m not even trying to get it right” than misspelling names. Instead of Googling Ricki Lake and Sally Jessy Raphael to ascertain the correct spelling of their names, the writer for Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time” just wings it:

But he’s not the only Yahoo! staffer to demonstrate indifference to accuracy. Another Yahoo! writer doesn’t bother with checking the spelling of the Disney character Tinker Bell before committing it to Yahoo! Shine:

Really, people, it takes less than a minute to find the correct spelling on the Web. Try it. Your readers will thank you for it.

A crazy cornucopia

This is what happens if you don’t proofread everything you’ve written — including the headlines:

We have Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time” to thank for this brief lesson.

Apostrophes: Not for plurals

Some writers are just apostrophe-happy, sticking them in all sorts of places where they don’t belong. The writer for Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time” is one of those people. He likes to use them for forming plurals. There are few times when an apostrophe is needed to form the plural of an abbreviation, and this isn’t one of them:

The plural of DVD is DVDs. (Oops, I almost forgot to mention the misplaced comma; if you’re in the U.S., it belongs before that closing quotation mark.)

This sentence isn’t so bad, but I would’ve liked it a lot more if the writer had included all the words in this sentence:

It’d  also be nice if he knew how to form the plural of favorites (hint: it doesn’t involve an apostrophe). At least there’s an apostrophe in ’60s and ’90s, though it’s  in the wrong place: For decades it’s not used to show a plural, but to indicate that the numerals 19 are missing. Finally, where the heck was the spell-checker? Did it just step out for a latte? Anyone who writes should have a spell-checker. And should use it. It would have found the misspelling of Lincoln.

Michelle Pfeiffer? Nope

Is that Michelle Pfeiffer on Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time”? No, but it should be:

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