The number is close to one

The number of errors that you’ll find in this sentence from Yahoo! Celebrity is close to one:

number are celeb

It’s so close to one, that it is one. And it’s a common subject-verb disagreement when the subject is number. Here’s what the American Heritage Dictionary says about number as a collective noun:

As a collective noun number may take either a singular or a plural verb. It takes a singular verb when it is preceded by the definite article the: The number of skilled workers is increasing. It takes a plural verb when preceded by the indefinite article a: A number of the workers have learned new skills.

This doesn’t sound good

Everything in this sentence on Yahoo! Sports sounds good until you get to the verb. And then a little subject-verb clash happens:

sounds good sports hp

The subject is plural; the verb should be, too. And that would be sound.

Casting light on your writing

If editors had cast light on the writing for Yahoo! Style, they might have uncovered a serious grammatical goof in the past tense of cast:

casted style

The past tense of cast is cast. How the writer did not know that is beyond my comprehension.

Possible error keeps readers on high alert

Readers don’t have to be on high alert to find the grammatical errors on Yahoo! Celebrity. They’re right in front of their eyes:

keep celeb

Selena and Justin arrive at AMAs live

What are the chances someone from Yahoo! Music checked this caption before it went live? Uh, none:

arrives music

Well, at least we know that Selena and Justin arrived at the AMAs live. Maybe a hearse was just to pricey.

These ideas make for hilarity

Do you find this as funny as I do? I think it’s hilarious that the writers for Yahoo! DIY keep mistaking a palate (which is the roof of your mouth) with a palette (which is a range of colors):

palate diy

Some ideas make me double over with laughter. Or pain. One of those ideas is that people actually get paid to write this stuff.

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).

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.”

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