If your best friend were an editor…

If you were a writer for the Yahoo! front page and your best friend were an editor, she might tell you to use the subjunctive mood in this headline:

She’d know that the subjunctive mood for a verb to indicate a wish, emotion, or possibility, and not a fact. She might also question your use of a hyphen in post-workout. Why? Because she knows that someone else at yahoo.com spells it without a hyphen, and she is quite appalled that the former Internet giant doesn’t have any standards for consistent spelling:


Whoever reads this …

… will be appalled by the writer’s grammar.

This may be a case of “hyper-correction” by the Yahoo! Shine writer. Hyper-correction is the result of a writer’s insecurity about grammar and the need to seem more learned than she actually is. The correct word is whoever, which is the nominative case like the pronouns he and I. It’s used whenever the pronoun is the subject of a verb.

How many Russians?

A grammatical mistake can make you look careless or even ignorant. It can also leave your readers scratching their head. Take this gaffe on the Yahoo! front page:

Obviously there’s a mistake here, but what did the writer really intend? That multiple Russians or one Russian is making an accusation?

2 of 3 readers leave shaking their head

Most readers would just shake their head over this grammatical goof from Yahoo! News:


Is it fear of that little punctuation character that drives Yahoo! staffers to misuse the apostrophe? They use it to form the plural of words, like this from Yahoo! TV‘s “Primetime in No Time”:

They avoid using it in a contraction like it’s:

And fear it in possessives, even when it’s required in headlines like this one from Yahoo! News‘ “Trending Now”:

Apostrophobia? Or simply a case of carelessness and indifference?

Your writing and editing kill me

It just kills me that the editors working on the Yahoo! front page (one of the most visited pages on the Interwebs) can’t match a verb to its subject:

The subject is bombing and shooting; the verb should be kill.

Has she pleaded guilty?

The senior political reporter for Yahoo! News‘ “The Ticket” should plead guilty to a grammatical felony for this goofy verb tense:

Creating a new past tense for a verb seems to be a trend at Yahoo!. Or else it’s just the result of writers who are grammatically impaired. The past tense of plead is pleaded or pled, not plead.

But that’s not the worst crime in this article about John Edwards. It’s the allegation that the former senator faces a $250,000 charge per fine:

Looks like she’s having a little problem with the words of order.

Good grammar and proofreading are all you need

Yikes! Someone working on the Yahoo! front page needs a lesson on grammar, specifically how to match a verb with its subject:

The subject of that sentence is plural (pad and shirt) and the verb should be are. Good grammar and proofreading are all you need.

It makes a statement, all right!

This photo caption from Yahoo! Shine makes a statement, and it’s “your grammar is a bit wobbly”:

The sentence has a plural subject (silhouette and color) and needs a verb that matches it (which would be make).

Walt Disney: Singular guy

Walt Disney was a singular guy.  He was a genius in the entertainment industry. He was the Steve Jobs of his time. In this caption from Yahoo! Movies the verb should be singular, too, just like Walt:

The phrase “along with his brother Roy” doesn’t change the subject, which is Walt Disney. Could that be a simple typo? Possibly, but it doesn’t look like a typo, since the same wording appears in the photo itself:


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