Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Y's Horoscope

My brother, a Taurus, made me aware of today's look at writing gone wrong. It looks to me like the writer of this horoscope was creatively inspired to come up with a creative spelling for you'll. Is that the kind of impression he or she really wanted to make? This Aries doubts it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

There You Are, R

Remember the missing r I was looking for earlier this month? I found it. It was hiding in Virginia.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

More "Straight" Talk

My bad. I assumed straight was an easy word to spell, but I was wrong. I noticed it misspelled on TV during a college football game earlier this month, and now my friend Lindsay, of IAMNOTASTALKER, has shared the following, just in time for Turkey Day. She came across this sign at a Trader Joe's in Pasadena, California. I wonder if the turkeys that are straight ahead are the people who made the sign. Hmm...

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Holiday Break

It's the time of year to give thanks. I, for one, am thankful that bars and bistros tend to take liberties when promoting their daily specials. One of my favorite people, Lindsay, who runs the terrific IAMNOTASTALKER website, spotted this sandwich board the other day outside of a cafe in Pasadena, California. I understand that the board's physical dimensions limit what can be written on it, but that's no excuse for taking what is one word and making it two.

Thanks Giving Sandwich? Really? The fourth Thursday in November is Thanksgiving — one word.

Before I sit down later this week for a turkey- and stuffing-filled feast, allow me to offer a couple of simple sign solutions:

  1. Write smaller, and fit Thanksgiving on one line.
  2. Stick to the size shown, but add a hyphen after the s ... and, if you truly want to be accurate, lowercase the g and the last n.
In the spirit of Thanks Giving Day, I went on a pilgrimage to discover other new holidays. I've come up with a few. Won't you celebrate them with me?

In Dependence Day
Lab Or Day
St. Pat Rick's Day

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Settling a Score With TV Guide

If you enjoy college football as much as I do, you may want to tune in to tonight's Oregon-Southern California game on ABC. It should be entertaining. Fourth-ranked Oregon will be looking for its third straight victory in this Pac-12 series. You wouldn't know this if you looked at the latest issue of TV Guide.

The top listing in the TV schedule for Saturday the 19th is the Oregon-USC game. TV Guide describes the two teams as Pac-10 powers. Not anymore, TV Guide. The Pac-10 became the Pac-12 when Colorado and Utah joined the conference. The magazine then states that the Trojans defeated the Ducks 44-10 last season. I knew right away I was reading a fact error.

Even a casual college football fan can tell you that Oregon made it to the championship game last season, and that would not have been possible with a 34-point loss to the Trojans. I looked up the 2010 result and, sure enough, Oregon won 53-32 at USC. Where did TV Guide get 44-10, I wondered, so I checked to see if that was the score in 2009. Nope. Oregon won that one 47-20. Turns out, the 44-10 game TV Guide referred to took place in 2008.

And the all-time series lead for USC should read 37-18-2, not 37-16-2. For whatever reason, TV Guide failed to recognize the existence of the 2009 and 2010 college football seasons. Perhaps a bitter USC fan was in charge of the TV listings. If so, I can't blame him. As a University of Florida graduate, I'd like to erase the 2010 and 2011 seasons from my memory.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Family Issues

A softball buddy who teaches seventh grade asked if he should send me some of the errors he finds in his students' work. I told him thanks but no thanks. This blog isn't intended to belittle others, especially those who are young and still learning. My goal is to find errors made in the professional world, and to dish them out with a side of humor.

I also don't claim to be perfect. Far from it, in fact. I admit here and now that I advanced to a town-wide spelling bee when I was in fifth grade ... and spelled chocolate wrong! My mother still brings that up, with a twinkle in her eye, every so often. Sigh. And I'm sure you'll find a typo or two on this site from time to time. (If you do, puh-lease let me know!) In my defense, it looks like spelling issues run in my family.

Today I caught a glimpse of my mom's to-do list. I love you to death, Mom, but what a turkey you are. Thanksgiving has a K in it.

I'd even venture to say Thanksgiving is easier to spell than chocolate, though that's just one man's opinion.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Great Scott!

Call me crazy, but for me the most exciting thing in the November 2011 issue of Playboy had nothing to do with the centerfold or any particular pictorial. On the last page, in a section previewing what will appear in the next issue, was a reference to Back to the Future. That 1985 classic is my favorite movie of all time. By far. Love, love, love it! So much so, in fact, that I took a trip to Los Angeles in 2008 for the sole purpose of visiting its filming locations. Oh, sorry, I'm getting off topic. (If anyone wants to wax poetic about BTTF, I'm here!) Anyway, if you're even one-sixteenth the BTTF fan I am, you should be able to spot the fact error in Playboy's blurb.

If time travel truly is possible, the editors at Playboy should borrow that souped-up DeLorean, set their time circuits for the day before the issue went to press and change uranium to something with a little more kick. Namely, plutonium.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I was reading the newspaper the other night while watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory. I came across the blurb at right on the front page of the sports section. The Big East plans to invite Southern Methodist, Houston, Central Florida, Boise State, Air Force and Navy. That — and correct me if I'm wrong — is six schools. I wasn't able to do all my counting on one hand, but I'm still fairly certain I got the math right. I can't say the same for the headline writer.

To spare the newspaper in question from any embarrassment, I will not identify it. I'll leave you with a couple of hints, though: You can get the paper in the USA. You can get the paper Today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Trick Question

I'm going to go with politics, because I've never heard of "romace."

This is from my local paper, the Connecticut Post. It's the first time the Connecticut Post has showed up in When Write Is Wrong, though I'm guessing it won't be the last. In fact, I predict the Connecticut Post, like Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live, will make the most appearances.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where Are You, R?

On Saturday I was doing what I always do in the fall: watch college football. I don't miss a Gator game for anything. (Although the games this season have been one headache-inducing affair after another. Sigh.) While watching my alma mater hold on for an uninspiring home victory against Vanderbilt, these "SEC Headlines" caught my eye. I paused my TV (thank you, DVR), grabbed my camera and snapped away.

My complaint has nothing to do with the LSU-Alabama info not being the top headline, though it should have been. It was this season's version of the "Game of the Century," for crying out loud, but I digress. My issue is with the top headline.

While Georgia searched for its seventh straight victory against New Mexico St., I searched for the r missing from that headline. No. 18 Georgia found its victory; I'm still looking for the 18th letter of the alphabet.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Off Target

Sunday paper just arrived, chock full of inserts. The Target flyer had the six words you see here atop one of its pages. Now, I get it — advertisers and advertisements are less restrained by the rules of spelling and grammar than, say, a copy editor at a magazine. They have the freedom to be creative. That's fine. But creativity and readability are not mutually exclusive. So, even though I'll let it slide that the good folks at Target decided not to capitalize the first word, I will throw a big, tightly-packed snowball at them for not putting a punctuation mark between the fourth and fifth words. Try reading those six words. There is a natural pause. Well, there should be. But where is the period after day? Heck, I'd settle for a comma or a dash. Something.

The irony of it all is that Target's slogan is, "Expect More. Pay Less." It's not, "Expect More Pay Less." I expected more, Target. I got less.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yellow Journalism

It's my first When Write Is Wrong post, so I may as well get off to a hot start. I think this one will do the trick.

While living and working in Gainesville, Florida, a few years ago, I came across an instant-classic editing blunder in the local Yellow Pages. Come to find out, I could not vote in local elections — I met only five of the six requirements. Oh, well.

What a difference two little letters make, huh? If only in had been left out.

By the way, this blog does not discriminate. The mentally competent and mentally incompetent are welcome.