The plural subject (news and reaction) and singular verb raise questions about the competency of the writers and editors on the Yahoo! front page:
If you read this on the home page of Yahoo! Finance, would you trust the accuracy of the article or would you think that the misspelling of Procter & Gamble was just a careless typo (or two)?
Hoping that it was a fluke, I decided to read the article on Yahoo! Finance’s “Hot Stock Minute.” And I encountered the headline:
That was followed by a misspelling of the company’s name throughout the article; in fact it was never spelled correctly.
It’s wrong here:
and even here:
As one reader noted in the comments section of the article:
“Dear Yahoo, send Dean back to the high school newspaper that he came from since he can’t even spell the company name correctly. It’s PROCTER & Gamble, not PROCTOR.”
If the writer is so presumptuous that he doesn’t bother to verify the company’s name (which is kind of critical to the article), what other information has he gotten wrong?
After reading this on Yahoo! TV you might ask yourself how facing an audience or camera could prevent singer Sia from becoming famous:
Does she wear a mask? No. Then what’s the explanation? It’s simple: The writer made a mistake. A big mistake. Sia doesn’t face the audience or camera, she turns her back to them.
Geez, is it really that hard to write a list of three items and not screw it up? Well, it may be — at least for the folks at the Yahoo! front page. Can you spot the mistake here?
That’s a list or a series with nonparallel items — items that are not the same or equivalent parts of speech. There’s a verb (plays), a noun (ballerina), and another verb (raps). The writer could have fixed the grammatical gaffe by using three verbs in the series:
plays a cheerleader, imitates a ballerina, and even raps
Or the writer could have tried this:
plays a cheerleader and a ballerina and even raps
That wasn’t so hard, was it?
Sometimes when you’re in a hurry to post the latest news story, you have to be willing to make some compromises. That’s what I think they do at the Yahoo! front page. And the compromise they’re willing to make: Misspelling the name of an article’s subject, in this case, James Jeffords:
I guess it could be worse: They could have called him Jame Jefford.
Is there any way to keep Yahoo!’s writers from writing about anything that includes a number? They can’t add, can’t count simple objects, can’t tell which of two numbers is larger, and don’t get me started on their inability to subtract one number from another. So, it was no surprise to me that the writer for Yahoo! Travel couldn’t convert square meters to square feet:
The box in question is a phone box (what we Americans call a phone booth). I thought that three square feet seemed awfully small for the box’s floor. The box is actually .8 square meters, which is about 8.6 square feet. Don’t ask me how the writer came up with her number. I think she made it up.