Fewer would be better

You know what would make Yahoo! Travel better? Fewer errors.

less deals travel

If the writers and editors wanted to be scrupulously correct, they’d appreciate the difference between fewer (which is used for countable things like deals and promotions and errors) and less (which is used for stuff you can’t count individually, like water and music).

Of course, it wouldn’t be English if there weren’t some exceptions. Nouns of time, money, and distance are described by less, not fewer: less than two hours, less than ten dollars, less than three miles.

Tim Hortons gets something extra

If only there were some way for the Yahoo! News writers to see how to spell Tim Hortons, the Canadian eatery. Like a picture or something. Something, anything that would show them that there’s no apostrophe in the name:

tim hortons news

If the premise is wrong, the conclusion is wrong

The premise is a proposition that a conclusion is drawn from. It is not a single building, even if the writer for Yahoo! Travel thinks it is:

premise travel

A building, the land it sits on, or both the building and the land would be premises. With an S.

As if he were right

Let’s assume that the writer for the Yahoo! front page is male. He wrote this as if he were right in using the indicative mood of the verb:

fp as if he was

If he wanted to be absolutely grammatically correct, he would have used the subjunctive mood, which states something contrary to fact: as if he were.

A historic mistake. Again

What is it about the word historic that makes the yahoo.com writers lose all sense? This would be correct only if they pronounce the word as istoric (and I’m not sayin’ they don’t):

fp an historic 2

The indefinite article an goes before a word that starts with a vowel sound, regardless the word’s first letter. So, in the U.S., it’s an herb (since we don’t pronounce the H), but in the U.K. it’s a herb (since they do).

What’s missing from this face-off?

Two people might face off in a face-off. What’s missing on the Yahoo! front page is a hyphen in the noun face-off:

fp face off

Do you work for the same company?

I know nothing about fantasy sports. Until I read the Yahoo! front page, I thought fantasy sports was something adults engaged in in the privacy of their own bedroom.

But I was wrong. Fantasy sports, with a big capital F, has something to do with football (of the American variety):

fp fantasy uc

But, fantasy sports with a lowercase F has something to do with… uh, well, football:

fp fantasy lc

I think those brainiacs at Yahoo! are just trying to confuse me and illustrate the company’s support of individuality and creativity. F consistency!

Should someone else apologize?

Richard Dawkins apologized for comments he made about Down’s syndrome. I wonder if he was as challenged as the scribes at yahoo.com to spell it correctly:

fp downs syndrome

The National Down Syndrome Society and the National Association for Down Syndrome  call it (not surprisingly) Down syndrome. The American Heritage Dictionary calls Down’s syndrome a variant of Down syndrome.

Did the writer (and the editor, assuming there was one) just trust that they knew how to spell and capitalize Down syndrome? Maybe they should apologize for their mistake.

Neanderthals among us

Neanderthals live! And I don’t mean those crude twits who lick their fingers after eating Buffalo wings. I’m talking about the species that we all thought was extinct. Not so! According to the Yahoo! front page, Neanderthals live among us:

fp live

It would still be wrong

Even if the writer for Yahoo! Movies had remembered to put the hyphen in run-in, the word would still be wrong:

run in omg 1

A run-in is a quarrel or argument; it’s not a casual meeting.

But aside from that, what mistakes did the writer make? There’s some problem with familiar faces, because the writer implies that Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey share the same face:

run in omg 2

This writer really has issues with punctuation. She puts an erroneous apostrophe is Wednesdays and puts a semicolon within quotation marks. In U.S. English, two punctuation characters never, ever go before a closing quotation mark: a colon and a semicolon.

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