My Other Blog

What's a Wreck?

A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate - you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I'm not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.

Now, don't you have a photo you want to send me? ;)

- Jen

Grammar Geeks, UNITE!

K, people, confession time:

Do unnecessary quotation marks make your eye twitch? 


Have you ever left a comment on a friend's Facebook status explaining why it's "couldn't care less," not "could care less?" 

Do you fix the spelling mistakes in other people's tweets before retweeting them?

Are you required by forces beyond your control to whip out a pen and correct misspelled store signage?


Must...cross out...apostrophe...

 (And then...fix...capitals...)

(And then...add...exclamation marks...) 

And finally, do you not only know what the Oxford comma is, but have a passionate stance on its usage? 

If the answer to any of those is yes then you, my friend, are a fellow grammar geek. And today is our day. That's right; it's National Grammar Day! WAHOO!

Finally - FINALLY - we can pick apart spelling and grammar errors without fear of judgment from the text-speak-writing language butchers who keep "loosing" their minds! Today we are NOT the nit-picking jerks of the comment section; today we are HEROES. HEROES, I SAY!! 


So let's get right to it:

Ah, yes. [pushing up glasses] You see, "whose" is an interrogative possessive pronoun, while "who's" is the contraction for "who is." In this context, someone is apparently asking for the identity of the owner of something euphemistically known as "40."

Haha! Isn't that a SCREAM?!

I honestly don't know why I'm not invited to more parties, you guys.


Maybe I should have started with something a little more common, though:

Now, see, there's an easy way to avoid this situation in the future: 



And remember, it's "I before E except after C and when you're trying to write the word 'having.'"

Also those little dots are called an ellipsis, and there should only be three of them.


Not to mention the way that's written makes it look like someone is "haveing" a weird scrolly symbol. (Maybe the artist formerly known as Prince invented a new species?)


Hey, do you guys watch Sherlock

What am I saying? You read this blog and therefore have EXCELLENT taste in entertainment, so of course you watch Sherlock.

Anyway, remember the beginning of that episode where Holmes is interviewing a murderer, and he keeps correcting the thug's grammar?

That was awesome.


Now where was I?

Ah yes, the importance of punctuation and discerning between "will" and "we'll."

It also appears this person isn't entirely certain that Dee Dee will miss me, which is hard to believe. I mean, in case you haven't noticed, I AM DELIGHTFUL.

And finally, allow me to share a quick word on foreign punctuation marks:



Thanks to Mary F., Mab R., Catherine B., David S., Bella P., Todd, and Zoë P., who have always known I'm a pro-Oxford-comma kinda gal.

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Reader Comments (170)

@Sharyn, where do you live? The dropped "to be" thing is definitely a western Pennsylvania thing. I had never heard this construction before we moved to PIttsburgh a few years ago. Apparently it's a vestige of some Scots-Irish usage?

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFM

I'm a day late, but can't resist. I knew people would jump on the misidentified diaresis, but why did they not also note the bigger error? OK, Becky-Chan did, but indirectly, with her placement of "punctuation" in quotation marks. Anyhow, the error is that a diaresis (those "two dots") is a diacritical mark, or diacritic, not a punctuation mark. In essence, diacritics modify words and punctuation marks modify sentences. More or less. Also, for those bothered, the established convention for typing is that book titles are just capitalized, without quotation marks. I'm afraid I'm one of those who can't stop typing two spaces after periods, though one is now more usual in the computer age.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarkinSF

@Langela - Hi there! Hopefully you aren't too overwhelmed with the comments. I know mine was meant as more of a, "Yay, we get to talk about Sherlock (because I'm mildly obsessed)!" rather than a slight to you. Honestly, if you enjoy Elementary, it's a pretty safe bet you'll enjoy Sherlock. :) I wish we had as many episodes of Sherlock as there are of Elementary!

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScaperMama

I think the ellipsis cake people have an excellent idea: celebrate a new IUD with a cake!

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjune2

@FM: I'm right outside of Boulder, Colorado. My best friend is from Pittsburgh, and she uses "to be". Go figure.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

My deeply held concern is over the embarrassing trend of people saying things like "romantical". It's like fingernails on a chalkboard. Please, grade school teachers: do your jobs, for the sake of our nation!

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertunie

tunie, it's probably little comfort to you that the suffix "-ical" was in high favor around the turn of the 20th century. I notice it particularly in Chesterton, who seems unable to go a page without a "poetical" or a "symbolical" adjective. On the other hand, we would probably feel a little odd in saying the following as adjectives:


I wish I knew the distinction between the use of the suffix "-ic" and the "-ical." It may be something as basic(al) as the origin of the word (Latin, Greek, Saxon, or other) . . . or the meter of the sentence. Anyone know?

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

Yay Grammar Nazis! I repeatedly get nasty comments on my YouTube channel responding to my "helpful" grammar tips in the comments section. I CAN'T HELP MYSELF, OKAY?! Plus, it's not my fault that people don't know their "it's" from their "its." (The subject of my latest YT grammar argument.)
I appear to be in the minority here; I am staunchly anti-Oxford comma, except in cases where not having it would cause confusion.
Oh, and yes, I totally loved that scene in Sherlock. People using "hung" to refer to hanging by the neck is one of my biggest grammar pet peeves. It's "hanged," people!

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

Many of the posts here make me giggle and snicker audibly, but never so thoroughly as when reading this post. I think it is, perhaps, because I'm also a grammar geek (I was famous in elementary school for proofreading papers, and that has only continued). I echo Allison in saying, "This post makes me feel so happy, elated, and joyful! Happy Grammar Day, indeed!"

And also, long live bicycles, Cake Wrecks, and the Oxford comma. =D

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathan

@ScaperMama- No, your comment was one of two or three from which I felt no condemnation. Thank you for your kindness, both then and now. I really enjoy the humor and fun on this site and was just taken by surprise by the unkind comments pointing out my apparent stupidity. I just don't see the fun in that.

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLangela

We're haveing a ..... SWIRL

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin

When my brothers we're young, they got in a fight. Duh? The oldest turned to the yungest and balled him out. At the end of his tireaid, he shouted the following statement, to ensure that his point was driven home:

"You probably could care less!!!" (Yes, he did shout the three exclamation points... or shot them from his angry eyes at my younger brother)

To which my sobbing youngest brother replyed:

"No, I couldn't!!"

Point made.

P.S. I know that many of you are dying to corect my grammer and speling, but i most assuredly assure you that to AssUme that I did not place them intentionally would be a misteak. And this was difficult, so please applaud my self-control in spelling so many words "So close and yet so far!"

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMommy23Melody

I have a confession to make. The idea of the Oxford comma was drilled out of me very early in my education. I can recall actually "correcting" someone's paper to omit it. I still feel dirty.

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

I have a friend who uses 'irregardless,' and it makes me cringe inside every time! The comments about 'Eats shoots and leaves,' reminds me of another favorite punctuation joke--"Let's eat, Grandpa" versus "Let's eat Grandpa."

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDesiree

Why do so many people write 'definitely,' as 'defiantly?' GRRR!

March 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDesiree

Rock on, Jen, I'm right there with you! Or as they say in Jolly Old England upon seeing such execrable grammar: "Christ wept!" Just freakin' astounding, and very dismaying - but, again from one of England's finest: "I used to be disgusted/ but now I try to be amused" - and it's not hard, sister, believe me - thanks for your myriad modes of drollery, it's a sort of guilt-free Schadenfreude for us people out here -

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEZ-D

We're having a ..... what? These people probably don't know how to spell their own names for Pete's sake.

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChoc girl

I wish I could remember the name of the copy-editor whose work convinced me the Oxford comma could be absolutely necessary. She quoted a manuscript she'd handled that said "This book is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God."

But I agree with the previous poster about not using the Oxford comma if your list ends with something like "macaroni and cheese." Mind you, I've even found myself violating comma rules for multiple association sets, like "He packed his shoes and socks, spare glasses and sunglasses, and raincoat.

We all have our quirks. ;)

Now if I could just get my hands on the manager of a local consignment store who thinks "Art Deco" means "all decorative knick-knacks." The consignment store--or rather, small chain of stores--is called Stuff Etc., and every time they mention the store name in their P.A.-system ads, they inevitably pronounce it--yes, you guessed it--"Eck setera." Aiyeeee!


April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNonie

The biggest one that drives me nuts is "lose" vs. "loose". I don't need to loose weight. I have loose weight, sure, but I need to lose weight. Crazy.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

Elementary isn't a copy-cat. It's just a different take on the books, which are of course in the public domain.

Granted from what I've seen I rather prefer the BBC version, but apparently there's no real rivalry between the shows either. I think any drama between the shows is mostly from fans rather than the production teams or cast.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersplitting hairs

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