I started reading this article on Yahoo! Style, but stopped when I got to this sentence:
It can be hard to get past the use of an incorrect word.
If I were the editor for this Yahoo! Style writer, I’d take her aside and whisper, “Honey, don’t try so hard. You’re just not good enough with the big words. Keep it simple.”
Even if the writer had used past (instead of what I think is the incorrect passed) that clause makes no sense. None. The writer was trying too hard to be clever. The reader would be trying too hard to decipher her message. Or, like me, would just give up and click on the next article.
When I first read “par tine” on Yahoo! Sports, I thought the writer was attempting to be humorous. See, it’s like a Spoonerism for “pine tar,” except a Spoonerism would be “tine par.” So, maybe it’s like a Spoonerism followed by a transposition:
Then I read a bit more and decided that the writer was just careless. Like putting an apostrophe on Mets. After all, “Mets teammates” makes more sense. And then I saw that the writer didn’t know that afterall isn’t a word, but past is (and it’s the word he should have used):
After analyzing these excerpts I concluded that the writer heeds nelp.
In the past, before I became obsessed with documenting some of the mistakes on Yahoo! (no one, not even me, could address all of them), I might have dashed past this error from Yahoo! Shine:
The word passed is the past tense of the verb pass; the adverb the writer should have used is past.
I’ve read that there are people who confuse the past tense of pass with past. But I didn’t believe it until I encountered this from Yahoo! Finance‘s “The Daily Ticker”:
The writer should have used past, which means, among other things, “beyond in position, farther than.”