Did they get 4000 dollar bills?

Unless Larry Ellison paid these pilots using 4000 one-dollar bills, the writer for the Yahoo! front page used the wrong verb:

fp dollars were

It’s not a mistake you see very often (except on yahoo.com), but this verb is just wrong; it should be “was.” When the subject is a collective noun such as distance, a length of time, or a sum of money, the verb should be singular:

  • Four dollars is too much to pay.
  • Three miles isn’t that far.
  • Two hours is an acceptable delay.

1 job you would have

You, too, could be an editor! If you can spot the incorrect word in this headline from Yahoo! Celebrity you might have what it takes!

wasn't kendall celeb

Bonus points: If you recognized that the verb was wrong because the sentence stated a condition contrary to fact, give yourself 5 points. If you identified the mood of the verb as subjunctive, give yourself an additional 5 points.

If you have more than 10 bonus points, you are overqualified for a writing or editing job at Yahoo!.

Ruining English

The people responsible for the writing on the Yahoo! front page seem to be part of a media culture that often ruins the language:

fp ruin

It happens when the writer can’t match the subject (like, oh, say, maybe culture) and its verb (like ruins).

Are you astounded?

Are you as astounded as I was when I read this on Yahoo! Celebrity?

of of she

It’s not the duplicated of (but of of course, that’s part of it), it’s the pronoun she. Who the heck thinks that’s correct? Oh, yeah, the writer. Well, the writer is wrong. The correct pronoun is herself.

It appears to be wrong

Neither the Yahoo! Style writer nor the editor appears to know basic grammar:

neither appear style

When two subjects are joined by the correlative conjunction neither…nor, the verb must agree with the subject closer to it. So, it should be “neither Richie’s children nor her husband appears” but “neither Richie’s husband nor her children appear.”

You’re right

Dear writer for Yahoo! Celebrity,

You are sooo right. There is very little that you and I and Prince have in common. For instance, I can write in grammatically correct English. I don’t know about Prince, but I do know you can’t (or maybe you just choose not to).

you and me celeb

I know to use I (and not me) as the subject of a verb. I know that you can’t use neither to refer to more than two people and none is the correct word.

You are sooo right. We have very little in common. And for that I’m thankful.

All those errors remind us of fourth grade

There are more errors committed by professional writers and editors on Yahoo! than in all the high school newspapers in the country. All those errors — including this one from Yahoo! Movies — remind me of my fourth grade class when we learned to spot the subject of a sentence and then match the verb to it:

reminds us movies

I guess this writer was sick that day.

Grammar-lovin’ army seizes on error

It doesn’t take an army of grammar lovers to uncover this mismatched subject and verb pair on the Yahoo! front page:

fp army seize

How to sink your career

Your career as a writer for the Yahoo! front page may have just sunk with this grammatical gaffe:

fp sunk

A sunken career can be as hard to raise as a sunken ferry, especially if your downfall is the result of an ability to distinguish between an adjective (like, oh, say, maybe sunken) and a verb (sunk).

Polish this off

How many goofs can you find in this excerpt of an article on Yahoo! DIY?

marbleized diy

Did you notice that “inspired by … paper” modifies “nail polish and water”? Yeah, that was awkward. I’m pretty sure the paper was the inspiration for the project and not for the polish. And then did you see that the writer thinks that is can be an appropriate verb for the plural subject “nail polish and water”? That was ugly.

There’s the misspelled lukewarm (it’s one word, not two), and the instruction to fill the tub halfway. But in the first numbered instruction, she tells us to fill it 3/4 full. Someone is a little confused and that would be the writer. And the reader.

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