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.

Every article has sported it

It seems that every article on Yahoo! Style has sported at least one typo and a grammatical goof:

ever have style

Can readers make writers smarter?

What does it take to improve the grammar of the professional writers and editors responsible for yahoo.com? Pointing out their errors, jeering, and suggesting corrections impact their writing. Sometimes.

fp impacts

It takes a village to write this badly

It takes a village of Yahoo! Style editors to make this many mistakes in a single paragraph:

tilda style

Wouldn’t you think that one of these “editors” would know that the correct verb is look, so it agrees with the plural subject? Wouldn’t you think that one of them would say, “Hey, did anyone check the spelling of these names?” No, they obviously didn’t. If they had, they might have spelled Haider Ackermann and Phoebe Philo correctly. (These are supposed to be style editors, and they misspell two out of three designer names?)

Did anyone think to verify the title of the movies? No, of course not. They trusted their memory instead of Google. The movies are “Only Lovers Left Alive” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

Sometimes it takes a village of editors. Sometimes it takes the village idiots.

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

No wonder the writing is so bad

If I were lucky enough to be an editor in chief, you can bet I wouldn’t be making the same mistakes made by the head of Yahoo! DIY:

if i was lucky

Anyone wondering why the writing on DIY is so amateurish should consider that this little paragraph was written by the editor in chief of the website. If she doesn’t care about the quality of her own writing, why would she care about the quality of the musings of others?

Just in case someone from Yahoo! DIY is reading this, here’s the scoop: You should use the subjunctive mood for statements that are not factual; hence, were (not was) is the correct verb. In English, we capitalize the pronoun I. And finally, if you’re not asking a question, don’t conclude a sentence with a question mark.

Everyone needs an editor. Even an editor in chief.

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).

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