What to do when a grammatical error makes you want to scream

I say scream, like I’m screaming right now at the editors at Yahoo! Health who can’t match a verb to a subject:

make you hea hp

Seriously, where did they people go to school? Didn’t they learn that when a compound subject is joined by the conjunction or, the verb must agree with the subject closest to it? That would be love and the verb should be makes.


If this were written by a third-grader, the mistakes might be understandable. But coming from a professional writer for Yahoo! Style, they’re downright disgraceful:

graceful sty

Someone writing about fashion should know that paillettes needs two L’s; they are a type of sequin. And when the plural word is the subject of the sentence, it requires a plural subject. And Lord help her (because no one at Yahoo! will), the writer actually thinks that graceful is a suitable modifier for the verb floats. It is not; the adverb gracefully is.

Neither has commented

Neither the Yahoo! Celebrity writer nor editor has commented on this grammatical gaffe:

have commented cel

When two subjects are joined by neither…nor, the verb must agree with the subject closer to it. In this case, the verb must agree with Jungwirth and should be has commented.

Between you and me, this sucks

OK, so maybe “sucks” is a rather strong word for a grammatical goof that is so obvious, even a child would notice it. It looks like the Yahoo! Style writer didn’t get much help from her colleagues. Between her and the editors, no one could come up with the correct pronoun:

between she

Worried about your job?

Let’s take the charitable view of this article by the Yahoo! Style news “editor” and assume that she’s worried about keeping her job and the anxiety is affecting her writing. With recent headlines about Yahoo! selling off parts of the company, she may be concerned about her future. Of course, it’s also possible that she has a tenuous grasp of English and a third-grader’s vocabulary.

The article is filled with typos and misspellings, but they’re not nearly as bad as her misuse of common words, like betrothed. She apparently thinks it means married, and not engaged:

betrothed sty

She has trouble with the plural of some words, like aircraft:

aircrafts style

The plural of aircraft is aircraft. If she wanted to emphasize the fact that there were multiple planes, she should have used the word planes.

Homophones are another problem for this gal, who can’t seem to remember that palate is the roof of her mouth (or her sense of taste) and palette refers to a color scheme:

color palate sty

Why were the folks at Sofia Vergara’s wedding glowering? We’ll have to ask the “editor” for an explanation:

glower-filled sty

Proving again that plurals are too difficult for her to master, she comes up with lilys instead of lilies. (Didn’t we all learn “change the Y to I and add ES” when we were 8?) And her limited vocabulary is again on display. I wonder what fauna (deer? gorillas? wildebeests?) was lurking among the flora:

lilys fauna sty

Finally, she’s just a tad confused about matching a verb to a subject:

each were sty

When the subject is each the verb is singular (was, not were, in this case).

Poor thing. This “editor” is worried about her job. And with good reason.

Editor alters headline to support grammar

Uh, no. No editors at Yahoo! Makers altered this headline to make it grammatically correct:

alter diy hp

Everyone is dying of laughter

Everyone from a kindergartner to a college graduate is dying of laughter after reading this grammatical goof on Yahoo! Style:

everyone are sty

We readers are appalled

This is definitely a grammatical error we readers of Yahoo! Style find appalling:

us gals sty

One day’s worth of errors

I could never write about one day’s worth of errors on Yahoo!. There are just too many and I’d just get a migraine. So, here’s just one grammatical goof from yahoo.com:

fp millions of dollars

Yahoo! advertises millions of dollars’ worth of products every day; too bad one of those products isn’t a grammar book. The editors could use a little lesson on using the apostrophe to form quasi-possessives like one day’s pay and four years’ experience.

It’s not nice to fool your readers

I should have known that when a writer for Yahoo! Makers can’t figure out what verb to use in a simple sentence, that the rest of the article would not go well:

is for are diy

Undeterred by that obvious grammatical gaffe, I read on. I was curious to see what I could make with a cone, fake snow, and hot glue. And then I saw the actual list of materials and equipment I’d need:

list mak

Well, don’t I feel foolish. Here’s an obvious case of bait and switch. Lure me in with a promise of making a Christmas tree using three objects, and then spring this on me. I’m not even going to mention the misspelled iridescent and snowflakes and the missing slash in and/or. OK, so maybe I will mention them.


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