Did anyone over at yahoo.com notice that there’s a messed-up correlative conjunction:
Neither the Yahoo! Style writer nor the editor appears to know basic grammar:
When two subjects are joined by the correlative conjunction neither…nor, the verb must agree with the subject closer to it. So, it should be “neither Richie’s children nor her husband appears” but “neither Richie’s husband nor her children appear.”
If you’re a professional writer, you might be able to get away with poor grammar — if you have the services of a competent editor. But, if you write for the Yahoo! front page, don’t count on it:
Neither the writer nor the editor (assuming there is one) knows that the verb must agree with the noun closer to it when the subject is joined by neither…nor.
Every once in a while, I read something on Yahoo! that I cannot decipher. I cannot parse the sentence. I cannot glean a scintilla of information. I cannot guess at what the writer was trying to say. And here is today’s WTF writing from Yahoo! News:
Anyone have a clue as to what this should be? Anyone?
What happens when neither the writer nor the editor looks for grammatical mistakes? You get a mismatch of subject and verb, like this on Yahoo! Sports:
When the subject is two nouns joined by neither…nor, the verb should agree with the noun closer to it. In this case, it’s singular (Miami) and the verb should be singular, too (looks).