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?

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:

jhud

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.

They’ve done it again

Oops. They’ve done it again. And again. The writers at Yahoo! Style simply haven’t mastered English grammar and continue to commit obvious and egregious grammatical gaffes. First, it’s the mismatch of a singular subject (Sophie Webster) with a plural verb (have done). How does such an obvious error get past the editors? Oh, yeah, there are no editors.

have done coca cola sty

Then there’s the glaring use of lead (which, when pronounced led, is the stuff inside a pencil) instead of the past tense led. Not content with showing an astounding ignorance of grammar, the writer displays a complete disregard for the trademarked Coca-Cola.

They’ve done it again. And they’ll do it again.

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

Use / or or, but not both

When reading this list of materials for a DIY project on Yahoo! Makers, I almost overlooked the redundant use of the slash and the word or. That’s because I was focused on the word velum:

velum diy

I haven’t seen that word outside of biology textbooks. The velum is a thin membrane or the soft palate, which is the back of the roof of the mouth. I’m not sure how you’d use it instead of tracing paper. Perhaps the writer meant vellum. Just takin’ a wild guess.

Woe is me!

Woe is me! I made the mistake of reading this headline on Yahoo! Style:

woes me 1

I couldn’t figure out if Mr. Blacc had won the writer over or bowled her over. Does it matter? This writer was obviously suffering from the encounter and it spills over into her writing.

This gal loves her some commas, which she sprinkles liberating throughout the piece along with an extraneous word or two. But the fun for us is trying to figure out how a black suit comes with a white jacket:

woes me 2

Let’s say fare-thee-well to “has fared him well,” because that makes no sense. This writer is obviously a tad vocabulary-challenged. Perhaps she meant “has served him well.” A dictionary might just serve her well.

woes me 3

What is ‘Walking Dead’ character’s real name?

Did you think the “gentle giant” on the TV show “The Walking Dead” was called Tyreese? You’d be wrong. According to the folks at the Yahoo! front page, that was a nickname or a pseudonym or something else:

fp tyreese

Ha-ha. I kid. I am a kidder. The character is Tyreese and the mistake is Yahoo!’s by putting quotation marks around the name. They just don’t belong there. It’s like referring to the Shakespearean characters as “Romeo” and “Juliet.”

Let’s pretend you know what it means

Let’s change this word on Yahoo! Parenting so that it’s correct:

lets parent

It needs an apostrophe to indicate the omission of a letter. Few people (especially those under the age of a dinosaur) know that let’s is a contraction of let us.

Ack! I’m running out of red ink!

Few things irk me more than really bad writing by people who are paid to write. Unless it’s management that allows really bad writing to be published. And one indication of bad writing is the amount of red ink I bleed on a page. So, this article from Yahoo! Style is really bad and I’m really irked.

Omitting a hyphen from an age is a relatively minor, but totally unnecessary, mistake:

bush 1

Using the wrong word? Not minor mistake in my opinion, although I alternately agree and disagree that the writer should be taken out behind to the woodshed:

bush 2

It’s hard to imagine a writer confusing alternatively with alternately. With mistakes like that, this writer will never receive the acclaim of legitimate writers, unless she acquires the services of a competent editor:

bush 3

Her word choice continues to be sketchy at best: No, didgeridoos and balalaikas are not a few instruments, they are two instruments:

bush 4

More red ink! I need more red ink! Or at least an explanation for why there’s a the in front of Bush’s mystique but none in front of performer, why she didn’t put the only in front of the word it modifies (which is one), why it’s not an accidental death, and why this writer can’t match a verb (which should be have kept) to its subject:

bush 5

Just how old is a bohemian? And is a “slight bohemian age” like dog-years?

bush 6

I guess we should expect a writer who doesn’t know the difference between a bohemian age and a bohemian edge to care about spelling a name correctly, like Clare Waight Keller:

bush 7

Are you still with me? If so, then you got to the best of the worst word usages of all times: the blouses with the bellowing sleeves. I’ve heard of loud prints, but never loud sleeves. I wonder if they’re red.

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