Where prices are superfluous

Regardless of what they might think at yahoo.com, readers aren’t interested in the cheapest and most expensive beer prices, they’re interested in the cheapest and most expensive beer, except for people like me who don’t care for beer or football:

fp varies

Everyone, including me, likes a verb matched to its subject, so we’re not crazy about the use of varies (which should be vary) because the subject (cost and size) is plural.

Not a good place for that

Headlines in mile-high letters are not good places for grammatical errors.

thats sports

I bet the writer for Yahoo! Sports would really be embarrassed to learn that his that’s should be that are.

Amongst your words, that is the most pretentious

The new site Yahoo! Style may be setting some records in the number and severity of errors that it displays every day. These errors from a recent article are among the most amateurish on the site:

font style 1

The word amongst is a synonym for among. Is it wrong? Not exactly, but it’s just not as common in the U.S. as it is in other English-speaking countries. And Americans aren’t all that fond of the word. The OxfordWords blog sums up the sentiment of many Americans:

[M]any authorities (such as Garner’s Modern American Usage) and language blogs state that, in US English, amongst is now seen as old-fashioned, and even ‘pretentious’. If you are a US English speaker, therefore, and you don’t want to come across to your audience as out of date or, heaven forbid, linguistically la-di-da, then it’s advisable to opt for among.

As for the other error in that paragraph, I believe there’s a mismatch between the subject designer and the verb, which should be tells. I can’t be sure since there appears to be some extra words, but I think the writer promises to let us know what the designer is listening to. That is simply a lie. The interview that follows does not include any such info.

The interviewer was clearly in the dark about Josef Albers’ “Interaction of Color,” which is a book. The designer was also influenced by the Blaschkas, a father and son, and not just one misspelled person:

font style 2

It would have been nice (and expected from a real site with any integrity) to check the references made by the person being interviewed. But this is Yahoo!, and journalistic integrity is not a priority.

Also not a priority? Punctuation. At least, correct punctuation is not a priority. Maybe someone will tell us about the process the writer has for distinguishing between a question and an imperative sentence:

font style 3

Which subject and verb?

Which subject and verb tell the world, “I don’t give a crap about grammar”? The subject and mismatched verb on the Yahoo! front page:

fo cut and stone

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.

As if he were right

Let’s assume that the writer for the Yahoo! front page is male. He wrote this as if he were right in using the indicative mood of the verb:

fp as if he was

If he wanted to be absolutely grammatically correct, he would have used the subjunctive mood, which states something contrary to fact: as if he were.

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.

Neanderthals among us

Neanderthals live! And I don’t mean those crude twits who lick their fingers after eating Buffalo wings. I’m talking about the species that we all thought was extinct. Not so! According to the Yahoo! front page, Neanderthals live among us:

fp live

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

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