You’re under arrest

The grammar police should make an arrest at the yahoo.com headquarters for this gaffe:

fp him being arrested

Did that really sound right to the writer? If so, then he or she needs to hang around people who speak proper English and start reading something other than Facebook timelines and Twitter posts.

The correct pronoun is the possessive his because being is a gerund, which is a verb functioning as a noun. The writer could have avoided this embarrassment by simply writing “by his arrest.” Easy, no?

This often gets mistaken for correct English

Actually, no, it doesn’t. This kind of mistake is not often mistaken for correct except over at the Yahoo! front page:

fp mistaken as

I can’t say that I’ve ever read or heard “mistaken as a daughter/girl/writer.” Ever. It’s one of those mistakes that makes me wonder where Yahoo! finds its writers.

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.

Get a few years more under your belt

The editor in chief of Yahoo! Style could use a few more years of writing under his belt:

on her belt style

Perhaps with some additional experience and the guidance of a competent editor he’ll learn some common idioms and the correct preposition for them.

Stick to what you know

If you’re a writer who is unable or unwilling to do a little research for an article, you should probably stick to subjects that you’re intimately familiar with. Like, for instance, if you write for Yahoo! Style, stick to writing about flannel pajamas and Crocs. Don’t attempt to write about a movie — not even briefly:

reese novel style

The writer here just looks ignorant, lazy, or maybe even mentally challenged. Cheryl Strayed’s book was not a novel; it was not a work of fiction, it was a memoir. As for the statement that “their off-screen looks hardly translate to reality”? That reveals another issue about the writer. She has a little problem with logic, because that statement makes no sense. None.

Getting in on the action

It seems that every article written by a Yahoo! staffer contains at least one misspelling, grammatical gaffe, or missing word. The folks at the Yahoo! front page are getting in on the action by dropping a small but significant word here:

fp getting on

Not a historic event

It’s hardly a historic event when the folks at the Yahoo! front page use the wrong indefinite article before words like historic, hotel, and eulogy:

fp an historic event

Use a (and not an) before a word that begins with a consonant sound, even if its first letter is a vowel.

Try making sense

Testing my patience, this sentence on the Yahoo! front page makes no sense:

fp dna testing

Of course the testing didn’t match the inmate. What the writer should have told us: Did the results of the DNA testing of crime scene evidence match the inmate’s DNA? That would make some sense.

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!.

Did you know…

Did you know that you can look really ignorant, careless, or worse when you misspell a word on a professional website like Yahoo! DIY?

deterrant diy

You would think that public embarrassment would be enough of a deterrent to prevent mistakes like this. But no, the author of this handy tip (and example of what not to do) is actually the editor in chief of Yahoo! DIY and she clearly doesn’t care.

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