Neither the writer nor the editor noticed?

Neither the writer nor the editor (if there was one) noticed this mistake on the Yahoo! front page:

fp neither nor

The correlative conjunction neither…nor is used to join just two items, and never more than two — except on yahoo.com where standard rules of grammar do not apply.

This is either horrible or laughable

Here’s one of the mistakes you’ll find on yahoo.com that makes you want to laugh or cry:

fp either is

It’s so sad to think that there are adults out there, making a living as professional writers, who have not mastered the use of the correlative conjunction either…or.

This is not rocket surgery, people. The conjunction must join parallel elements, which means they must be the same parts of speech. To check if you’ve got parallel elements, read the sentence up to the or (omitting the either).

The defense secretary’s departure is a strategic play by the White House

Then read the sentence from the start of the sentence up to either and tack on the words after the or:

The defense secretary’s departure is he is being used as a scapegoat.

Sounds stupid, no? That’s because the either…or is joining a noun phrase (a strategic play by the White House) and a complete clause (he is being used as a scapegoat). Here’s one way to rewrite that sentence so that the conjunction joins two independent clauses:

Either the defense secretary’s departure is a strategic play by the White House, or he is being used as a scapegoat.

It appears to be wrong

Neither the Yahoo! Style writer nor the editor appears to know basic grammar:

neither appear style

When two subjects are joined by the correlative conjunction neither…nor, the verb must agree with the subject closer to it. So, it should be “neither Richie’s children nor her husband appears” but “neither Richie’s husband nor her children appear.”

Neither writer nor editor knows grammar

If you’re a professional writer, you might be able to get away with poor grammar — if you have the services of a competent editor. But, if you write for the Yahoo! front page, don’t count on it:

fp neither know

Neither the writer nor the editor (assuming there is one) knows that the verb must agree with the noun closer to it when the subject is joined by neither…nor.

Either one

This is not the first time either a writer or an editor for Yahoo! Celebrity has made a grammatical error:

have omg

When the subject is two nouns joined by either…or, the verb must agree with the noun closer to it.

Either have or has is correct

Neither the writer nor the editor has addressed this incorrect verb on Yahoo! Music:

neither have music

When a subject consists of two nouns joined by the correlative conjunction neither…nor, the verb must agree with the noun closer to it.

Neither is correct

The word pair neither…nor is a correlative conjunction. They go together like peas and carrots, as Mr. Gump would say. Except on Yahoo! Movies:

neither or movies

and Yahoo! Sports:

neither or sports

No clue, no clue at all

Every once in a while, I read something on Yahoo! that I cannot decipher. I cannot parse the sentence. I cannot glean a scintilla of information. I cannot guess at what the writer was trying to say. And here is today’s WTF writing from Yahoo! News:

neither news

Anyone have a clue as to what this should be? Anyone?

Neither was looking

What happens when neither the writer nor the editor looks for grammatical mistakes? You get a mismatch of subject and verb, like this on Yahoo! Sports:

neither look sports

When the subject is two nouns joined by neither…nor, the verb should agree with the noun closer to it. In this case, it’s singular (Miami) and the verb should be singular, too (looks).

Not only bad

This sentence on the Yahoo! front page is so bad that I can’t imagine how anyone would think it passes muster:

fp not only but

The pair not only… but also is a correlative conjunction. It joins two like items, such as two verbs or two clauses. It can’t be used to join verbs (like “straightens and reduces frizz”) and an independent clause.

It should be:

A $25 gadget not only straightens hair and reduces frizz, but also improves hair texture the more it’s used.

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