Huge dinosaur drowned in beer

I didn’t know that there was draft beer back in the days of dinosaurs. I should have paid closer attention to “The Flintstones” when I was a kid. Maybe I would have seen Fred and Barney tossing back a few.  But I’m grateful to Yahoo! News for introducing me to this revelation:

draught news

Of course, the writer might have meant a different kind of draught, like the breeze you feel when you live in Vermont and it’s winter and the windows aren’t caulked. Whatever. It’s just odd to me that the writer chose the British spelling draught, while we here in the States refer to it as draft. And I didn’t know that a draught could lead to dehydration. That sounds more like a drought to me.


Unexpected benefit of a hotter Africa

It’s hard to imagine how a hotter Africa would be more inhabitable, but that’s what it says on Yahoo! News’ “The Sideshow”:


Ha-ha! The writer has just pulling your leg. Of course, much of Africa would become uninhabitable because of increased temperature. The “journalist” was obviously having a little fun at the expense of the truth.

My real name is Popcorn, but you can call me Marvin

Where was the writer’s mind when he wrote this for Yahoo! News‘ “The Sideshow”?

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Bottles, not labels, have shoulders. But that’s not the worst of that sentence. The writer provided a handy-dandy photo of the labels so you can see “black on white color schemes” for yourself:

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That looks like a white-on-black color scheme, but maybe it’s just me.

Anyhoo, it seems that someone named Popcorn Sutton (who’s known by the nickname Marvin), was a moonshiner. At least that’s what it says in this excerpt from the article:

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Isn’t that weird? I would have thought that his real name as Marvin and his nickname was Popcorn. But nooooo. Those quotation marks indicate his nickname. I’m guessin’ that Popcorn Sutton sold his brew in Mason jars (or at least that’s what the rest of the world calls them).

No monopoly on mistakes

One of the most frequently misspelled words in English is accommodation. It’s often spelled with only one M. But I was shocked to see it mangled like this on Yahoo! News‘ “The Sideshow”:

accamadations 1

The writer doesn’t make the situation better by claiming that visitors to national parks had “48 hours to leave or make accamadations [sic] elsewhere.” Does that mean that if they moved to a hotel outside the park they had more that 48 hours to leave? The editor in me would have just deleted “or make accamadations elsewhere” since it’s not true that all visitors had to find accommodations elsewhere.

The writer doesn’t have a monopoly on errors; all writers make mistakes. But most professional writers have the sense to use a spell-checker and take care to spell names (like Leo Gaertner) correctly:

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It’s the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce, and some businesses got a shortterm (with a hyphen) sales boost:

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Did Mr. Anderson attempt to contact his congressman over the phone and mail? No, He tried over the phone and by mail:

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So few words, so many mistakes

What was the writer for Yahoo! News‘ “The Sideshow” going for with this?

scarlett letter news

Is this a reference to Scarlett Johansson? No? In that case, scarlet is the correct spelling?

Is this a reference to the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne? Yes? Then it should be “The Scarlet Letter,” with the word The as part of the title. No? Then it should be the scarlet letter, without quotation marks or capital letters.

Whatever the writer was trying to convey, she failed.

Take no prisoner’s!

Is there a word missing in this sentence from Yahoo! News‘ “The Sideshow,” or does the writer really think this is the plural of prisoner?

prisoners apost news

How many times?

How many times can one writer tap out Comic-Con without its hyphen? Every time!

Each time the writer for Yahoo! News‘ “The Sideshow” goes for Comic-Con, he omits the hyphen:

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Sometimes he tries to insert a line break with the HTML tag <br>, but it’s not working:

comic con 2


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and agaom”

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Another attempt to insert a line break, compounding the error of the missing hyphen:

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The last one!

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But that’s not the only mistake he’s made. In fact, it’s rather minor compared to his assertion that Mr. DeLeeuw is crammed into what must be the only two-bedroom hotel in the world:

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And let’s not forget about homophonic errors:

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Readers react

If you think readers don’t notice your mistakes, take a look at the comments on a recent article from Yahoo! News‘ “The Sideshow.” The article includes such gems as this:

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The “journalist” meant to tap out “the ensuing fame,” but the result is pure nonsense.

Is anyone else as confused as I am about the “speaking fees” and “speaking engagement fees”? Aren’t they the same thing? Is that “word” supposed to be image?

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Apostrophes and single quotation marks are no substitute for double quotes, which is what American English uses for direct quotations:

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And any spell-checker would have found this:

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What did readers say about these (and probably other) mistakes?

  • “Who wrote this #$%$? I have a headache from trying to read it.”
  • “Did he write this article himself? Spelling/ grammar atrocious.”
  • “‘the ensuring fan’, ‘iamge’, ‘claimedno’ …really?”
  • “Usually do not complain about poorly written/edited things, but this was just unreadable.”

Totally wrong

All told, the writers for Yahoo! News‘ “The Sideshow” make a hundred writing mistakes a day. OK, so I made that statistic up. But if you read that column (or Terribly Write) regularly, you probably believed it. And if you read this article, you probably noticed at least one mistake: The expression is “all told,” not “all total,” and it means “with everything or everyone taken into account; in all.”

all total

Making a clean getaway

The situation is pretty much cut-and-dried: There’s misspelling in this headline from Yahoo! News‘ “The Sideshow”:

news sideshow burgler

Maybe the burglar was trying to launder money or attempting to make a clean getaway. In any case, this guy is washed up as a burglar.

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