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.

Did you mean one-dollar bills?

Imagine what 426,000,000,000 one-dollar bills look like. Then imagine people spending those individual paper bills on beauty products. That’s what they did, according to Yahoo! Beauty:

dollars were spent

The writer is so funny! She probably doesn’t even realize what she wrote, as opposed to what she meant. She meant an amount of money, which is singular. So even though it looks like a lot and it looks like a plural, $426 billion is singular and takes the singular verb was spent.

It’s news to me

In spite of the fact that it ends with an S, the word news is considered to be a singular noun that takes a singular verb. At least that’s what the American Heritage Dictionary says, but not what you’ll see on Yahoo! Travel:

news have travel

Subject and verb raise questions

The plural subject (news and reaction) and singular verb raise questions about the competency of the writers and editors on the Yahoo! front page:

fp raises

Who is leading?

I wonder who is leading the editorial staff at Yahoo! Sports and why that person didn’t catch the mismatched subject and verb:

who are leading sports

I also wonder if Yahoo! has an editorial staff.

Time for a new beginning

Is it me? Or are there more typos on Yahoo! Sports lately, especially in the category of ice hockey? Actually, it is me here, but it should be he:

boy find 2

When a boy finds a mismatched subject and verb, he should report it:

boy find 1

Maybe it’s time for a new beginning:

boy find 3

It’s a zoo out there

This article on Yahoo! Travel may be about the best zoos in the United States, but it represents some of the worst travel writing on the Internet. It’s shocking the number of mistakes made by someone who is a “managing editor” and an experienced travel writer.

This is how bad it can get:

zoo 1

It’s not an orange-colored, artificially flavored breakfast drink. It’s an orangutan. And the zoo calls it the Stingray Beach, with a capital B.

How did she screw this up so badly? The zoo is the Saint Louis Zoo and it’s in St. Louis, Missouri. Don’t go on a Saturday or Sunday expecting to see a concert. Although the writer claims concerts occur every weekend, they really occur only on Fridays and only between May 23 and August 29. Then there’s the case of the subject (admission) and its verb (which the writer thinks should be are):

zoo 2

The problem is, if she used the correct verb (is), then she’s got a really awkward sentence. That’s because she misplaced both. It belongs before “the zoo and the concert”: … admission to both the zoo and the concert is free.

I was expecting that if I went to this zoo, I’d be able to do more than just see the wolf cubs. Maybe I could bottle-feed them. Or dress them in coats and ties.

zoo 3

Again, the writer misplaced a modifier; this time it’s just. It should be: You won’t see just three cuddly wolf cubs; you’ll also see, etc., etc. etc.

How does a travel writer writing about zoos get another zoo’s name wrong? It’s Riverbanks Zoo and Garden (it’s not Zoos and it’s not Botanical):

zoo 4

OK, so maybe someone will explain to me how this project will create a new grizzly bear:

zoo 5

Would you trust the information in this article?

Each is important

Does this sound right to you? If so, you could write for Yahoo! Movies:

each were mov

I’ve never read anything that included such a bad mismatch of subject (the singular each) and verb (which should be was).

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.

Grammatically challenged

Long-time readers of Terribly Write know all too well that many Yahoo! writers are grammatically challenged. Here’s more proof from Yahoo! TV:

pap was tv

 

Oy! When it comes to words based on Italian, they’re even more challenged. The word paparazzi is plural; its singular is paparazzo. A paparazzo is “a freelance photographer who doggedly pursues celebrities to take candid pictures for sale to magazines and newspapers” (American Heritage Dictionary). The word is taken from the name Paparazzo, a character who was a photographer in Federico Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita.

As for the end of that paragraph: I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. None.

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