Nice try. But wrong

Looks like this Yahoo! Style writer was trying to be excruciatingly correct, but wound up being completely wrong:

whomever-wears-sty

The word she should have used is whoever, because it’s the subject of the verb wears.

If you’re unsure if you should use who or whom (or whoever or whomever), go with who (or whoever). You’ve got a 50-50 chance of being correct. If you use whom or whomever and you’re wrong, you look like a pretentious high school dropout.

A daughter and their dorms

When writers drop their article off at their editor’s desk, the last thing they want to think about is the likelihood of its containing grammatical errors. At least one Yahoo! Beauty didn’t think about grammar (or her reader) when she wrote this:

their-dorms-bea

According to that excerpt, parents — not the daughter — are the ones living at dorms — not a dorm. It takes a special kind of determined reader (like moi) to try to decipher that sentence and ascertain what caused the train wreck. It’s pretty simple: the wrong pronoun (it should be her, not their) and a wrong plural (it should be dorm).

It was bound to happen

When it became acceptable (at least in some circles) to use the pronouns they, their, and them to refer to an individual of unknown gender, it was bound to happen: Those same plural pronouns would be used when a singular pronoun is required. It happened on yahoo.com:

fp-their-cause

The pronoun their refers to one of two candidates, both of whom are purported to be male. The correct pronoun is the singular his.

Women and her lifetime

Will Yahoo! Style writers make the same mistakes throughout their lifetime? Will they fail to understand that a plural noun (like women) requires a plural pronoun (like their)?

women-her-sty

An editor needed for he

A Yahoo! TV writer demonstrates the need for an editor with a single word:

for-he-tv

A competent editor for him might point out that the objective case, not the subjective case, is correct for the object of a preposition like for.

It was bound to happen

Ever since the grammar gods choose to look the over way when writers used the plural pronouns they and their to refer to a single person of unknown gender, it was bound to have unintended and ungrammatical consequences. And here’s the proof from Yahoo! Style:

their-sty

The pronouns their refer to one male and both should be his.

Not a high school graduate?

Doesn’t every high school graduate know that the pronoun who refers to human beings? Apparently not. There must be colleges that accept applicants who don’t know that and at least one editor at yahoo.com who’s unaware of the rule:

fp colleges who

It’s so unclear

After reading this on yahoo.com, I can’t figure out which players were fined:

fp its players

Were all WNBA players fined? It seems unlikely, but I’m hard-pressed to find any other singular noun that could be the antecedent for its. It’s more likely that the players on three teams were fined. If that’s the case, it’s clear that the writer should have referred to their players.

To whoever is reading this

To whoever is reading this: The Yahoo! Sports writer is confused about the use of whomever (which is the objective case of whoever and is used as the object of a preposition) and whoever (which can be the subject of a verb like was listening):

to whomever spo

This writer isn’t alone in his confusion. To many people, it appears that whomever is the object of the preposition to, but it’s the entire clause that’s the object of the preposition. And whoever should be the subject of the verb in that clause.

If you’re not into being grammatically nitpicky and you’re faced with the choice between who and whom or whoever and whomever, go with who or whoever. In more the half the cases, you’ll be correct, and even if you’re wrong, your writing will sound more authentic and less stilted and formal.

Her has made a mistake

Did this really sound right to the Yahoo! Beauty writer? Maybe it seemed right to the editor, too. So she and her editor have made a laughable grammatical mistake with this pronoun:

her 4 she sty

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