This will be around for a while

Articles on Yahoo! Health tend to hang around the Internet for a while. That’s why a mistake like this can be so damaging: Innocent readers might think this is correct because the article was written by “editors”:

for awhile heal

It’s not correct because awhile is an adverb and only a noun or noun phrase (like a while) can be the object of a preposition. So, correct prepositional phrases include: in a while, for a while, and after a while.

Haven’t seen that in a while

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen confusion about awhile and a while. This one’s from Yahoo! Celebrity where the writer doesn’t realize that unlike awhile (which is a adverb) only a while (which is a noun phrase) can follow a preposition:

for awhile cel hp

This will be talked about for a while

Here at Terribly Write headquarters we’ll be talking about this gaffe on Yahoo! Sports for a while:

for awhile sports

According to the American Heritage Dictionary:

Awhile, an adverb, is never preceded by a preposition such as for, but the two-word form a while may be preceded by a preposition. In writing, each of the following is acceptable: stay awhile; stay for a while; stay a while (but not stay for awhile).

Haven’t seen this for a while

It’s been a long while since I’ve seen this mistake on Yahoo!. This time it’s from Yahoo! News‘ “Who Knew”:

If you’re looking for the right word after a preposition like for or in, use a while; awhile never follows a preposition.

Once in a while, you make a mistake

Once in a while a mistake appears on the Yahoo! front page:

Ha-ha! I was kidding. I am a kidder. Mistakes appear on every day. This time it’s the use of the adverb awhile following a preposition like in or for. The correct form is a while.

Writing is a tough

Writing is difficult for some people, even professionals. Writing correctly is impossible for some people, even professionals. For the writer of the Yahoo! TV blog “Primetime in No Time” writing without error proves impossible.

There’s some confusion here about the use of the apostrophe: It’s missing in the possessive host’s, but wrong when included in the plural VCRs and misplaced in what should be ’80s:

If the title of the show doesn’t include a question mark, don’t put it before the closing quotation mark. I haven’t seen this other mistake in a while: If it comes after a preposition (like in, after, or for), use the two-word a while, not awhile:

Writing is a tough. Isn’t it?

Spelling Gordon Ramsay’s name is a tough, too.

Writing is a tough for some people.

Did the writer fall unconscious?

Some time while writing for Yahoo! TV‘s “Daytime in No Time,” the writer may have lost consciousness. She almost made it through this sentence, until she stumbled:

After a preposition (like for), she should have used a while. Easy mistake to make, I guess. But it looks like the writer had fallen unconscious (or simply fell unconscious) when writing this gem:

Perhaps she was still recovering when she wrote this:

Good thing Yahoo! doesn’t require accuracy from its writers. Cuz this writer would have shown the door with that misspelling of Jaden Smith.

It happens once in a while

Every once in a while, there’s an error on the Yahoo! front page:

The word awhile is an adverb meaning “for a short time or period.” Let’s hope we don’t see this usage again for a while.

Once in a while you goof

Once in a while even the best of writers makes a mistake. Take this snippet from Yahoo! Tech:

awhile tech blog

The writer should have used a while. Awhile, an adverb meaning “for a short time,” is never preceded by a preposition like in and for.

Forget about this for a while

I’m thinking we’ll wait awhile for the next homophonous slip-up from Yahoo! Movies:


While awhile is an adverb, while can be a noun or a conjunction. And a while can follow a preposition, while awhile can’t.

%d bloggers like this: