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.

Gambling on it

I’ll bet anyone dollars to donuts that the editors for the Yahoo! front page have no idea what an antecedent is and why a pronoun must agree with it:

fp gambling on it

An antecedent is the noun that a pronoun refers to. The pronoun must agree with its antecedent, meaning that they both must be the same number (singular or plural). A plural noun (like oh, say, maybe fights) requires a plural pronoun (like them).

I cry sometimes, too

I admit that I cry sometimes, especially when I read something as stupid as this sentence from Yahoo! Answers:

yamster

There is no rational explanation possible for using they to refer to a Yamster, which appears to be a hamster mascot for the Yahoo! site. Unless the Yamster is a collective name for conjoined twins, and Yahoo! is hiding the other twin out of our view. As for the rest of the text, just be thankful that I obscured some words with my red circle. You really don’t want to read that juvenile, amateurishly written tripe.

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.

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.

Take a picture of yourself

You don’t take a picture of you, you take a picture of yourself. Why? Because in a grammatically correct sentence, we use a reflexive pronoun (like yourself, herself, ourselves) when the pronoun refers to the subject of the sentence. In a grammatically incorrect sentence, such as this from the Yahoo! front page, anything goes:

fp photo of her

The editors should chastise themselves for not correcting that sentence: The “Glee” star paired a photo of herself and Ryan Dorsey with a graphic.

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

They’ve done it again

Oops. They’ve done it again. And again. The writers at Yahoo! Style simply haven’t mastered English grammar and continue to commit obvious and egregious grammatical gaffes. First, it’s the mismatch of a singular subject (Sophie Webster) with a plural verb (have done). How does such an obvious error get past the editors? Oh, yeah, there are no editors.

have done coca cola sty

Then there’s the glaring use of lead (which, when pronounced led, is the stuff inside a pencil) instead of the past tense led. Not content with showing an astounding ignorance of grammar, the writer displays a complete disregard for the trademarked Coca-Cola.

They’ve done it again. And they’ll do it again.

Disappearance of correct grammar

The disappearance of correct grammar on the Yahoo! front page has heightened concerns about the state of the language:

fp have heightened

The inability of a professional writer or editor to match a verb (which should be has heightened) to a singular subject (disappearance) says a lot about Yahoo!’s commitment to quality.

Imagine finding you

Imagine finding yourself reading this error-filled sentence on Yahoo! Makers:

finding you to

Is it just me or is this a new high in the number of egregious errors in a single sentence? The writer doesn’t know to use the reflexive yourself when the subject and the object of the verb are the same person?

So, I’m imagining myself sitting (and not sat) at a table, but the table I see isn’t “decked in” the ingredients for the meal I’m about to have. Where would the waiter put the place setting? I have no idea what word the writer actually meant; I can’t think of a single one that would turn that from nonsense to a sentence.

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