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:
and Yahoo! Sports:
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:
Anyone have a clue as to what this should be? Anyone?
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:
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).
From Yahoo! Sports‘ “Ball Don’t Lie”:
What? You didn’t like that? You were expecting maybe an or following “either the Houston Rockets”? Me, too. But this is Yahoo! and correlative conjunctions like either…or are simply too complex for its writers. So, we forgive.
Yes, we forgive because clearly the correlative conjunctions like neither…nor are a profound and mysterious construction:
If the Einstein had used the word nor instead of or, this would have made some sense — not the sense the writer intended, but some sense. What the writer actually said with that double negative (neither and haven’t) is that both Daryl Morey and Sam Hinkie have commented blah, blah, blah. What he meant: Neither Morey nor Hinkie has commented…
So, there is a lot to be not on the writer’s side here, including this sentence:
Regular readers of Terribly Write will recognize the end of that sentence from a few days ago. Now we know where it came from.
Neither the editor nor the writer was correct when choosing this verb on Yahoo! Finance:
When a compound subject is joined by the correlative conjunction neither…nor, the verb must agree with the noun closer to it. In this case, that noun is Josie and the correct verb is singular, was.
OK, I don’t know how a professional writer doesn’t know that the partner of neither is nor, not or. But apparently this guy from Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally” doesn’t know that:
So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see that he also doesn’t know that the verb think should be thinks, since it should agree with mother. (When two nouns are joined by neither… nor to form a subject, the verb must agree with the noun closer to it.)
The writer and the editor, if there is one, for the Yahoo! front page were both wrong when they unleashed this grammatical gaffe on the public:
When two nouns are joined by neither…nor to form a subject, the verb must agree with the noun closer to it. I thought every professional writer (and editor) knew that. I guess I was wrong.
I’ve never understood the concept of the “Fun Fact.” I don’t think I’ve ever met a fact that was fun. Funny, maybe. But, fun? Not so much.
Anyhoo, Yahoo! omg! wants to tell us a fun fact about Courteney Cox. The only thing I found funny, but not fun, was the writer’s inability to match a verb with a subject:
When the subject of a verb is two nouns joined by neither…nor, the verb agrees with the noun closer to it; in this case, acting. And the verb should be was.