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)

I'm so glad I'm not alone. I feel self-righteous, vindicated, and smug.

(And yes, I carry a black sharpie and a bottle of white-out for correcting signs at the supermarket.)

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCB

Just as a side note, Prince went back to calling himself Prince. We may all, therefore, refer to him as: The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.

Long live the Oxford comma.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScott

Yes! Another fan of the Oxford comma is here! (I had to turn that into a sentence)
My pet peeve is hearing people pronounce the definite article "thuh" in front of a vowel, instead of pronouncing it, "thee". (Jim Parsons, please take note.)

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

I am also irritated by people who drop the "ly" from their adverbs. I find myself correcting the TV. ( You thought YOU were a grammar geek.)

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShirley Fowley

Sung to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”

Grammar got run over by a cake wreck.
I look at these cakes and start to grieve.
You might think bakers can’t write this badly,
But after all these pictures, I believe.

There are too many quotations,
And that store sign has to go.
Who’s misusing all the “whose” here?
I’m sorry, but I think we’ll never know.

Condoms might stop all the your’e ares.
You should take that “e” there back,
Then take out the extra dots, please.
We’ll talk about “will” after you get back.

Grammar got run over by a cake wreck.
I look at these cakes and start to grieve.
You might think bakers can’t write this badly.
Be careful with your umlauts when you sneeze.


Grammar got run over by a cake wreck.
I look at these cakes and start to grieve.
You might think bakers can’t write this badly,
But after all these pictures, I believe.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I love you. And I also feel self-righteous, vindicated, and smug. Thank you.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Hello. My name is Catherine and I'm a grammar-holic. I have hurt people in my past by correcting their horrible grammar. I have fought with superiors about the proper usage of quotation marks and how they are not "to show special emphasis," but are in fact to set apart words that were a quote of something someone said or wrote. I am a staunch supporter of the Oxford comma. I think the only time there should not be a comma before the last item in a list, is when those things belong together like macaroni and cheese. I do not think I need help, though, so I guess I'm not ready for the next step.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

I seriously do'nt understand all this fuss about grammer and spelling particularly when it comes to "cakes" which are supposed to be "treats" and not english lessons for example the first cake might be for a group of people who met in an unofficial manner to learn a particular skill and therefour don't actually have any "class" but wanted to celebrate anyway..........................................
OOP baked to much so OOP's is correct the "'we"' is what we call exrtaanus but so, what, who cares! Ca'nt a person just express hisself% your'e are really getting on my nerbs* with the constant criticality. How can you be sure someone isn't having a loopy thing and you should be happy that DeeDee will miss you why would you want to correct that thank you for letting me get get that off my chest and YES Theirs too dots over the E?

*When I taught in Williamsburg Bklyn, "the nerbs" were a common affliction. At least once a week someone's mother would fail to sign a paper because she had "the nerbs." When homework didn't make it to school, it was often due to "the nerbs." As a rsult, I caught the nerbs and have a flair up every now and then.Here's wishing you all a nerb free week!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuBee

I am also that person.

My orchestra director was giving us a critique on a piece we just rehearsed and he said, "Irregardless of...", and I don't even remember what the critique was because I was quietly mentioning that "irregardless" isn't a word. Luckily, most of my section-mates are also Englishy people, so there was a lot of nodding and giggling.

I'm also the go-to grammar person at my office, so it is nice to tell someone that "No, that is not the correct way to spell "lose" and, yes, we do use the Oxford comma here, because I AM THE LAW."

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine

Thank you. I am so glad it's not just me who is driven crazy by anyone writing 'loosing'. It's LOSING - argh! Apostrophes seem to be an enigma in general, and anyone who says 'bored of' instead of 'with' deserves a slap. Feel free to correct any errors in my comment - I'm fighting my Kindle' s pre-emptive text!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline B

These cakes don't faze me.
I have a muscle where my
correcting pen rests.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHaiku Joy

Sherlock and grammar correction? This is my new favorite post! :)

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScaperMama

Jen, I want to hug you. Grammar Geeks Forever!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElissa

@SuBee: You have some nerb. I mean, nerbs. I hear herbal tea helps... Eye grately injoyed you're rant.

Now I have to go fix the "Slow Children" sign down the street -- sure, the kids aren't too bright, but that doesn't mean we have to put a sign in front of their house.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharyn

I have a supervisor who always leaves out the Oxford comma. That drives me nuts.

Catherine - I love your term "grammar-holic" and I also use macaroni and cheese when I am trying to explain the Oxford comma to others.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTrista

I'm so happy to find out that I am not alone and there are other members of the Grammar Police! I am guilty of correcting emails before forwarding them. I can hardly read the newspaper or even books without spotting grammar mistakes. My pet peeves are it's and its. And there, their, and they're. Are there even proofreaders anymore? I think they just use Spellcheck and move on. Yes, it's spelled right but IT'S THE WRONG WORD!! (deep breath) Thank you for allowing me to vent. And Happy National Grammar Day to all, but why don't we get a parade?

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatti

The Oxford comma: The difference between inviting the strippers, JFK, and Stalin, and inviting the strippers, JFK and Stalin.

I'm just sayin'.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSabs

@SuBee - I'm surprised if you didn't hurt yourself in some way while writing that post.

Forget about "there", "their", and "they're". I have been known to use "your" and "you're" incorrectly. (Initially, until I re-read and correct it) But for the love of God, PLEASE understand that "lose" and "loose" do not mean the same thing!

Lose: 1) The opposite of win; 2) To misplace something

Loose: 1) The opposite of tight; 2) To set free; 3)A description of women with questionable morals

*deep sigh* I feel much better. This is a better forum to vent than on my husband's 22-year-old cousin's Facebook status comments.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSaraV

Love this post. Although the "Whose 40?" cake could be in reference to a 40oz of alcohol. There could be a very large beer bottle just off to the side. No? I didn't think so, either.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGinny

I had this twitch at every example you gave. It's really not that difficult to check these things and losing vs. loosing is one of my biggest pet peeves. D:

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaz

Ah, grammar. How I love thee. I used to work in a grocery store with a cake decorator who spelled "oops" as "opp's", and "banana" as "bannana". She would also take orders for barbarian cream-filled doughnuts. But the kicker was that she would say, "and such like that" at the end of approximately 50% of her sentences.
Also, I would like to give a holler to my fellow grammarians who use adverbs correctly. I'm such a sucker for that that my three year old says them with the "ly" at the end! (And who else had hives before posting, knowing you were going to make a huge grammar gaffe in you comment? Anyone? Just me? Ok.)

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoemama

My German friend, who's married to an American and registered her kids' births in both countries, informed me that putting a diaresis over the 'e' in 'Zoë' is actually an old-school English language thing, to indicate that the letter is supposed to be pronounced when normal pronunciation rules say that it should be a dipthong. (See also: coöperate.) She apparently had to argue with American officials about it. The usage of the identical-looking umlaut is different in German.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermoses

Ah, my dear, dear Cake Wrecks! Every day I visit this site and I chuckle, giggle, out right laugh, and I have even been known to snort (my husband always says the same thing - "What's so funny? Oh, your looking at your cake site." *shake of the head*). But today, today I feel like Dory...when I'm with you guys, I'm home! :)

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterM.A. Block

Jen, you are my heroine! Happy National Grammar Day to you and to all wreckporters and wreckommenters!

@ Sharyn
"Be careful with your umlauts when you sneeze," is now on my Top Five list of favorite imperative sentences.

@ SuBee
Y'our wrant are innspirine!! Nerbs 4ever......

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDB

I love that you love the Oxford comma.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulephenia

My grammar-nerd boyfriend just informed me that an umlaut ( the dots above the "e") may only be used for a, o, and u correctly. Strike 2.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermeg

Yes. (That's my way of showing total agreement with everything you said today.)

I had the joy of whipping out my Sharpie in a hotel lobby recently and correcting a hand-written sign. When I checked back an hour or so later the sign was gone. Mission accomplished!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDD

AARGH! Deliver me from the loose apostrophe. I have been known to stop and remove the apostrophe from signs advertizing "todays special's". There's a shop near us that does "tattoo's and piercings". Can you at least be consistent? So for there, their and they're, I've fingured a way to teach my students how to get them straight, but sometimes I have to read a sentence out loud to figure what the writer had in mind. Not much, as a rule.)

And I must admit that, like Catherine, I have hurt people by correcting their grammar. I made one poor child so angry that she quit her job! (I was really, really sorry for that, but just couldn't help myself.)

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLady Anne

As fun as the Sherlock scene was, I'm much more a fan of the Castle scene:

Dr. Parish: Looks like a patient lost his patience.
Castle: Also his command of grammar. You're should be you-'-re as in you are, that's not even a tough one not like when to use who or whom.
Beckett: Do you really think that's the take away here Castle?
Castle: I'm just saying whoever killed her also murdered the English language.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersamldanach

I didn't understand the "Whose 40?" at all. I thought that perhaps a "th" had been left off "40." It was incomprehensible to me that whose stood for who's. This is why grammar is important. My favoriite grammar/spelling mistake is the use of the word "sequence", comonly used for sequins on ebay. Don't sellers realize they are missing out as far as the search engines go? I am careful to search using common spelling mistakes. One can turn up some great bargains that way! Incorrect grammar can be costly to the user and advantageous to the educated and wily.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

@Sharyn --- Bravo, my dear, Bravo! You really outdid yourself with lyrics, but also fixing a tune to the lyrics. I was in awe before of your skills but now I'm.... uh.... in even more aweness. Yup
Great post, Jen!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

No Gesundheit. The two dots in this case (and on this cake, or rather, NOT on this cake) are not an umlaut (the remnants of an e that used to follow the marked vowel), but rather a diaeresis, that is to say, a pair of vowels that do not form a diphthong, but are in fact pronounced separately. Hence, the name in question is "ZOH-ee," and not "Zoy."

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

I'm probably going to get a lot of flak for this, but I love language, and want to see it evolve further. If "grammar nazis" had their way, do you think we'd have contractions, or only three articles, or words like island? Why can't "irregardless" be a synonym for "regardless" in a language where "inflammable" is a synonym for "flammable".

Also, being American, the Oxford comma is considered standard here.

Also @meg, the umlaut may only be used for a, o, and u correctly as it's an abbreviation for ae, oe, and ue respectively. However, in the name "Zoë", it's not an umlaut (umlauts are German), but a diaeresis, an archaic feature of English (see my above comment about evolution) which means that the e is a separate syllable from the o. Without it, the word could be pronounced incorrectly, as "zow" rather then "zow-ee". You can see the diaeresis in alternate spellings of words like coöperation and noël.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMiff

I love the Oxford comma and gleefully use it often.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterleslie

I hate to correct a post written to correct other people's grammar, but the show is called Elementary and not Sherlock. I love the show!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLangela

Hoooh boy! I think we got (Um, *HAVE*) a new club that everyone wants to be in...

HI, My name is KarateLady, and yes, in addition to being a ninja, I am also a grammar ninja. (Or at least I want to be, but I think Haiku Joy is better qualified than I.) I love Lynne Truss's book "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation". I cringe when I see typos *anywhere* but *particularly* at my son's special needs / speech-therapy-focused school. (Ok, that may not be a grammatically correct sentence, but it gets the idea across and avoids a really looong detailed explanation about said school.) Each class is given a name like "Connie's Cats" or "Jackie's Owls". There was also a class called "Hailey's Heroes", only the front desk reference book had it as "Heros". <CRINGE>. I also saw misplaced apostrophes (i.e. used in plurals!) <GRRRR> I majored in microbiology and then genetics and I *still* know my grammar better than their office staff! And they expect me to pay $25k a year for this?! My son needs the speech therapy, but I'm getting him back to homeschooling alongside his sister ASAP before they ruin everything else! (Why they won't listen to me when I try to tell them that Singapore Math and Spell to Write and Read are waaaay better than their current gussied up, overpriced, and overpromoted curriculum, I have no idea...) <steps down off the soap box>

PS Kudos to Haiku Joy, Sharyn & SuBee so far today. SaraV, I'll join you in that *deep sigh*...

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

@Shirley Fowley: Yes, Dr. Sheldon Cooper may be a genius, but his pronunciation has always been sloppy. I never noticed his mangling of "the" before a vowel, but he has been mispronouncing the word "coitus" for the past six seasons, and a couple of weeks ago he horribly mispronounced "Mxyzptlk." (Yes, I'm a grammar geek AND a Superman geek. Heck, I guess I'm just a general, all-around geek.)

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob

I just posted a sentence on Facebook from my graduate-level professor and his lack of the Oxford comma. I then looked at Cake Wrecks and realized you are talking about me. I am one of those people who make fun of others' grammar.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTia

Yeah, "loosing" is something different. Another, which I didn't see here, but which I'm sure has come up, is "breath", as in "I can't breath." No, you can't breathe. Now calm down and take a breath.

I was almost surprised that the store sign writer actually managed to spell "too" with the correct number of "o"s.

I, too, employ the Oxford comma. I'm not exactly passionate about it, but I do have to stop and look again when I see no comma after the penultimate item in a list with more than two items.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNyperold

For the longest time I thought I was the only one left on earth that still used the Oxford comma. I'm so happy to find out that I'm wrong.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeachkins

Oxford comma! Thank you for giving a name to the thing the little voice inside me told me was SO RIGHT even though my English teacher crossed it out.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterViiriainen

I know there are a lot of defenders for these mistakes and errors, but to me they are a sign of laziness and (sorry...really...)stupidity. I am definitely one of the grammar nerds and shudder when a restaurant offers their beef sandwich "with au jus" - on a large sign to boot...

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

A slight correction: if you use the ellipses at the end of a sentence, it should have *four* dots, not three.
Long live the Oxford comma!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAKS

Gotta love grammar! In honor of recycle day and because I'm still walking around in a codeine-laced cough syrup fog, this post is from 2011.

I believe these cakes were all made by students of the ill-fated, yet little known decorator known only by his nickname, “Tips.” Enthusiastic, yet poorly educated, he was high strung. Some would say tense, but actually, he was past tense, though his mood was good. He was the victim of an unfortunate accident – he was looking for a misplaced modifier when he stumbled over a gerund and fell. He tried to grab a dangling participle to break his fall, but missed. He landed on a sharp rebuke and ended up with a split infinitive and an injury to his colon. He was able to get up and tried to make a dash for it, but couldn’t. This was not a good period for him, and, unfortunately, he died of his injuries. He was a good fellow, loved his Grammar, and was kind to nouns. In fact, just before he died he had attended a pro-noun rally. Looking back on his disastrous life, it was as though the fates had sentenced him to death….

@Jen, Sharyn and SuBee: I have to stop ladies sure know how to bring up the's a compliment!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermel

I live for these grammar posts! I don't know why it's funnier in frosting, but who cares? I cherish the tears in my eyes from the muffled laughter (I am in an office full of people!). I lost it at "Class of" and snortled all the way through the post.

I have erased countless apostrophes from restaurant white boards, and brought white-out tape to cover the painted sign at my grocery store which read, "Return video's here." (They kept peeling it off!!!)

My daughter and I somehow manage to stand together correcting grammar, punctuation, and typos; this, even though she abhors the Oxford comma. We agree to disagree on that issue, but I thought I'd throw one in that last sentence to keep my end up.

Thanks for letting us know we have our own Day! Watch out, Nation! It['s National Grammar Day!!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCloudy

A fun book about grammar and the importance of commas is "Eats shoots and leaves" (sorry, substituting quotes since I can't underline the title).

Oxford comma fans, unite! Or, if this was on a wreck, Oxford "commas" fens....... untie.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAllegra

Yeah! This is the perfect day and perfect place to air my pet peeve. When did "got" become a helping verb? To get is to receive or obtain. "Got milk" does NOT mean "Do you have milk?" Anyone else want to scream about this issue?

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstaying anon.

Of course we all watch Sherlock.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeem

I was going to zing meg for the umlaut diatribe about the letter 'e' on the last cake, but I see Miff beat me to it!! I am SOOOO miffed!! ;-) (And yes, khereva, you beat me to it as well.)

In addition, I forgot to put in a <snicker> for Sabs' post. <snicker> Better than the panda that eats, shoots, and leaves... :-)

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarateLady

This post makes me feel so happy, elated, and joyful! Happy Grammar Day, indeed!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

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