For the Love of God, It's Not 'Downtown' Abbey!

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Have you seen the extremely popular British period drama called "Downton Abbey"? It's all the rage right now. It won a Golden Globe! People are talking about it, watching it, DVR-ing it, weeping with joy and raising their glasses to it as we speak. And people and news organizations, which are bigger than people, are writing about it, and sometimes they're spelling it wrong. If you have, too, you are in good company. This is not to shame but in the interest of learning -- that wee "w" is tricky! Here are a few of the transgressors. Also, this is totally to shame.

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Hawk-Naming Scandal Hits the New York Times

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Bobby and Violet, 4Ever.
The New York Times has been very much involved in the life and times of the red-tailed hawks at Washington Square Park (a watch sadly marred by the recent death of poor Violet, mother hawk to Pip). Meanwhile, Bobby, father hawk, man-about-town, already has a new woman in his life. In order to incorporate the winged newcomer into the fold, the New York Times offered up a question to the hawk-adoring public. They wanted us to name Bobby's lady friend, and gave the choice of "Rosie" or "Noelle," allowing people to vote for one, and only one, once.

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817 Jaydens Were Born in New York City Last Year

Is this the original Jayden?
It's that time of year again! Let's look at what we all named our babies in New York City in the last year, and figure out which name is the "most popular," which really means your kid is just going to get called by a first and last name, or some other nickname, all his or her life, so as to differentiate him or her from the swarming masses who share said name. Take it from a Jennifer.

The winning names for 2010 are...

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Proposed Names for New Elements Released (They're Not Snappy at All)

If the periodic table were an exclusive club, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry would be the overgrown doorman holding the clipboard. To extend this awkward analogy, over the summer, two new names were added onto the bouncer's list: element 114 and element 116. These two additions were discovered ten years ago, and after a lengthy review by the IUPAC, they have finally been allowed into the periodic table. Now the scientists who discovered the elements by smashing and decaying calcium ions get to name them.

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Cooper Square Hotel is Now The Standard, East Village; Go About Your Business

The Cooper Square Hotel is dead, long live The Standard, East Village. The 21-story glass and steel tower across the street from our offices has been bought by Standard Hotels. As part of this monumental change, the hotel will now be called "The Standard, East Village." What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would still be an excruciatingly ugly eyesore that looks like it crawled out of a Steve Wynn fever dream.

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Starbucks Offends Customer By Calling Her 'Phone'

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Marguerite McAfee
Starbucks is not only offending Alec Baldwin! It is causing trouble for regular people as well, particularly a woman named Marguerite McAfee, who had an incident this week at the Starbucks on Third Avenue and 23rd Street, her regular spot, where, she says, "The employees have seemed to me to be quite unhappy and, at times, rude to customers." (She keeps going there because it's convenient.) However, yesterday, the last straw was had. She was waiting in line to purchase a tall soy latte for $4.08, playing FlightControl on her iPhone, and, well, we'll let her tell it in her words:

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Rare Ladybug Found in New York After 29 Years

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The 9-spotted ladybug is a rare, rare thing. Rarer than a four-leaf clover or a rent-stabilized apartment, the 9-spotted ladybug resulted in an entire "citizen science project" being launched nationwide by Cornell University after that ladybug and her 9 spots seemed to have simply disappeared from the state some 29 years ago. But, the ladybug is back, reports NBC NY! She's been found on Long Island, at an organic farm, which is where, we dare say, many a sophisticated ladybug would enjoy shopping for groceries these days.

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Bronx Man Living a Kafkaesque Nightmare Because of Birth Certificate Mistake

23 year-old David Rivera insists his name is David Rivera. His birth certificate, however, lists his first name as "Male." This simple mix-up has snowballed into a massive problem that has turned Rivera's life into an Abbott and Costello routine. Rivera told the Post, "I'm trying to get a birth certificate to get an ID, but I can't get an ID without a [correct] birth certificate." Because of this of bureaucratic gem of circular logic, Rivera is unable to get a job or enroll in college.

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Casey Anthony to Change Name, Disguise Herself, Upon Release

Showing some semblance of awareness as to her public reputation, Casey Anthony is considering a number of disguises as well as a new name, reports the Chicago Sun-Times, for her release from prison. She might even use a few such disguises, assuming they can be easily employed. It seems that Anthony has been called enough nasty things ranging from "child murderer" to "a Florida sorority girl looking for a quick-and-dirty hookup" to "bad mom" -- despite having been acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee -- for some of it to trickle down.

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Gunfight Erupts at Brooklyn Bar When Man Is Called a 'Rabbit Chinchilla'

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Never call someone a "rabbit chinchilla." This is the lesson we may learn from a recent incident at the Old Gallery bar in Kensington, Brooklyn, where the two words -- innocent apart, angry-making together -- from an off-duty cop caused Pablo Negron to grab the gun from another cop and open fire, reports the Daily News. They were also fighting about a woman, and they were drinking, which makes a little more sense, at least in so far as we know bars, and bar fights.

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