Sunday, May 16, 2010

Screen Snaps Crackle and Pop

I've been accumulating snapshots of text errors and other oddities from various websites, and it's finally time to share a few.

The Huffington Post is usually good for some headline amusement. First, there's the name of that famous Indian political leader. Why is it so darn hard to spell correctly?

HuffPo headline misspelling Gandhi as Ghandi
Then there's the problem with hyphens in headlines. There's nothing wrong with this headline, but the line break makes it almost completely nonsensical. Biden took on a wall? Was he trying to protect Humpty Dumpty? And what's a street-friendly Democrat?

HuffPo headline reading Biden Takes On Wall Street-Friendly Democrats, but the line break is between Wall and Street
Which reminds me of this fun hyphen error from today's Star Tribune. The copy editor gets points for realizing a hyphen was needed, but loses points for not getting it between the right two words.

Star Tribune article refers to new fangled-fiber instead of new-fangled fiber
Although, I have to admit "fangled-fiber" is a great phrase that I will have to try to insert into my daily usage. "Are you having a burger for lunch?" "No, today I feel the need for some fangled-fiber."

Facebook's sidebars are usually good for a laugh. I've seen women friends identified as "he," and can't remember how many agreement problems I've noted like this one (which is actually on my status page as I write this):

Facebook Ads is an easy and effective way to...
I realize they're using "Facebook Ads" as a singular product name (similar to saying "Advertising is an easy and effective way...") but, really, didn't they ever learn that writers should read their words aloud to hear how they sound? Chalkboard? Fingernails?

I usually avoid comment threads, but once in a while I succumb. One bonus of reading them is a bumper crop of spelling and usage errors. I ignore most of them (considering the source), but here are a couple that are so bad they'd be right at home on signs at a Tea Party rally:

Comment refers to someone as a pomp's jerk instead of a pompous jerk

Comment refers to corral a bunch of suckers, except corral is spelled chorale

You know those codes you have to type before submitting a comment on Blogger or other websites? They're called "captchas" and are a source of amusement to many, including one Flickr user who has set up a page called Captcha Poetry. Here are a few I've had to type that I thought were particularly noteworthy:

Letter code captcha reading BarackSM

Letter code captcha reading CopHead

And last but not least... there's nothing wrong with the wording of this tweet from Seward Co-op:

FINALLY a reliable mango. Our current batch is awesome.

But isn't "reliable mango" a particularly nice example of word salad? Finally!

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