Series of errors is common

A series of errors on the Yahoo! front page is not unusual. It’s quite common to see a mismatch of a subject (like series) and its verb (which should be aims):

fp series aim

The noun series is both singular and plural. In this case, it’s used as a singular noun because there’s only one series of ads.

The number of errors is increasing

The number of errors on Yahoo! is increasing every day. A number of errors have appeared on yahoo.com every day:

fp a number has

Here’s what the American Heritage Dictionary says about matching a verb to the noun number:

As a collective noun number may take either a singular or a plural verb. It takes a singular verb when it is preceded by the definite article the: The number of skilled workers is increasing. It takes a plural verb when preceded by the indefinite article a: A number of the workers have learned new skills.

It’s easy not proofreading

The writers for the Yahoo! front page appear to have had a relatively easy time not proofreading:

fp to have have

Casting about for the right word

Proving that being grammatically challenged is no barrier to getting a job writing for the Yahoo! front page, this writer should have cast off the ED on what should be cast:

fp casted

Repeat after me: Today I cast, yesterday I cast, I have cast.

I have never found myself doing that

I admit it: I have never found myself sat at my desk. However, I have found myself sitting at my desk. That is because I am familiar with English and grammar and words and idioms, and I take pride in that knowledge. I wonder what the writer for Yahoo! Makers takes pride in:

sat diy

The lengths some people will go to!

The length of a skirt and the weight of a coat are two separate things. When they’re the subject of a sentence, as they are here on Yahoo! Style, they require a plural verb:

length covers sty

Length and weight; two things. Yup, that about covers it.

Someone may have stolen your grammar book

Poor guy! The writer for Yahoo! Style most have had his grammar books and dictionary stolen. And with his writing skills, that’s a real tragedy:

may have stole sty

This must go

Do you think this must have undergone editing before being published on Yahoo! Style?

underwent

I’d rather believe it wasn’t edited than think that there’s an employed editor who believes that underwent is the correct form of the verb undergo in that sentence.

No wonder there are so many grammatical gaffes!

Is it any wonder that there are so many grammatical mistakes made by the writers and editors at Yahoo! Style? Here’s the opening sentence from a Style article written by — wait for it — the site’s editor in chief:

does it sty

Looks like the EIC cares as little about quality writing as his entire editorial staff.

What do they have in common?

What do these photo captionsStyle have in common? They were all written by the Yahoo! Style “editors.” They all contain the same grammatical error — a mismatch of a plural subject and a singular verb:

verb sty 3

verb sty 2

verb sty 1

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