Ten seconds or less

It took ten seconds or less to spot this error on the Yahoo! front page:

fp hours or fewer

This may be a case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. The writer might think that fewer (rather than less) should be used for countable items. And that’s generally correct, except there are some exceptions: time, money, and distance. In those cases, the correct word is less: $50 or less, 10 feet or less, and 6 hours or less.


Lots of one guest

Just what is the fate of your guest during the holidays? The lots of a guest mentioned on Yahoo! DIY has me wondering:

youre guests diy

Maybe that’s supposed to guests! Yes, that’s the ticket. But now I have to figure out why those folks at Yahoo! said “you are guests.” Are they inviting us all over for a little eggnog?

How old are you?

Reading this, I thought the writer was perhaps a 10-year-old, and not a professional writer for yahoo.com:

fp which is when

Since when does “which is when” apply to a medical condition? I guess the writer didn’t know that when applies to time, except when you were in third grade, when you used it liberally to apply to just about anything. Maybe when the writer graduates from high school he or she will think to write:

hypoxia, which is a deficiency of oxygen in the brain

Jingle Ball’s oddity

This is an oddity in the world of professionally written sites:

balls apos style

But at Yahoo! Style it’s not uncommon to see a plural formed with an apostrophe. It’s not uncommon, but it is wrong.

Not a prize winner

The writers for the Yahoo! front page aren’t going to win any prizes for writing with this undercapitalized Nobel Peace Prize:

fp nobel peace

Oh, well, at least they spelled Nobel correctly. This time.

Besieged by misspellings

Sometimes it seems like readers are besieged by misspellings and typos on Yahoo!. And there’s no reason for the kind of mistakes we all find on the Yahoo! front page:

fp seige 2

and Yahoo! News:

seige news

If the writers and editors refuse to use a spell-checker or a dictionary, then maybe they should just stick to easier words, like attack. I don’t think they can mess that up.

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.

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