We all make errors, and sometimes, those errors can make us look like idiots. Especially when that error gets published out in the world, even though it likely went through a host of gatekeepers to get there. And that's why we're here. To shame those gatekeepers with an internet scarlet S. I don't expect you to be perfect. It takes a village, and every village has an idiot. But for the sake of your company's reputation, hire a village that has at least one member THAT CAN SPELL.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

But wait! There's MORE!

Today's post features photos taken exclusively by MOI! I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed finding them out in the wild.

I wish you'd been there when I wasted, like, 10 minutes trying to get the TiVo to pause just SO. 
Maybe you don't know who this is. Maybe you don't watch Vampire Diaries. I don't know your life, after all. Maybe you have some debilitating illness that prevents you from watching really fun TV shows week after week after week. Or maybe you're too busy with "highbrow" fare and too snooty to check out some awesome CW shows featuring acting and story lines you can't even handle. Either way, that's pretty sad. However, if you ARE suffering some tragic illness, I suggest you AVOID seeing Dr. Grayson Gilbert, M.D., who obviously is some sort of flim-flam man, because any REAL doctor would know that you don't get both DR and MD. One or the other, bub. That's how this works. Also, kudos to the CW for sharing this grammar fail with their viewing audience. Seriously, NO ONE on staff caught this? I think maybe a little visit from Ripper Stefan is in order for the art department, at the very least.

I took this photo of my work computer with my phone. Yes, my work computer screen had that smoodge in the middle of it permanently. 
This is the error message I got from a webpage about some cookies. Y'know. Cookies. One of the most deceptively teasing words in computer history. We've talked about this issue before. If you're going to be selling your software to other countries, you should probably hire someone who is a native speaker to translate all your various pop-up messages. It makes your company look bad, otherwise. I don't even really know what this message is warning me about. I don't know what "Orphea Web site" refers to, precisely. The web site I was on? How would other users log in under my account? I feel a little bad making fun of this, because it's clearly just a language issue, but I suspect millions were spent in the development of this software, so someone should have invested in making this clear across all languages.

Also taken with my phone, but this is my own computer. 
This is a page from the book Iron Kissed, by Patricia Briggs. I really love that series! It's fun and entertaining, and all the characters are interesting and compelling. I am always glad to sit down and read a Patricia Briggs book. And normally, I let the little errors in ebook formatting slide, because I'm too happy reading a book to stop and take a picture. However, this is a pet peeve, so I really had to share. Let's review: calvary refers to a hill near Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified. CAVALRY: soldiers who fought on horseback. They're pronounced differently, too. I've heard people try to claim it's a regional thing, like nuclear, but I argue that it's not. Like nuclear, one pronunciation is right, and one is wrong. CALvary is one thing and CAValry is another. A little precision, please, Baby. It's always a better time when people actually know what the heck you're talking about. "Calvary officer? Did he help with the crucifixion? Maybe the hill had its own guard? Who knows. Regardless, dude is OLD."

And finally:

No, I didn't look weird at all taking this picture in the middle of Ralph's. NOPE. 
I confess I am fascinated by HEIRLOOM tomatoes. They are so WEIRD looking. I always have to stand there and check them out. All the different colors and shapes and man, nature is CRAZY! So, it took me a minute to notice the sign. And then get my phone out of my purse. And then take a few different pics, trying to make sure it was clear. And at that point, I had spent far too much time with these tomatoes. They weren't coming home with me, after all, and at this point, I'm pretty sure they had expectations. I hope they don't see this post. They'll be sad to learn I was using them for entertainment and personal gain.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A big ole round-up of stuff! Yay, STUFF!

Hey all! Um, what's up? How've you been? Happy New Year, and all that!

I would like to welcome you back to this space that I hope you still remember fondly. Submissions have been VEEERRY slowly trickling in, so I think there are enough to post an update that'll be worthwhile. Let's dive in, shall we?

Football is kind of a big deal this time of year. My alma mater won the national championship, and then there's still the big Commercial Bowl coming up, where many of us will spend a great deal of time flipping back and forth between puppies and zany ads Don Draper couldn't even imagine. Even if you're only a casual observer, you might still check the internet for the scores from time to time, to be able to play along with the nonsensical chatter at work. And in doing so, you might stumble across something like this:

Screengrab by DD
Perhaps the Seahawks sent the 49ers on a journey of some sort? Nah. They mean ROUT. To defeat overwhelmingly. The best part? It's STILL THERE. They've never fixed it. The one commenter suggested a correction, but duh. Who reads the comments? Not the people who work at the website, that's for sure!

Even the best of spellers and grammarians get tripped up now and again. It can't be helped! Nobody's perfect, right? One of my grammar waterloos is lay vs. lie. Listen, you can explain it to me over and over and over. It's not gonna sink in. I'm never going to grasp it. Even as I repeat the rules right back to you, I'll still be confused and a little afraid, and just go back and rewrite my sentence until neither lay nor lie are necessary. In addition, I have two words I can never spell: maintenance and sheriff. I have to look both of those up Every. Single. Time. (Yes, including just now.) Here's how I want to spell them: maintainence and sherrif. At least I'm consistent in my errors, right? I have, however, never opted for this spelling:

Screengrab by DD
Again, if you click through, it's still there. Way to go, internet. This is just a typo that should have been caught pretty easily by spellcheck, especially since it's the headline, but nope! You and your red squiggly lines, software. We will not put up with your (sometimes helpful) nonsense any longer! And so, this newspaper stands its ground and defends its right to, y'know, look a little stupid and incompetent. We all have to leave our mark somehow.

And now for a twofer from EW, who apparently likes to jump on the publish button a little too quickly.

Screengrabs by MF
ALADDIN should be easy for an entertainment magazine to get right, especially since they were able to below my crop point as the caption for the lower photo. That's just embarrassing. And truth be told, they fixed lifestream pretty quickly to LIVE STREAM, so that's a relief, sort of. I feel like it should be one word, but perhaps AP still wants it two. I can't quite convince google to give me an answer. It was already adjusted by the time I clicked through the link MF sent. But I want you take a moment to read the sentence below the headline in the top photo, because that thing is a DOOZY. I think what they're trying to say is that Amanda Taylor comments on a tumblr that has suggested a new soul mate for Belle, and that she (the tumblr?) may be on to something. Am I reading that right? Talk about hitting publish too soon. It is acceptable, professional outlets, to REREAD your work before publishing. Or even having your cubby neighbor read your work really quick, just to make sure it makes sense to others. Because you may not even be aware your brain has taken the day off. Mine does it all the time, and I can't be the only one. Right? RIGHT?

Screengrab by DD
This is apparently a reference to the TV show "Chopped," which I've never seen, and not a basket full of random chopped salad ingredients, which is what first came to mind. Chocolate and/or bacon would never be a mysery for me, so I'd have to go with the other ingredients. As for MYSTERY cooking ingredients, I'd say duck fat, because unless you got something else that can be cooked IN the duck fat, you're kinda SOL. And yes, I googled "casseroval" just to make sure it wasn't wrong, and it's not. Just a weird portmanteau I'd never seen before. Ah, Rachael Ray. Her use of the language inspires us all. 

More reality show business:
Screengrab by MLW
I've never seen this show, either, but this description makes it sound exhausting! Also, there's something going on with the tenses here that makes this somewhat confusing, no? It wavers back and forth between present and past tense, I think. I had to stop reading and just look at the verbs for a sec, and I think that's what's throwing me. Anyway, focus on the last sentence in the first paragraph. Based on this description, I'd say something's high, for sure. STAKES, geniuses. Steaks are for dinner. STAKES are for competition. And vampires, duh. Easy to slip through the spellchecker, but also easy enough to spot, y'all. 

And finally, we end this on a sad note. Especially poignant for me, as I turn 40 this year. 

Screengrab by DD
I feel like this is just sort of epically embarrassing. I mean, this is supposed to be a powerful, meaningful article on the things you learn when you turn 40. And here we are, taken completely out of the moment by the wrong word. And also by being informed we're going to die someday. YEESH! Did Oprah see this article before it went live? Because I feel like she will not be down with this depressing nonsense. Sort of the opposite of living your best life, yeah? ACCEPT that we are all going to die someday? PASS. I am definitely on the downward slope toward death? Um, yeah. If you guys will excuse me, I have to go weep in a corner now. 

My thanks go out to DD, MLW, and MF for keeping the dream alive! Please keep sending submissions in. Once they pile up, I will get them out to you for your diversionary pleasure. You can tweet 'em (@SpellFailBlog) or email 'em (spellfailblog AT gmail DOT com), just keep 'em coming! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Presented With a Small Comment...


Ahem. Hi, everyone! I hope you're all still with me. I'm getting myself organized to hopefully get back on some sort of schedule, so I wanted to throw up a post with this awesome picture that some of you may have already seen, since it's been floating around the social media for a bit. But really, it was too good to pass up.

Yes, it's been proven to be a fake, so I'm not even going to bother taking them to task, which is why it's perfect for this brief post. But really, it's hilarious. You can totally see autocorrect doing this to a text you're about to send to your mom.

I LOVE YOU ALL! Did you miss me? I MISSED YOU!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

No theme. NO THEME!!!!!

Yes, today there is no theme. I know. It's stressing me out, too, but sometimes, you just have to roll with it, because I had to get these out to y'all for your viewing enjoyment.

Photo by IU
Once again we have a Montoya (as in Inigo) mistake. Yep, that's what I'm gonna call them from now on. Read the first sentence. Out loud if you have to. Your office mates won't mind. You see which word I'm talking about? WHEREAS is But the part I can't quite figure out is what did they actually mean? "Such as" would be weak here, but it'd work. There are also 2 works in that first sentence, which is generally a writing no-no. And then you move on to the second sentence, which has its own issues. IU sent this photo to me a while back, and I don't remember where she was when she took it, but I'm guessing it was a museum, which makes this even sadder. Museum descriptions should be clear and concise, and not poorly written and confusing. Hire someone to write your copy for you, museum. Don't just assume because your employees are knowledgable they can write. These two things do not necessarily travel together.

Photo by JR
Seriously. How do you not hear that this is wrong EVERY TIME you say this word out loud? "If you head back to our CLEARANCE section..." Listen, I get typos. You should see the first draft of every single thing I type. This is why it is acceptable to READ OVER the things you type before you hit print. You are allowed! Permission is granted! And if you are actually pronouncing this word this way, then your friends hate you, and you should look into getting new ones.

And finally, this little project:

The food was excellent. The spelling? Not so much. 
I made this one extra-big, so you can see. There are a few problems here. How much time do you have? A quick glance turns up misspellings on PROSCIUTTO, BISCUIT, and LAVENDER. Oh, and HOMINY. I think that might be it, but it's hard to tell. This handwriting is both neat and confusing. Do you see anything I missed? But here's what I really want to know. What is potato fondant? And truffle foam? I mean, I think you can guess that I'm not an adventurous eater, but at what point does the whole molecular gastronomy thing go too far? Does every food NEED to be done in a new form? Blergh. I'm cranky now. Get off my lawn!


Ok, that's it for now. Send those submissions in!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The word of the day is...

Brains can be tricky things. You're just typing along, putting together a sign for your store, and you reach for a particular word, and your brain provides, well, something. But it's not quite right. Or, in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Photo by DC
"Sorry for Any Innocence: A High School Survival Story," coming to Lifetime this fall!

But as it turns out, this word is really challenging. Like, elaborately, bizarrely challenging. Ranging from move-a-letter confusion...

Photo by JS just-drop-a-syllable epic fail.

Photo by BM via JR
Additionally, I would immediately want an explanation for why they couldn't make a sandwich. I mean, who can't make a sandwich? I can barely cook and I have sandwiches mastered. Are they out of bread? Meats? Cheese? What is it, man? I will provide my own materials if necessary! JUST MAKE ME A SANDWICH FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY.

But I have a well-documented sandwich problem. Anyway, just for the record, it's INCONVENIENCE. In case you were all confused now.

Happy Tuesday, gang. Keep sending those submissions in!

Monday, June 24, 2013

My first love...

TV will always be first and foremost in my heart. It's my job AND my hobby, and pretty much everything in between. That being said, it can also bring me pain. Deep, abiding pain. As some of you know, I've been unemployed off and on since 2009. The industry just isn't what it once was, and probably never will be again. Skill is no longer valued when cheap labor can be found. And as they say, you get what you pay for. Just have a look.

I have a serious love/hate relationship with Bunheads. I desperately want it to be good because I love both its lead actress and its pedigree. I come back every week to see if it's improved, and every week it hurts me in a new and painful way. Usually it's the script that kills me, but this particular week, it was that sign behind Michelle. AVACADO? Really, TV show? That's how you want to play this? I mean, come ON. The Fosters are already NOT singing or dancing in this scene, which is just a waste. And then you're not even going to proofread AVOCADO? It's like you don't even know me. Which you don't. Which I guess is why your dancers walk around outside with their VERY EXPENSIVE dance shoes on, or all take class together even though they're at different levels, and can learn fairly complicated choreography in mere hours. See? I love, but I also hate. But at least *I* know how to spell avocado. (and I'm available for work! Call me!)

Possibly the most boring scene in the entire season.
Do you watch Scandal? Of course you do. Everyone digs Scandal. It's tons of fun, well written, and gloriously well acted. In some sort of effort to capitalize on the themes of Scandal, my local news station posted this ad for a story on the news following the show. I like how the fake word, sexting, is all good, but the real word, DECIPHERING, is just wrong. Also, how hard is it to decipher a sext? I confess I have no experience with sexting, but I feel like it's not really a complicated thing. You probably don't have to bring in Huck or even Baby Huck to solve the riddle, I'm guessing.

Look at that crystal clear picture on my TV! 
I posted this pic on my twitter feed (@SpellFailBlog), where we debated it back and forth for a while. Officially, this tarot card from Hart of Dixie is spelled incorrectly here in the good ol' USA. JUDGMENT is the preferred spelling here. However, it's correct in many other countries, including Canada, Australia, and the UK. So, maybe these are foreign cards? Hard to say. But I don't like it! It makes me itchy. Let's save that E for another day.

I think he's about to spit in our faces. 
I posted this pic on the Facebook and Twitter feeds, but it's a good one, so everyone should get to see it. I hated this show. I really did. I gave it a few different chances because man, that cast was fantastic, right? But wow, those were possibly the MOST incompetent FBI agents in the history of the FBI. They were masters of bad choices. Yes, by all means, let's send Kevin Bacon somewhere with one person as backup AGAIN, because that person never ends up dead. Anyway, as I said on Facebook, at least one good thing came from watching that silly show. Blatant comma abuse, and from a character who's supposed to be a literature professor! In a perfect world, Joe Carroll has already had the author of this chyron killed, and then offered a lengthy lecture on how Poe would be pleased. (Did anyone else feel like the whole Poe thing was weird? I mean, Poe is a noted whackadoo who was fascinated by the macabre, but was that almost TOO obvious an inspiration for a serial killer? I guess out of all the silly stuff on that show, that was one of the less silly things.)

So, what are you watching this summer?

Monday, June 17, 2013


Well, helloooooooo there! How are you? It's been a while, huh? I hope you've been having a fantastic 2013. I have missed you all terribly, but I was completely overwhelmed for a while there by my day job, and had to take some time to focus. However, my day job ended this past Friday, so I'm getting back into the swing of things.

You're delighted beyond words. I KNOW.

Ok, let's dive in, shall we?

Just a couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the ATX Festival in Austin, Texas. It was really super awesomely fun. I'd never been to Austin, and it proved to be an excellent and easy-to-navigate host city. Basically, I'm already prepared to purchase my pass for next year's festival, and if you're a TV fan, I recommend you do so as well. You won't regret it. Yes, I'm CERTAIN.

In addition to being a fun time, it also provided me with some excellent blog fodder. You didn't have any WORK to do this morning, did you? Pish.

Still looks tasty
I was meeting some friends for dinner one night when I spotted this on my walk to the restaurant. Now, sure, it's possible this was on purpose. I mean, people do kinda doofy things on purpose all the time. But y'all know how I feel about printing a sign incorrectly on purpose. The kids, y'all. Will no one think of the children? The local spelling bee kids who are all "but I saw it that way on A SIGN!! Why would the SIGN lie to me?"

(Incidentally, if you google this place, you can find the yelp page, which helpfully explains that you can get both pizza AND adult entertainment here. So, yeah. Not so much with the kids, I guess.)


It was dark in there.
My first reaction: "Monday's WHAT?" My second reaction: "'Where are you thinking tonight' is an awkward phrase when typed out." And finally: "Are the collarbones of the lady in green part of a face that's smiling at me?"

I did not attend this panel. I was too busy sitting at a bar, talking about TV and drinking. Sorry. 
Now, I post this with love and encouragement because I want only the best for the ATX Fest staff. I'm confident this cancelled-too-soon bit is going to become a THING at this festival, so it's time to explore the correct deployment of this phrase. CANCELED is a perfectly acceptable spelling, though not the one I prefer. Like any good Anglophile, I'm just going to keep rolling with my double Ls until someone insists I stop. (DO NOT INSIST I STOP. I WILL BE SAD.) But we all know what the real problem is, and it's super easy to correct. Perhaps they were saving the o for somewhere else in the program? Somewhere there's a room that's a little too big for its britches, maybe. Or an ooh that lasted just a little too long. Whatever the explanation, this to is the wrong to. They had a 33% chance, and they chose poorly. Sometimes you do. There's always next year, ATX Fest! I have faith and confidence in you. I believe in you!

We'll be watching.

Remember, gang, if you see it, SEND it! This blog survives only with your submissions. I won't be resuming daily posts until I get some more entries, but there are definitely some good ones coming in the next few weeks. WHOO!