Do you feel bad about your grammar?

The writer for Yahoo! Shine shouldn’t feel bad about herself for making this mistake — a lot of people (especially if they write for Yahoo!) make the same grammatical goof:

feel badly

As I’ve said before: If you’re trying to pick out a ripe peach by gently squeezing the fruit, but you’re wearing oven mitts, you might feel badly. If your emotional state is sad, depressed, anxious, or unhappy, you might feel bad.

Editor’s quick thinking saves headline

If only it were true. If only an editor had read this headline on Yahoo! Shine before it was published it might have included an apostrophe (for teens’) and the correct verb:

teens quick thinking shine

What helped he learn grammar?

Was it an English teacher in high school? An editor for the college paper? An English as a Second Language instructor? Who helped the writer for Yahoo! Sports learn grammar? And how can we stop that person?

helped he sports

This is what is sometimes called hypercorrection: The use of a word that sounds more intelligent, sophisticated, or erudite to the writer, but is actually incorrect. The correct word is him; it is the direct object of the verb helped and therefore the objective case is called for.

That doesn’t mean she’s sociable

Readers in the English-speaking world defy the writers/editors/proofreaders at and object to this mismatching of subject and verb:

fp defies

They also object to the use of socialist to refer Ms. Hidalgo. She is a member of the Socialist Party. That means she is a Socialist, not that she is gregarious, outgoing, and sociable.

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).

Do you get this?

Do you understand how a mistake like this on Yahoo! Shine gets by the editors?

get shine hp

Surprise! It’s wrong

It’s no surprise that there’s a little subject-verb disagreement on the Yahoo! front page:

fp surprise

The subject, group, is singular; the correct verb is surprises.

Writing includes wrong verb

Here’s the kind of grammatical error that I’ll never understand. How did the writers, editors, proofreaders, and yahooligans miss this on the Yahoo! front page?

fp includes

My guess is that Yahoo! doesn’t employ editors or proofreaders, and its writers are the yahooligans responsible for destroying the language.

Editors have helped fight grammatical goofs

A competent editor would have helped fight this grammatical goof on the Yahoo! front page:

fp have help fight

Mick Jagger and the band deserve better

When I read something like this, which appears on the Yahoo! front page, I have to wonder what kindergarten dropout wrote this:

fp is forced

Is there any excuse for writing “is forced” instead of “are forced”? Anyone?


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