I have a question for the editors at Yahoo! Finance: Who the heck edited this? Anyone?
Am I supposed to mail my taxes to Yahoo!? Not a chance. If the intent was to tell readers to email a question, then them should be it.
This is a message to whoever wrote this for Yahoo! Finance: You used the wrong pronoun.
Although it looks like you’re dealing with the object of the preposition to, you’re not. The entire clause starting with whomever lasts… is the object of the preposition. The writer should have used whoever, which is the subject of the verb lasts.
Here’s a good rule from grammarbook.com:
The presence of whoever or whomever indicates a dependent clause. Use whoever or whomever to agree with the verb in that dependent clause, regardless of the rest of the sentence.
There are so many things wrong with this paragraph from Yahoo! Style that if I were writer’s editor, I’d throw it back at her and say, “Try again, honey. It’s not worth my time to try to fix this.”
Is it really that bad? Yes. Yes, it is. An editor could change the pronouns their and they to its and it, since they seem to refer to Milan. And an editor could add the word the before Milanese’s and change that to the plural possessive Milaneses’. But the sentence still wouldn’t make any sense. It’s a straight-up (notice the hyphen?) mess. It’s a throwback (notice it’s one word?) to the days of our youth, before we knew about grammar and spelling and punctuation and sentences with actual verbs.
But that’s not all. The Cure should be The Cure’s and the random capitalization of some of those song titles has me scratching my head and dusting the dandruff off my keyboard. And the noun throwback is still one word.
Looks like this Yahoo! Style writer was trying to be excruciatingly correct, but wound up being completely wrong:
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.
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:
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).
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:
The pronoun their refers to one of two candidates, both of whom are purported to be male. The correct pronoun is the singular his.
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:
The pronouns their refer to one male and both should be his.