Mighty Red Pen

January 17, 2013

Judgment day

Filed under: Grammar goddess,Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 8:07 pm
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Okay, I don’t really judge anyone for using poor grammar. I mean, not really


Okay, maybe just a little. But just a little.

H/t someecards and Beth.

August 15, 2012

Vamoose! (mousse vs. moose)

Filed under: Overseen,Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 5:55 pm
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Well-documented, I love a good dessert (especially one that involves chocolate. Or coconut. Or maybe both). But one thing I will not be ordering is ice cream moose.

Okay, so here’s the deal. When you order “a molded chilled dessert made with sweetened and flavored whipped cream or egg whites and gelatin” (M-W), you are hoping for a delicious mousse.

If instead the waiter brings you “a ruminant mammal (Alces alces) with humped shoulders, long legs, and broadly palmated antlers ” (M-W), he has brought you a moose, which, unless it’s actually made of ice cream, is not likely to be that satisfying, you know, dessert-wise.

Typo spotted here.

June 8, 2011

On some occasions

Filed under: Overseen,Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 6:21 pm

So I picked up a copy of People magazine the other day off the used magazine rack at my local library . . . but we’re not here to talk about my unabashed love for celebrity news. We’re actually here to talk about the spot on the cover where a previous reader had jotted down some attempts to figure out how to spell a word.

I give this person credit for making a good faith effort at spelling a tricky word, but occasionally, one needs a dictionary if it’s just not happening.

So close. And yet, so far.

February 13, 2011

Be the change

Filed under: Overseen,Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 5:51 pm
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I’m sure it’s not the kind of change Gandhi (see this post from Language Log about misspelling the name) had in mind.

But somewhere, a proofreader failed to make the changes we wish to see in the world.

December 20, 2010

To thine own spelling be true

Filed under: Overseen,Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 7:25 pm
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Shakespearean English isn’t really my area, but when I spotted this sign, it didn’t seem right to me.

To thy own self be true? The quote, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is “This above all: To thine own self be true.” Because own starts with a vowel, thine is used before it instead of thy. According to Merriam-Webster, “THINE: thy—used especially before a word beginning with a vowel or h.”

(However, as I say, Shakespearean English isn’t really my forte, so if someone out there can offer more, please feel free to chime in.)

In poking around the InterWebs for more information, I came across the tale of a young woman who has “To Thy Own Self Be True” tattooed across her waist. But she’s also buck nekkid. So you’ll just have to take my word for it. It’s unfortunate.

September 4, 2009

Just for the record, MRP has never won a spelling bee

Filed under: Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 5:18 pm
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Hat tip to Toothpaste for Dinner.

April 23, 2009

Two for the road

Filed under: Spellbound,Word wars — mighty red pen @ 7:02 pm
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Sometimes, tofu is not just tofu. A Colorado woman who wanted to use her license plate as a billboard to declare her love for tofu has been told that she can’t. Apparently, ILVTOFU could be construed as obscene.

I’d like to give a gold star to the folks who spotted the errors on the signs showing the way to Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in Webster, Mass. According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, “The 45-letter name is misspelled, with an ‘o’ where a ‘u’ should be, at letter 20, and an ‘h’ instead of ‘n’ at letter 38. “

January 21, 2009


Filed under: Overseen,Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 8:51 pm
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So MRP looked at this page of my 2008 calendar (it was Carol Dyer’s “American Folk Art,” if you must know) for an entire 31 days without ever noticing this little tidbit:


You know how sometimes you look at a word a couple of times before you figure out what’s wrong with it? And then you look again and get all confused? I’ll admit, that was sort of my experience here. Buoy? Bouy? I really went back and forth on this one and even enlisted the assistance of Mister MRP. In the end, it was good old American Heritage that cleared it all up for me: buoy.

October 14, 2008

We must be vigilant

Filed under: Overseen,Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 7:09 pm
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Hat tip to Krodamai and Nikita for delivering this little tidbit, spotted in Cambridge, Mass.:

Perhaps it’s time to raise awareness in Cambridge about another worthy cause: spelling.

July 2, 2008

The wheelz on the bus

Filed under: Mad marketing,Overseen,Spellbound — mighty red pen @ 7:21 pm
Tags: ,

Helen’s Dad writes, “Not sure of MRP’s policy on not-so-trendy, alternative spellings, but would you draw the line when it comes to a school bus?”

MRP is not so much a big fan of the krazy spellings (there’s a bakery in the area called Keltic Krust, which I find annoying) and I think Helen’s Dad might have a good point about the whole schoolbus thing. What do others think?

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