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.

Whom just seems wrong

If you’re a conscientious writer who strives to be grammatically correct 100 percent of the time, but you still struggle with choosing between who and whom, take my advice: Choose who. If you’re wrong, 90 percent of your readers won’t know it and the rest won’t care. If you choose whom, you might be correct, but your writing will sound pretentious and stilted. And if you’re wrong, you might be mistaken for a writer for Yahoo! Shine:

whom had work shine

Could that sound any uglier? The correct word happens to be who, because the pronoun is the subject of the verb had. The pronoun who is the subjective case (and hence, the subject of verbs); whom is the objective case (and the object of verbs or prepositions).

Just kidding

Everything from the headlines to the teasers to the links has been proofread on yahoo.com:

fp have

Just kidding. Clearly that sentence, with its mismatched subject and verb, escaped the eyes of the proofreaders and editors.

This is for whoever wrote that

Whoever wrote this for the Yahoo! front page has a problem with grammar:

fp whomever

The pronouns whoever and whomever signal a dependent clause; the choice of pronoun to use depends on its function in the dependent clause. In this case, it is the subject of the verb shot; therefore, the correct word is whoever.

Sill, you can’t help noticing

Sometimes, when I read something on Yahoo! Celebrity, I can’t help wondering if the writer is familiar with basic English idioms, like this:

rent 1

Actually, the Kardashians have been renting a home; the owner of the home has been renting out the home.

There are some mistakes I can overlook. Still, I can’t help noticing the typos:

rent 2

and the missing apostrophe in what should be Kardashians’:

rent 3

and at least one word too many here:

rent 4

Can you overlook errors like these?

This headline make me want to cry

This headline, with its subject-verb disconnect, makes me want to cry:

blog make us travel

Does anyone at Yahoo! Travel proofread?

Something I’ve never seen before. Almost

Here’s an unusual mistake on the Yahoo! front page:

fp of her

It’s unusual because everyone I know would use the reflexive pronoun herself in that sentence: She took a photo of herself. Most people have no idea why the reflexive is correct; they just know when to use it.

The reflexive pronouns all end in self or selves: myself, yourself, herself, ourselves and so on. You use it when someone does something to himself or herself (see what I did there?).

The only other time I’ve seen a non-reflexive pronoun used instead of the correct reflexive pronoun has been on … Wait for it… The Yahoo! front page:

fp her for herself

I wonder if the same person wrote both those sentences. And I wonder if that person’s native language is English. I’m guessin’ it isn’t.

Maybe Mitt Romney was right

When Mitt Romney claimed during his bid for the presidency that “corporations are people, too,” he was met with derision. But he may have been right, if you believe what you read on the Yahoo! front page:

fp who for that

The pronoun who is reserved for human beings. Is yahoo.com alleging that companies are people? Or did the writer fail to realize that the correct pronoun is that?

Say goodbye to English

Say goodbye to English. When a writer can’t match a subject and verb, it feels like the language is dying. The writer for Yahoo! TV apparently thinks “Rizzoli & Isles” is two people. It’s actually the name of one TV program, so it’s singular and its verb should be singular, too:

say goodbye tv

This is a sorry excuse for writing

I’m sorry to say it, but it’s hard to believe that this article from Yahoo! Shine was produced by a professional writer. Heck, it’s hard to believe it was written by a middle school graduate.

There are a few minor problems, like needlessly capitalizing a word. “Sorry” doesn’t get a capital letter unless it’s at the start of a sentence or you’re writing about the board game:

sorry 1

This is a sorry attempt at making a possessive out of women:

sorry 2

(To form the possessive of a plural noun not ending in S, just add an apostrophe and S: women’s, men’s, children’s.)

Things get a little sorrier with an error-filled paragraph, which includes a subject-verb mismatch (the subject study takes the verb has identified):

sorry 3

A “verbal tick” sounds like a talking, bloodsucking arachnid. If the writer meant an idiosyncratic and habitual behavior, that would be a tic. Then there’s the issue of the pronoun they, which has no antecedent. Just who is they? The rest of the sentence is just a mess. If you’re still reading that article at this point, I feel sorry for you.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 699 other followers

%d bloggers like this: