Category Archives: Word Choice Errors

Getting "Fitted" at Leo’s Beach

I watched The Beach tonight. I had ordered it from Netflix, and it had been sitting on top of my DVD player for at least a week. I know that many people scoff at this movie, but several backpackers on the Bootsnall travel forum have said that seeing The Beach had inspired them to travel.

Well, after seeing it, I think that it’s up there with Brokedown Palace at the top of the list of movies that will scare you out of taking that upcoming trip to Thailand.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s character narrated the film, and at one point, he recited the following sentence:

I was the only one with the overview of how it all fitted together.

That sentence jolted me out of my happy movie-coma. Fitted?

It sounded terrible. However, the more I thought about it, the more I doubted myself. It was supposed to be fit, wasn’t it? Or was fitted an appropriate past participle?

I turned to my beloved Google, and found some interesting insights on this page:

Here’s the big picture. Germanic languages each have a handful of verb
pairs (lie, lay; fall, fell) consisting of matched intransitive and transitive
counterparts sharing a common concept. The intransitives are irregular and the
transitives are regular. Transitive means having an noun object without need of
a preposition, as in “fell a tree”.English seems to have only four pairs left,
and the pair shine/shine is iffy.

fit, fit, fit; [irregular and intransitive]
fit, fitted, fitted [regular and transitive]

The other verbs are fall/fell, lie/lay, and shine.

This observant linguist, DaleC, points out that “fitted” is acceptable when referring to an object: fitting a shoe, for example. I fitted the shoe against his foot.

Since Leo was explaining a concept, rather than literally fitting an object, the word should have been fit, not fitted.

(You might be wondering if the screenwriters had intended for Leo’s character to use the word fitted, had intended for him to be incorrect. That might be true in other settings, but in this movie, I don’t think so. Leo spoke slowly, deliberately and with an intellectual air.)

I hope you have a good night.

If you’re in the mood for something weird, put on The Beach. I did enjoy it….but it was one of the stranger movies I’ve seen in recent memory. (If you want to see a truly fantastic film, rent Before Sunset, as long as you have seen Before Sunrise, of course. That movie knocked me over with its greatness.)

Getting "Fitted" at Leo’s Beach

I watched The Beach tonight. I had ordered it from Netflix, and it had been sitting on top of my DVD player for at least a week. I know that many people scoff at this movie, but several backpackers on the Bootsnall travel forum have said that seeing The Beach had inspired them to travel.

Well, after seeing it, I think that it’s up there with Brokedown Palace at the top of the list of movies that will scare you out of taking that upcoming trip to Thailand.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s character narrated the film, and at one point, he recited the following sentence:

I was the only one with the overview of how it all fitted together.

That sentence jolted me out of my happy movie-coma. Fitted?

It sounded terrible. However, the more I thought about it, the more I doubted myself. It was supposed to be fit, wasn’t it? Or was fitted an appropriate past participle?

I turned to my beloved Google, and found some interesting insights on this page:

Here’s the big picture. Germanic languages each have a handful of verb
pairs (lie, lay; fall, fell) consisting of matched intransitive and transitive
counterparts sharing a common concept. The intransitives are irregular and the
transitives are regular. Transitive means having an noun object without need of
a preposition, as in “fell a tree”.English seems to have only four pairs left,
and the pair shine/shine is iffy.

fit, fit, fit; [irregular and intransitive]
fit, fitted, fitted [regular and transitive]

The other verbs are fall/fell, lie/lay, and shine.

This observant linguist, DaleC, points out that “fitted” is acceptable when referring to an object: fitting a shoe, for example. I fitted the shoe against his foot.

Since Leo was explaining a concept, rather than literally fitting an object, the word should have been fit, not fitted.

(You might be wondering if the screenwriters had intended for Leo’s character to use the word fitted, had intended for him to be incorrect. That might be true in other settings, but in this movie, I don’t think so. Leo spoke slowly, deliberately and with an intellectual air.)

I hope you have a good night.

If you’re in the mood for something weird, put on The Beach. I did enjoy it….but it was one of the stranger movies I’ve seen in recent memory. (If you want to see a truly fantastic film, rent Before Sunset, as long as you have seen Before Sunrise, of course. That movie knocked me over with its greatness.)

Ironic, Part II

Jeff, thank you so much for reminding me! How could I forget about Alanis Morissette’s song “Ironic,” one of my favorite songs when I was in middle school?

I absolutely adored Alanis Morissette when I was in the sixth and seventh grades. That was around 1996, when Jagged Little Pill was topping the charts. Everyone in my school was listening to Alanis.

(Side note: Wow, now I’m thinking about all the other music I loved back then: Hootie and the Blowfish, Oasis, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and especially COOLIO! I couldn’t get enough of “Gangsta’s Paradise.”)

I remember sitting in a van with several fellow students in Atlanta, Georgia, when one of the boys said, “The thing about ‘Ironic’ is that it’s not ironic; it’s just bad stuff that happens to you.”

At the time, I spent more time observing that we always remember the bad things in life more than the good things. “It’s like rain on your wedding day,” sang Alanis. Yes, it’s too bad that it’s raining on your wedding day, especially if you had planned a lavish outdoor reception, but isn’t it wonderful that you just got married?

Here are some of the lyrics:

Traffic jam when you’re already late
A “No Smoking” sign on your cigarette break
It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It’s meeting the man of my dreams, then meeting his beautiful wife

It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
And who would’ve thought? It figures

This is a bit tough. At first glance, I see these lyrics as a juxtaposition of good and bad things than examples of irony. That juxtaposition doesn’t seem to be enough.

However, if some sentences are tweaked slightly, they make good examples of irony.

Some examples:

–”The T was running for free all evening following the fireworks. Ironically, I had filled my CharlieCard in advance, expecting to pay both ways, so I was unable to take full advantage of the free transportation.”

–”The only item I needed was a knife to cut the cake. Ironically, I couldn’t have asked for more spoons; there were enough for an army!”

What do you think?

On "Ironic"

I’ve been getting lots of suggestions for posts from NPR listeners, but one of them inspired me much more than others: the usage of the word ironic. I think this is one of the most commonly misused words these days.

If you’ve ever seen an episode of American Idol, you know that Paula Abdul has an interesting way with words. She usually sloshes and sways all over the place while evaluating the contestants, making little sense. (Rumors abound that she is an alcoholic or addicted to painkillers; she has denied both these claims.)

During a show that I believe took place last year, she commented on a performance by one of her favorite contestants. Perhaps it was Elliott Yamin. (LOVE him!) She said something along the lines of, “I find it….so….ironic….that you would choose this song, because it suits you so well.”

This was the nail in the coffin for me. Granted, trying to make sense out of the ramblings of Paula Abdul is not unlike trying to decipher conversations written in leprechaun, but to me, this seemed like a culmination: there are so many people who use the word “ironic” without knowing what it actually means! And now Paula had to go and say that in front of millions of viewers, many of whom were children….

I also remember a conversation that I had with one of my college roommates. We were both English majors, we had the same advisor, and we hoped were both involved in creative writing and publishing. One day, our conversation turned to the word ironic and its meaning.

She swore up and down that it meant “unexpected.”

I strongly disagreed. I told her that I considered it to mean “unusual and contradictory,” then provided her with an example — if someone shows up to a meeting early, is that ironic?

Now, if this guy had a reputation for for always being late and if his colleagues had made plans to start the meeting ten minutes later than scheduled because of that, and, in turn, the guy actually showed up on time and the colleagues were the ones late for the meeting, then that would be ironic.

She and I are both quite headstrong, so we never resolved this argument. To be fair, she is very smart — I consider her to be one of the most intelligent people I met at Fairfield.

For the record, here is the definition of ironic from the American Heritage Dictionary:

1. Characterized by or constituting irony.
2. Given to the use of irony. See Synonyms at sarcastic.
3. Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended: madness, an ironic fate for such a clear thinker.

Here is the definition of irony:

1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal
meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all
weekend.
2. Literature.
a. a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
b.(esp. in contemporary writing) a manner
of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., esp. as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.
3. Socratic irony.
4. dramatic irony.
5. an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.
6. the incongruity of this.
7. an objectively sardonic style of speech or writing.
8. an objectively or humorously sardonic utterance, disposition, quality, etc.

What are your thoughts on the word?

Thanks for the tip, Daniel!

Ironic, Part II

Jeff, thank you so much for reminding me! How could I forget about Alanis Morissette’s song “Ironic,” one of my favorite songs when I was in middle school?

I absolutely adored Alanis Morissette when I was in the sixth and seventh grades. That was around 1996, when Jagged Little Pill was topping the charts. Everyone in my school was listening to Alanis.

(Side note: Wow, now I’m thinking about all the other music I loved back then: Hootie and the Blowfish, Oasis, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and especially COOLIO! I couldn’t get enough of “Gangsta’s Paradise.”)

I remember sitting in a van with several fellow students in Atlanta, Georgia, when one of the boys said, “The thing about ‘Ironic’ is that it’s not ironic; it’s just bad stuff that happens to you.”

At the time, I spent more time observing that we always remember the bad things in life more than the good things. “It’s like rain on your wedding day,” sang Alanis. Yes, it’s too bad that it’s raining on your wedding day, especially if you had planned a lavish outdoor reception, but isn’t it wonderful that you just got married?

Here are some of the lyrics:

Traffic jam when you’re already late
A “No Smoking” sign on your cigarette break
It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It’s meeting the man of my dreams, then meeting his beautiful wife

It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
And who would’ve thought? It figures

This is a bit tough. At first glance, I see these lyrics as a juxtaposition of good and bad things than examples of irony. That juxtaposition doesn’t seem to be enough.

However, if some sentences are tweaked slightly, they make good examples of irony.

Some examples:

–”The T was running for free all evening following the fireworks. Ironically, I had filled my CharlieCard in advance, expecting to pay both ways, so I was unable to take full advantage of the free transportation.”

–”The only item I needed was a knife to cut the cake. Ironically, I couldn’t have asked for more spoons; there were enough for an army!”

What do you think?

On "Ironic"

I’ve been getting lots of suggestions for posts from NPR listeners, but one of them inspired me much more than others: the usage of the word ironic. I think this is one of the most commonly misused words these days.

If you’ve ever seen an episode of American Idol, you know that Paula Abdul has an interesting way with words. She usually sloshes and sways all over the place while evaluating the contestants, making little sense. (Rumors abound that she is an alcoholic or addicted to painkillers; she has denied both these claims.)

During a show that I believe took place last year, she commented on a performance by one of her favorite contestants. Perhaps it was Elliott Yamin. (LOVE him!) She said something along the lines of, “I find it….so….ironic….that you would choose this song, because it suits you so well.”

This was the nail in the coffin for me. Granted, trying to make sense out of the ramblings of Paula Abdul is not unlike trying to decipher conversations written in leprechaun, but to me, this seemed like a culmination: there are so many people who use the word “ironic” without knowing what it actually means! And now Paula had to go and say that in front of millions of viewers, many of whom were children….

I also remember a conversation that I had with one of my college roommates. We were both English majors, we had the same advisor, and we hoped were both involved in creative writing and publishing. One day, our conversation turned to the word ironic and its meaning.

She swore up and down that it meant “unexpected.”

I strongly disagreed. I told her that I considered it to mean “unusual and contradictory,” then provided her with an example — if someone shows up to a meeting early, is that ironic?

Now, if this guy had a reputation for for always being late and if his colleagues had made plans to start the meeting ten minutes later than scheduled because of that, and, in turn, the guy actually showed up on time and the colleagues were the ones late for the meeting, then that would be ironic.

She and I are both quite headstrong, so we never resolved this argument. To be fair, she is very smart — I consider her to be one of the most intelligent people I met at Fairfield.

For the record, here is the definition of ironic from the American Heritage Dictionary:

1. Characterized by or constituting irony.
2. Given to the use of irony. See Synonyms at sarcastic.
3. Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended: madness, an ironic fate for such a clear thinker.

Here is the definition of irony:

1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal
meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all
weekend.
2. Literature.
a. a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
b.(esp. in contemporary writing) a manner
of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., esp. as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.
3. Socratic irony.
4. dramatic irony.
5. an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.
6. the incongruity of this.
7. an objectively sardonic style of speech or writing.
8. an objectively or humorously sardonic utterance, disposition, quality, etc.

What are your thoughts on the word?

Thanks for the tip, Daniel!

An Explanation on the "Every"

Wow. It has been INSANE.

After picking up the paper (six copies!) on Sunday morning, I went up to one of my very favorite places in the world: White Lake State Park in Tamworth, New Hampshire. It’s a very significant place in my family: my dad has been camping there every year since he was 17 years old, and I made my first visit at the ripe old age of 12 days.

But I digress. I returned from a wonderful overnight camping trip, and in spite of the HORRID sunburn on my thighs, which was further aggravated by my sister rubbing sand into them (don’t ask), I’m ecstatic. I could not be happier. There’s nothing like coming home dozens of emails and comments on the blog.

I would like to take the opportunity to say THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to visit the blog, and especially to those who took the time to comment or email me! I will be emailing each of you personally as soon as I have the time.

And now we return to the grammar blogging. I was walking down Tremont Street from Government Center, heading to the Park Street, when I saw the following sign on the front of a building:

“the joy of everyday.”

See anything wrong with that?

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. “Everyday,” when used as a single word, means typical, usual or ordinary. In all other instances, it must be two words: every day.

I’m guessing that Papyrus didn’t want us, as consumers, to find joy in ordinary, run-of-the-mill stationery.

I think that the company’s intention falls more along the lines of wanting consumers to find joy in all things, every single day, and that using beautiful, colorful stationery is a way to add joy to one’s life.

I was there with my friend Andy, and he was the one who added the sticker. You can’t quite tell from the picture, but it’s one of the “The Panda Says NO!” stickers from Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Check out his commentary on the incident on his blog.

For the record:

Everyday: synonym for typical, usual or ordinary
Every day: interchangeable with “each day”

Everyone: interchangeable with “each person”
Every one: used when followed by “of [article + noun]” — an example: Every one of the scouts learned how to tie the knot correctly.

Everytime: THIS IS NOT A WORD. DO NOT USE IT EVER.
Every time: interchangeable with “each time”

An Explanation on the "Every"

Wow. It has been INSANE.

After picking up the paper (six copies!) on Sunday morning, I went up to one of my very favorite places in the world: White Lake State Park in Tamworth, New Hampshire. It’s a very significant place in my family: my dad has been camping there every year since he was 17 years old, and I made my first visit at the ripe old age of 12 days.

But I digress. I returned from a wonderful overnight camping trip, and in spite of the HORRID sunburn on my thighs, which was further aggravated by my sister rubbing sand into them (don’t ask), I’m ecstatic. I could not be happier. There’s nothing like coming home dozens of emails and comments on the blog.

I would like to take the opportunity to say THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to visit the blog, and especially to those who took the time to comment or email me! I will be emailing each of you personally as soon as I have the time.

And now we return to the grammar blogging. I was walking down Tremont Street from Government Center, heading to the Park Street, when I saw the following sign on the front of a building:

“the joy of everyday.”

See anything wrong with that?

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. “Everyday,” when used as a single word, means typical, usual or ordinary. In all other instances, it must be two words: every day.

I’m guessing that Papyrus didn’t want us, as consumers, to find joy in ordinary, run-of-the-mill stationery.

I think that the company’s intention falls more along the lines of wanting consumers to find joy in all things, every single day, and that using beautiful, colorful stationery is a way to add joy to one’s life.

I was there with my friend Andy, and he was the one who added the sticker. You can’t quite tell from the picture, but it’s one of the “The Panda Says NO!” stickers from Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Check out his commentary on the incident on his blog.

For the record:

Everyday: synonym for typical, usual or ordinary
Every day: interchangeable with “each day”

Everyone: interchangeable with “each person”
Every one: used when followed by “of [article + noun]” — an example: Every one of the scouts learned how to tie the knot correctly.

Everytime: THIS IS NOT A WORD. DO NOT USE IT EVER.
Every time: interchangeable with “each time”

A World of NO

I’m sorry for the oversaturation with People.com, but my friend Marie sent this to me, and it is SO bad that I have to repost it with corrections.

I never really mentioned it on here, but I’ve decided to avoid regular blogs. Why? I’m not quite sure. I don’t think that ANYONE deserves a pass, but the fact is….I like a lot of blogs with terrible grammar. I admire bloggers that work tirelessly to make us laugh, and in terms of inspiration, I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me.

Off The Rack, however, is not one of my favorites. This is People Magazine’s official fashion blog. That puts it into the same category as journalism, in my book. Of all people, they should know best.

This is one of the worst examples I have EVER seen. Here we go:

Dita Von Teese’s Beauty Secrets

Dita von Teese is the ultimate in pin up girl beauty: flawless, milky white skin, perfectly tonged hair — and have you seen that body?! When PEOPLE caught up with her at a MAC Viva Glam event in London this week, we wanted to know all of her beauty secrets. “I do yoga and pilates” she revealed as her tiny frame wafted past in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown. “I also do my best to get my beauty sleep which means knowing when the party is over!” And, how does she maintain that perfectly porcelain skin? “Sunscreen is very important but there isn’t one miracle cream, we’re all different.” After performing in a pink Swarovski crystal cow girl outfit (which off course was quickly removed) complete with crystal covered Christian Louboutin boots to perform her risqué burlesque style strip tease, she switched back her glamorous gown and went clubbing with her girlfriends, dutifully leaving at 1.30am, with a sneaky yawn on the way out. At least she practices what she preaches.

Sentence 1: Dita von Teese is the ultimate in pin up girl beauty: flawless, milky white skin, perfectly tonged hair — and have you seen that body?!

1) Pin up is incorrect — pinup is the term describing bombshell women of the 1940s whose posters provided tantalization for soldiers during World War II.

2) Flawless, milky white skin doesn’t work. The most correct version would be “flawless, milk-white skin” or “flawless, milky, white skin.” “Milky white” has become a bit of a colloquialism, so an argument could be made for that.

Sentence 2: When PEOPLE caught up with her at a MAC Viva Glam event in London this week, we wanted to know all of her beauty secrets.

No egregious errors. I’m not a fan of the writer’s style, though.

Sentence 3: “I do yoga and pilates” she revealed as her tiny frame wafted past in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown.

3) You’re missing a comma. It should read, “I do yoga and pilates,” she revealed.

4) Tiny frame wafted past? Does a frame waft? I don’t think so. This writer got cruisazy with the thesaurus. (Don’t knock cruisazy. It’s one of my favorite words — you should see katesadventures.com! I’ve actually got a few of my friends saying it now.)

A better option would be to say, “She glided past, her tiny frame wrapped in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown.” (Gorgeous gown. You should see the pictures. I love Dita’s fashion sense.)

Sentence 4: “I also do my best to get my beauty sleep which means knowing when the party is over!”

5) Put a comma between sleep and which. Personally, I would have thrown in, “she said with a laugh,” or something along those lines, even if she hadn’t been laughing, because the quote sounds a bit corny.

Sentence 5: And, how does she maintain that perfectly porcelain skin?

6) That comma is repugnant. It’s not enough to have “and” as its own entity at the beginning of a sentence. Although starting a sentence with the word “and” or “but” is frowned upon in literary circles, many writers (and I include myself in this category) do so, but do so with good style. This writer does not have good style — he or she has no idea what he or she is doing.

7) Porcelain is a noun, not an adjective, even though many claim it as an adjective when describing skin. Perfect porcelain would be a better way of putting it.

Sentence 6: “Sunscreen is very important but there isn’t one miracle cream, we’re all different.”

8) A comma is necessary between important and but. It may seem awkward at first, at least until you finish correcting the sentence, but trust me — this is necessary.

9) Lord, give me a semicolon! Just because people speak in incorrect grammar, it does not give you the license to write dialogue with incorrect grammar. Between cream and we’re, we should either have a semicolon or a period.

Sentence 7: After performing in a pink Swarovski crystal cow girl outfit (which off course was quickly removed) complete with crystal covered Christian Louboutin boots to perform her risqué burlesque style strip tease, she switched back her glamorous gown and went clubbing with her girlfriends, dutifully leaving at 1.30am, with a sneaky yawn on the way out.

10) Cow girl is incorrect. Cowgirl is the correct term.

11) Off course?! OFF COURSE?! Good grief, writer! You should be searching for a new job after word about this gets out, OF COURSE!

12) A comma is needed after the first parentheesis.

13) Crystal covered is incorrect. The boots are covered with crystals and are therefore crystal-covered.

14) I would have simply said burlesque, because burlesque style is incorrect. Another valid alternative would be burlesque-style.

15) Switched back her glamorous gown? That makes no sense. You don’t “switch back” a gown. You may switch back INTO a gown. Adding that word would have made a major improvement.

16) Strip tease is incorrect; striptease is what this grammar vandal is looking for.

17) 1.30am is crude at best. While I personally prefer to write 1:30 AM, most newspapers accept 1:30 a.m. as the correct form of writing time.

18) Leaving with a sneaky yawn, again, makes no sense. A sneaky yawn is not something with which you leave. And what kinds of yawns are sneaky? I’d say that she left, yawning LAZILY on her way out.

Sentence 8: At least she practices what she preaches.

Correct. And I have still not recovered from the last sentence.

18 errors in eight sentences, all of them confined to six sentences. Can you believe it?

People, I don’t know if you were being charitable by humoring a young writer or were being delusional in allowing this illiterate fool to write content for your website.

You should hire ME to write for you.

This is what you could have had:

Dita von Teese is the ultimate in pinup beauty: flawless skin, perfectly coiffed hair…and have you seen that body?! When PEOPLE caught up with her at a MAC Viva Glam event in London this week, we wanted to know all of her beauty secrets.

“I do yoga and pilates,” she revealed as she glided past, her tiny frame wrapped in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown. “I also do my best to get my beauty sleep, which means knowing when the party is over!” she added with a laugh.

And how does she maintain that perfect porcelain skin?

“Sunscreen is very important, but there isn’t one miracle cream. We’re all different.”

After performing in a pink Swarovski crystal cowgirl outfit (which, of course, was quickly removed) — complete with crystal-encrusted Christian Louboutin boots — to perform her risqué burlesque striptease, she switched back into her glamorous gown and went clubbing with her girlfriends, dutifully leaving at 1:30 AM, yawning on the way out. At least she practices what she preaches.

I’m serious, People. Hire me. Email me your stuff. I’ll copyedit. You must be aware of how badly you’ve been doing lately in terms of errors. I could make a big difference in your work.

A World of NO

I’m sorry for the oversaturation with People.com, but my friend Marie sent this to me, and it is SO bad that I have to repost it with corrections.

I never really mentioned it on here, but I’ve decided to avoid regular blogs. Why? I’m not quite sure. I don’t think that ANYONE deserves a pass, but the fact is….I like a lot of blogs with terrible grammar. I admire bloggers that work tirelessly to make us laugh, and in terms of inspiration, I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me.

Off The Rack, however, is not one of my favorites. This is People Magazine’s official fashion blog. That puts it into the same category as journalism, in my book. Of all people, they should know best.

This is one of the worst examples I have EVER seen. Here we go:

Dita Von Teese’s Beauty Secrets

Dita von Teese is the ultimate in pin up girl beauty: flawless, milky white skin, perfectly tonged hair — and have you seen that body?! When PEOPLE caught up with her at a MAC Viva Glam event in London this week, we wanted to know all of her beauty secrets. “I do yoga and pilates” she revealed as her tiny frame wafted past in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown. “I also do my best to get my beauty sleep which means knowing when the party is over!” And, how does she maintain that perfectly porcelain skin? “Sunscreen is very important but there isn’t one miracle cream, we’re all different.” After performing in a pink Swarovski crystal cow girl outfit (which off course was quickly removed) complete with crystal covered Christian Louboutin boots to perform her risqué burlesque style strip tease, she switched back her glamorous gown and went clubbing with her girlfriends, dutifully leaving at 1.30am, with a sneaky yawn on the way out. At least she practices what she preaches.

Sentence 1: Dita von Teese is the ultimate in pin up girl beauty: flawless, milky white skin, perfectly tonged hair — and have you seen that body?!

1) Pin up is incorrect — pinup is the term describing bombshell women of the 1940s whose posters provided tantalization for soldiers during World War II.

2) Flawless, milky white skin doesn’t work. The most correct version would be “flawless, milk-white skin” or “flawless, milky, white skin.” “Milky white” has become a bit of a colloquialism, so an argument could be made for that.

Sentence 2: When PEOPLE caught up with her at a MAC Viva Glam event in London this week, we wanted to know all of her beauty secrets.

No egregious errors. I’m not a fan of the writer’s style, though.

Sentence 3: “I do yoga and pilates” she revealed as her tiny frame wafted past in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown.

3) You’re missing a comma. It should read, “I do yoga and pilates,” she revealed.

4) Tiny frame wafted past? Does a frame waft? I don’t think so. This writer got cruisazy with the thesaurus. (Don’t knock cruisazy. It’s one of my favorite words — you should see katesadventures.com! I’ve actually got a few of my friends saying it now.)

A better option would be to say, “She glided past, her tiny frame wrapped in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown.” (Gorgeous gown. You should see the pictures. I love Dita’s fashion sense.)

Sentence 4: “I also do my best to get my beauty sleep which means knowing when the party is over!”

5) Put a comma between sleep and which. Personally, I would have thrown in, “she said with a laugh,” or something along those lines, even if she hadn’t been laughing, because the quote sounds a bit corny.

Sentence 5: And, how does she maintain that perfectly porcelain skin?

6) That comma is repugnant. It’s not enough to have “and” as its own entity at the beginning of a sentence. Although starting a sentence with the word “and” or “but” is frowned upon in literary circles, many writers (and I include myself in this category) do so, but do so with good style. This writer does not have good style — he or she has no idea what he or she is doing.

7) Porcelain is a noun, not an adjective, even though many claim it as an adjective when describing skin. Perfect porcelain would be a better way of putting it.

Sentence 6: “Sunscreen is very important but there isn’t one miracle cream, we’re all different.”

8) A comma is necessary between important and but. It may seem awkward at first, at least until you finish correcting the sentence, but trust me — this is necessary.

9) Lord, give me a semicolon! Just because people speak in incorrect grammar, it does not give you the license to write dialogue with incorrect grammar. Between cream and we’re, we should either have a semicolon or a period.

Sentence 7: After performing in a pink Swarovski crystal cow girl outfit (which off course was quickly removed) complete with crystal covered Christian Louboutin boots to perform her risqué burlesque style strip tease, she switched back her glamorous gown and went clubbing with her girlfriends, dutifully leaving at 1.30am, with a sneaky yawn on the way out.

10) Cow girl is incorrect. Cowgirl is the correct term.

11) Off course?! OFF COURSE?! Good grief, writer! You should be searching for a new job after word about this gets out, OF COURSE!

12) A comma is needed after the first parentheesis.

13) Crystal covered is incorrect. The boots are covered with crystals and are therefore crystal-covered.

14) I would have simply said burlesque, because burlesque style is incorrect. Another valid alternative would be burlesque-style.

15) Switched back her glamorous gown? That makes no sense. You don’t “switch back” a gown. You may switch back INTO a gown. Adding that word would have made a major improvement.

16) Strip tease is incorrect; striptease is what this grammar vandal is looking for.

17) 1.30am is crude at best. While I personally prefer to write 1:30 AM, most newspapers accept 1:30 a.m. as the correct form of writing time.

18) Leaving with a sneaky yawn, again, makes no sense. A sneaky yawn is not something with which you leave. And what kinds of yawns are sneaky? I’d say that she left, yawning LAZILY on her way out.

Sentence 8: At least she practices what she preaches.

Correct. And I have still not recovered from the last sentence.

18 errors in eight sentences, all of them confined to six sentences. Can you believe it?

People, I don’t know if you were being charitable by humoring a young writer or were being delusional in allowing this illiterate fool to write content for your website.

You should hire ME to write for you.

This is what you could have had:

Dita von Teese is the ultimate in pinup beauty: flawless skin, perfectly coiffed hair…and have you seen that body?! When PEOPLE caught up with her at a MAC Viva Glam event in London this week, we wanted to know all of her beauty secrets.

“I do yoga and pilates,” she revealed as she glided past, her tiny frame wrapped in a silver mermaid-esque Dior gown. “I also do my best to get my beauty sleep, which means knowing when the party is over!” she added with a laugh.

And how does she maintain that perfect porcelain skin?

“Sunscreen is very important, but there isn’t one miracle cream. We’re all different.”

After performing in a pink Swarovski crystal cowgirl outfit (which, of course, was quickly removed) — complete with crystal-encrusted Christian Louboutin boots — to perform her risqué burlesque striptease, she switched back into her glamorous gown and went clubbing with her girlfriends, dutifully leaving at 1:30 AM, yawning on the way out. At least she practices what she preaches.

I’m serious, People. Hire me. Email me your stuff. I’ll copyedit. You must be aware of how badly you’ve been doing lately in terms of errors. I could make a big difference in your work.

Does Metro Even Have an Editor?

When I got my first job out of college, it was as if I had joined a new club: the Boston commuter club. I had a group of friends from my training class, and we would chat about rush hour, about the T, about the regulars in South Station, and about what had been written in Metro that morning.

Metro is available at every MBTA station in the mornings. The thing about it is that it’s such a crappy paper that nobody would be reading it if it weren’t free and there weren’t people handing it to you each morning. It’s a Boston edition, and it focuses about half and half on regional news and a combination of national and international news.

Since the paper gains profit purely from ad revenue, it’s not exactly like they’re rolling in it. (Nor is any other paper.) But still, you think that they could afford to hire a decent copyeditor! There are SO many errors in any given issue of Metro! It’s like a game, trying to find them.

Here is today’s gem:

TMZ claims that Spears is receiving payments from an agency for photo-ops and site her frequent wardrobe changes throughout the day as evidence.

Read it again.

This is a tough one, and I shouldn’t be too hard on the editors, since it’s often extremely difficult to spot a wayward homophone.

Sight, site and cite are three different words with three different meanings. Quite obviously, “sight” refers to something that has been seen. “Site” refers to a location, while “cite” is simply a verb that describes a form of verbal communication, usually in a mechanical way.

An example that will create a lovely image in your head:

We arrived at the site where the film crew had set up their equipment, beach towels and all, when I nearly vomited at the sight of an elderly woman lounging in a thong bikini; we thought she’d leave immediately, but she simply cited her right to linger on a public beach during daylight hours.

There you go, Metro. TMZ did not “site” anything. They simply cited evidence.

Again, I know that it’s tough to notice a homophone sticking out of place like that, but Metro is in such need of a decent editor that I really don’t care whatsoever.

You’d think that a newspaper aimed at those who work in a city known for being a leader in higher education, healthcare and technology would be clear of errors.

Does Metro Even Have an Editor?

When I got my first job out of college, it was as if I had joined a new club: the Boston commuter club. I had a group of friends from my training class, and we would chat about rush hour, about the T, about the regulars in South Station, and about what had been written in Metro that morning.

Metro is available at every MBTA station in the mornings. The thing about it is that it’s such a crappy paper that nobody would be reading it if it weren’t free and there weren’t people handing it to you each morning. It’s a Boston edition, and it focuses about half and half on regional news and a combination of national and international news.

Since the paper gains profit purely from ad revenue, it’s not exactly like they’re rolling in it. (Nor is any other paper.) But still, you think that they could afford to hire a decent copyeditor! There are SO many errors in any given issue of Metro! It’s like a game, trying to find them.

Here is today’s gem:

TMZ claims that Spears is receiving payments from an agency for photo-ops and site her frequent wardrobe changes throughout the day as evidence.

Read it again.

This is a tough one, and I shouldn’t be too hard on the editors, since it’s often extremely difficult to spot a wayward homophone.

Sight, site and cite are three different words with three different meanings. Quite obviously, “sight” refers to something that has been seen. “Site” refers to a location, while “cite” is simply a verb that describes a form of verbal communication, usually in a mechanical way.

An example that will create a lovely image in your head:

We arrived at the site where the film crew had set up their equipment, beach towels and all, when I nearly vomited at the sight of an elderly woman lounging in a thong bikini; we thought she’d leave immediately, but she simply cited her right to linger on a public beach during daylight hours.

There you go, Metro. TMZ did not “site” anything. They simply cited evidence.

Again, I know that it’s tough to notice a homophone sticking out of place like that, but Metro is in such need of a decent editor that I really don’t care whatsoever.

You’d think that a newspaper aimed at those who work in a city known for being a leader in higher education, healthcare and technology would be clear of errors.