Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Little Sister

It doesn't take analysis from the British SIS to realize something is amiss near this sis. If the writer wished to end a sentence with a shortened form of sister, that's fine, but not to put too fine a point on it, he should have put a point on it — a period, to be exact. It's not conventional to end a sentence, let alone a paragraph, sans a punctuation mark. It's informal. Like sis.

Monday, July 29, 2013

All the Wrong Moves

Allow the image at right to serve as your teleprompter, readers. It shows an excerpt from the speech Meryl Streep gave after winning a best-actress Oscar for her performance in The Iron Lady. I don't know who transcribed this Academy Awards speech, but, oh, Mamma Mia!

In the span of four sentences, I count more errors (four) than Meryl Streep has Oscars (three).

Did she really want to think all her colleagues and friends? I doubt it. The thing is, we must think twice about this, because think has been used incorrectly — twice! First it was think instead of thank, and then it was think instead of thing. These were easy word selections to make; Sophie's choice was much, much more difficult!

Moving on...

The think-thing switcheroo isn't the only error in the last sentence. I take no pleasure (OK, maybe a little) in announcing that someone did a job on it, taking all the joy out of it. Plus, Meryl Streep has made her fair share of classic movies, to be sure (The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs. Kramer, Out of Africa and Julie & Julia, to name a few), but I had no idea this living legend could bust a move. I'll have to YouTube it.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Mini-Error

Open the miniature door, let the cool air hit you and feast your eyes on the deck in this USA Today article about hotel minibars. That's quite the exotic spelling of exotic, huh? We see you, c. If you don't remove yourself, you're going to pay the price — and it'll be more costly than a $7 bottle of water, an $8 bag of Gummi Bears or a $15 can of Mashuga Nuts.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


(Section 25612 {C}{3} B&P)

* Many thanks to my friend Lindsay, of IAMNOTASTALKER, for loitering outside a Vons grocery store in La Quinta, California, long enough to notice the error this sign, ahem, contains.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sa5m I A5m

Today's typo had me reminiscing about Bandslam, an under-the-radar, underappreciated 2009 film starring Aly Michalka, Vanessa Hudgens, Gaelan Connell and Lisa Kudrow. In Bandslam, Hudgens plays a quirky high school girl named Sa5m. Yes, Sa5m. As Sa5m explains to the new kid in school when she writes her name on a piece of paper and places it in front of him on the lunch table, the 5 is silent.

Swept should be a five-letter word, but we've got a 5 in the fifth spot. That digit should have been swept under the proverbial rug. Take five, readers. Literally. Take 5. Please. It doesn't belong here. Do it fo4r me, OK?

A screen capture from Bandslam

Friday, July 19, 2013

A NO.-No.

In the Connecticut Post, team rankings are displayed using NO. — an abbreviation for the word number — followed by the number. No, wait, make that No. No, no, no, it is NO. Actually, it's both. The Post has provided us with two incarnations of the number abbreviation. We have No. five times and NO. twice. That's no way to do this. Pick one style and stick with it — no excuses. No. can do. So can NO. But not both. No way.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dead Wrong

In The Call, an intense thriller that came out in March, Halle Berry is Jordan, a 911 operator battling job-related demons. * SPOILER ALERT * A teenager calls the emergency hotline when a man breaks into her home. The girl, hiding under her bed after making it look like she’s escaped via an open window, is thisclose to avoiding danger when the call is disconnected. Jordan, in a moment of panic, redials. The intruder, about to exit the house, hears the ringing, makes his way back upstairs and, well, six months later Jordan is still riddled with guilt.

At some point during that six-month interval, Jordan affixed the young girl’s obituary to her locker. The obituary flickered in the flick, but not briefly enough to avoid catching flak. Leah Templeton is the subject of what just may be the worst obituary ever written. It should have been killed in post-production, because this death notice, you’ll notice, is dead wrong on so many levels.

Forget 911; we don’t need medical assistance. We need editorial assistance. I’m here to provide the 411 on this obit’s many causes of death — and I’m overlooking the incomplete addresses, poorly formatted dates, absent hyphens, unnecessary capitalization and missing commas galore.

Bad things come in threes, or so we’re told. With that in mind, I call attention to a trio of The Call mishaps that spell disaster for this obituary:

1. Why was Leah born in Los angeles? L.a.? Nay. We need a big A in a big way. Our first mistake is a little wrong, with a little a.

2. Why are the services on the 27th of Febuary? Some (many) don’t pronounce the r in our second month, but it’s there in written form. Include it always, or you’ll rue the day — in this case, Febuary 27. Our second mistake is a Feb-ew-error.

3. Why would friends and family send donatioins? See that free contribution dropped off near the back? It’s akin to a broken, soiled or banned item given to Goodwill. Take it back. Another pair of eyes would have helped avoid our third mistake: a pair of i’s.

A smooth operator would have come in handy on the crew of The Call. Alas, the error-filled obituary is permanently captured on film. To borrow a key line from the movie, it’s already done. But don’t do it again. When it comes to committing obituary errors, cease and desist. The deceased insist.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hot 'N' Bothered

July is the Mila Kunis of months — it’s really hot. On average, July is the sultriest month of the year. It’s during its dog days that we hit the beach wearing very few articles of clothing. One of the articles pictured here may want to follow suit and do some disrobing.

Had the fight taken place four days later (i.e., in August), an would have been the article we were after. Our seventh month, however, begins with a consonant sound, so we need a, as much if not more so than a certain pale-skinned, redheaded blogger needs SPF 50 (or higher) on one of those hot, sunny July days.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lost at Sea

Each issue of the Connecticut Post used to contain a "Nation & World" page that included four photos at the top (labeled A–D) and six short articles at the bottom (numbered 1–6). A world map near the middle of the page included the corresponding letters (in small circles) and numbers (in small boxes). The letters and numbers were placed on the map according to where the photo was taken or the story took place. In the accompanying images, for example, news brief No. 3 details Greece's financial woes, and No. 5 is about an anti-abortion protest in Virginia.

So, looking at this map, it stands to reason that the four photos were taken somewhere in the North Pacific Ocean, close to the imaginary International Date Line. Perhaps something happened on the Marshall Islands. Maybe a shark was trapped in the "garbage patch" of marine debris concentrated in the North Pacific. This isn't the case, of course. The Connecticut Post editor simply failed to place the A–D photo labels once the photos had been selected.

Allow me to put these photos on the map — literally. Label "A" goes near Rome, "B" in Tokyo, "C" in Libya and "D" in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Label me happy now.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Bathing Suture

A skimpy bikini could be a conversation piece, because of its revealing pieces. That’s pieces, with an s. You see, it takes two to make a bikini. Two pieces.

Let’s look at this from top to bottom. On top, we’ve got, um, the bikini top, which covers the breasts. At bottom, we’ve got, er, the bikini bottom, which conceals (sometimes not so well) the groin and the buttocks.

Now take a gander at the image above. Something doesn’t (bathing) suit me. Katherine Webb donned a “one-piece bikini”? How is that possible? If Katherine is wearing a “one-piece bikini,” which piece is it? The top? The bottom? May I see the photo? Barring visual proof, I’m going to have to conduct piece talks with the writer. Negotiations may become heated, and I won’t be at peace until he removes one-piece.

     Here is the 8x10 photo mentioned in  
the article. This is not a bikini.
Bi is a prefix meaning two, so a bikini consists of two kinis. Kidding. The term bikini was coined in 1946 and is named for Bikini Atoll, a group of islands within the Marshall Islands where the U.S. conducted nuclear tests after World War II. The introduction of the bathing suit, with its risqué style, is said to have created the same shock as the nuclear bombing. But that doesn’t change things “atoll.” Despite what you may find elsewhere on the Internet, a “one-piece bikini” does not exist. It can’t, by definition. A bikini is a two-piece bathing suit. A bikini is bisectional. The instant you connect the top and bottom sections, the bikini, as we know it, ceases to exist. Call it something else. Call it a bathing suit or, if you want to be trendy, a “monokini.” The latter term is a bit misguided, knowing what we know now about bikini’s etymology, but at least it recognizes the amalgam of a one-piece suit and a bikini.

Before blogging about Webb’s “one-piece bikini,” I ran it by my fashionable friend Lindsay, of IAMNOTASTALKER. She agreed that it made no sense and urged me to pen today’s post. I showed her the photo above, and she wrote, “I would never refer to that type of suit as a one-piece bikini.”

As the bikini top said to the bikini bottom: That makes two of us.

This is a bikini. I'm showing it for educational purposes only, of course.

Friday, July 5, 2013

You Said It, So Do It

The Connecticut Post has a "You said it" section where readers can share short messages about whatever floats their boat. The only rule a reader must follow is to limit the message to "50 words or fewer." Sounds easy enough.

It's not.

The photo I've included is typical of what appears on a daily basis in the Post: two reader-submitted messages far exceeding the 50-word limit.

Fran Weiss kept his comment to "only" 96 words. Stan Muzyk did him one better (16 better, actually), sharing a 112-word entry.

Don't pan Fran and Stan for not sticking to the plan. Blame the Post. Why have this rule, which has been in place for years, if you are not going to enforce it? I shared these sentiments in a "You said it" message — less than 50 words in length, naturally — I sent to the Post in July 2010. They printed it. They didn't read it though. Had they, they would have noticed how ridiculous and how unprofessional they come across printing daily messages greater than 50 words.

I have two very simple solutions, Connecticut Post. Choose one.

      1. Alter your rule. Change 50 to, say, 100 or 125.
      2. Keep your rule as is, but only print messages that — gasp! — contain 50 or fewer words.

I said it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hart to Heart

This photo has not been doctored.
I'm no cardiologist, but without skipping a beat I can verify that the emergency transplant was unsuccessful. The heartbreaking details are as follows:

On TV, Rachel Bilson plays a New York-based doctor named Zoe Hart who moves to Alabama. Playing off the name of its lead character as well as its Southern setting, the one-hour drama is called Hart of Dixie. That's Hart of Dixie, not Heart of Dixie, which is a 1989 movie about racial animosity in the '50s.

I told the USA Today writer to give his blurb an EKG. He assured me he would. I guess he had a change of heart. As such, his Hart isn't in it.

Monday, July 1, 2013

UsA! UsA!

During his “March to the Sea” in the latter stages of the Civil War, Gen. William T. Sherman ordered Union Army troops to set fire to Atlanta. During the War of 1812, British forces destroyed much of Washington, D.C. First, the capital of Georgia fell; next, it was the capital of our nation. The capital in ruins this time around, courtesy of troops at the Connecticut Post, is the one in United States. The Post, in a move that mimics an intrusive federal government, has taken power from the States. Why has the uppercase S been downgraded, leaving us in a state of confusion?

It’s just a capital letter, you say. Stop making a mountain out of a molehill. I’m not. I don’t believe it’s a trivial pursuit … or a Trivial Pursuit. See? Capitalization matters! Need additional proof? Check out my seven examples below.

1a. Your husband says he’s giving money to charity every month. That’s philanthropic of him.

1b. Your husband says he’s giving money to Charity every month. That’s philandering of him. Stop sticking those small bills in that stripper’s g-string!

2a. While she’s on vacation, your mom sends you a postcard that includes the line, “I’m enjoying intercourse!” Whoa! TMI.

2b. While she’s on vacation, your mom sends you a postcard that includes the line, “I’m enjoying Intercourse!” I knew she would. The Amish village, located just outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is a popular tourist destination.

3a. The press release states, “The Twins were killed in New York.” Typical. Minnesota’s team almost always loses in Yankee Stadium.

3b. The press release states, “The twins were killed in New York.” Homicidal. What twins? Are Mary Kate and Ashley all right?

4a. A sign outside the restaurant notes that it will close for Good Friday. Better stay home for dinner two days before Easter.

4b. A sign outside the restaurant notes that it will close for good Friday. Better get there right away, because it’ll be gone forever come Saturday.

5a. In a letter from camp, your son remarks that he “had way too much Coke at the welcome party.” Other than an insulin burst and a bit of belching, you have nothing to worry about. Besides, it beats Pepsi.

5b. In a letter from camp, your son remarks that he “had way too much coke at the welcome party.” You have a lot to worry about. Is this Camp Sheen, in Hollywood?

6a. The guy at the bar pulled a Camel out of his shirt pocket. Give him a light, because he wants to smoke.

6b. The guy at the bar pulled a camel out of his pocket. That must be a very small humped mammal or a very big illusion.

7a. Your new husband says he picked up a penny on the corner last night. Sweet! The family is one cent richer.

7b. Your new husband says he picked up a Penny on the corner last night. Not so sweet! After the divorce settlement, you’re going to be richer.

So, did my examples work? Have I whipped my readers into a united state?