Friday, February 24, 2012

Ironing Out Some Confusion

This post is about a movie that's a few years old, so it's not like I'm striking while the iron is hot, but I couldn't resist using my superpowers for good in another Robert Downey Jr. film.

Remember the 2008 movie Iron Man? I enjoyed it. In fact, it's one of my favorite superhero flicks. It's not perfect, though. Here's why:

About five minutes into the movie, during a video presentation at an awards show in Las Vegas, a Forbes magazine is seen. On the cover is Tony Stark, superbly played by Downey Jr. "Tony Stark takes reigns at 21," the cover blurb proclaims.

Stark reigns at his company, Stark Industries, sure, but he did so by taking the reins at 21.

The cover blurb is letting readers know that Stark took controlling power of the company at a young age. In this instance, we need the noun reins. The noun reign refers to royal authority (the reign of King Henry XIII) or the power or influence of one resembling a monarch (the reign of Steve Jobs).

It's an understandable mix-up, but it's one I had to point out. I'm also deducting a few additional points for two other magazine-related errors (not pictured) that pop up during this scene. Both have to do with missing hyphens. I'll let my readers figure out where the missing punctuation marks belong.

  1. On the cover of Popular Mechanics: "Six year old Tony Stark builds first V8"
  2. A photo caption in MIT Technology Review: "Tony Stark poses with the prize winning robot in his father's workshop at Stark Industries."


  1. I guessing its missing hyphens:

    "Six-year-old Tony Stark builds first V8"

    "Tony Stark poses with the prize-winning robot in his father's workshop at Stark Industries."

    1. Your superpowers have come in handy, John. Yes, you have placed the missing hyphens correctly in both instances. A well-done job. (Note the hyphen!)

  2. Your apparent typo is amusingly ironic. Even more so because you described this as one of your favorite superhero flicks. You repeatedly refer to Tony Starks. I believe you mean Tony Stark.

    1. I'm so embarrassed I'm redder than a certain Marvel superhero's armor. I have a few editorial things that I have to, ahem, iron out. Your comment was a Stark reminder to be meticulous. Thanks for writing!