It’s called “proofreading”, give it a shot why don’t you

Like everybody else, I was checking out the new MSN home page and I clicked over to the tour. And right there as their top headline in the sample web page, it says, "Wierd items of the future".

Ahem. It's spelled w-e-i-r-d.

And on all of the MSN properties, like local city guides, you can see MSN's new motto: "More Useful Everyday".

Um, another spelling error. That should read "More Useful Every Day". When used as a single word, "everyday" is an adjective, not an adverb. Like "An everyday event".

I'll stick with My Yahoo, thanks the same. At least they know how to spell.

Comments (28)
  1. James Curran says:

    Reminds me of an old riddle I came up with…

    Q: Everything follows this rule, unless it’s weird, foreign, or scientifical. What is it?

    A: I before E (except after C)

  2. You’re nto going to use the other features just because of a few typos? Wow, you really gave it a good fighting chance, didn’t you?

  3. quanta says:

    I use My Netscape…talk about rooting for the underdog.

    I’ve noticed more and more published media, from newspapers to websites, have typos and grammatical mistakes in them. I don’t know if this is endemic of a retardation of humanity as a species, or just a global lack of manpower due to cutbacks in editorial staff.

  4. Frederik Slijkerman says:

    Raymond, you seem to suffer from the same attention to detail as I. ;-)

  5. Duncan says:

    The law of pedantic reverberation strikes again!

    Your last line should read:

    "I’ll stick with My Yahoo, thanks *all* the same."

  6. don kackman says:

    You may have seen this before, but funny nonetheless:

    <a href=""></a&gt;

  7. Nate says:

    > I’ll stick with My Yahoo, thanks the same. At

    > least they know how to spell.

    And no creepy guy in butterfly tights to follow you around

  8. AndrewSeven says:

    Don : Great link, about 4 years ago I came to the (for me) unescapable conclusion that advertising and marketing are both trying to destroy the inherent meaning of language.

    James : I have come to the conclusion that the I before E rule is just confusing. Too many common word break the rule.

    Their use of the "I before E except after C" rule is unscientific.

  9. J. Edward Sanchez says:

    The title should read:

    It’s called "proofreading"; give it a shot, why don’t you?

  10. John Topley says:

    "You’re not going to use the other features just because of a few typos? Wow, you really gave it a good fighting chance, didn’t you?"

    If the attention to detail is so poor for such a visible part of a high-volume site, then what does that say about the quality of the rest of it?

  11. Scott says:


    Well I didn’t give your comment a shot. It’s "not" or "nto".

    If they can’t spell, why should I think they can code?

    var aThing;

    aThign = "important text I need to see";

  12. Raymond Chen says:

    Yeah, I knew that. I claim poetic license.

  13. runtime says:


    weird, foreign, or scientifical are not the only words. Don’t forget "weigh" and "neighbor".

    I always used the mnemonic device: "I before E except after C or sounding in ‘aye’ as in ‘neighbor’ or ‘weigh’." Gotta love the English language..

  14. Jordan Russell says:

    I’m glad to see someone else is bothered by people misusing "everyday".

  15. @_@ says:

    It’s ‘neighbour’ in proper English! :p

  16. Chris says:


    Or if you’re pluralizing a word ending in "cy", like "emergencies"

  17. Mike Dunn says:

    That "More useful everyday" line has always bugged me.

    And since we’re nitpicking MSN… check this out from the Hotmail Junk E-mail folder:

    "Review the messages in this folder from time to time to insure only mail you don’t want in your Inbox is delivered here."

    They used "insure" instead of the correct word, "ensure".

    For a huge list of common errors, see:

  18. DuncS says:

    Another one: "thankyou" isn’t a word… yet.

    its/it’s, their/they’re, loose/loose, etc.

    A fun read:

  19. DuncS says:

    Doh, 2nd ‘loose’ should’ve been ‘lose’ :-)

  20. Seth McCarus says:

    Mike: Unfortunately, that is considered a correct use of the word ‘insure’.

    Duncs: I hate it when people use ‘loose’ instead of ‘loose’ as well! :)

  21. Mike Dunn says:

    >Unfortunately, that is considered a correct use of the word ‘insure’

    I fail to see how, but this blog really isn’t the place to argue it ;)

    (insure == to acquire insurance on something; ensure == to make sure)

  22. Matt says:

    At least they changed the title of the home page from "More Useful Everyday."

  23. Seth McCarus says:

    Mike, I’m just going by what I’ve been annoyed to find in dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster. I don’t like that use either.

  24. Mandy says:

    Before I respond to the issue of the correct uses of "neigbor" and "neighbour", there are other words that share the same sort of pattern; "color" and "colour" are, perhaps, the most recognizable (though "grey" and "gray" also spring to mind).

    There is a real reason for this difference. As I understand it, when Noah Webster first made his spelling books and dictionaries, one of his many changes to the English language was to deliberately remove the "u" from the traditional British spelling. Webster’s goal was to create a unique "American Language" that was distinct from its forebear (if you are interested, there are a number of biographies about him–he was not considered a humble man). Spelling, thanks to Noah, was based upon contemporary phonetics rather than established linguistic tradition.

    Today, "neighbor" is the correct American spelling, just as "neigbour" is the correct British spelling. Spell these words and others like them either as a Brit or an American–as long as you are consistently using one or the other tradition, both are acceptable.

  25. Smackfu says:

    The wierd thing is fixed now.

  26. tom says:

    Great, they fixed a typo and in doing so made the left side of the page unreadable by putting black type on a dark blue background. (I assume that was OK earlier).

    From (not so) bad, to worse!

  27. Mat Hall says:

    Back in 9th grade English I learnt this — I before E except after C, or if the sound is "A" as in "neighbour" or "weigh", although "neither" the "weird" "financier" nor the "foreigner" "seize" "leisure" at its "height". That covers most of it, I think.

  28. Chris Denman says:

    Indeed, companies that feature despicable grammatical errors, in their slogans, are unforgivable. Another good one is – "Clearasil – fights spots everyday".

    Also, MSN’s slogan "More useful everyday" IS correct, though it doesn’t mean what it implies and essentially means nonsense – More Useful Everyday implies that it’s more useful in that particular form than something else (i.e. more useful commonplace as opposed to rarely used or implemented). Just a little tidbit. :)

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