Whoever decided this was correct…

Whoever decided that whomever was correct in this excerpt from Yahoo! Style was wrong:

whomever decided sty

The pronoun whomever is the objective case of whoever, meaning that it can be the object of a preposition, but not the subject of a verb like, oh, say decided.

Sometimes I think writers use whom and whomever because they think it sounds more sophisticated or erudite. When used correctly, it might.

To each his own

Each time I read something like this from Yahoo! Sports, I cringe:

each have spo mlb

As a pronoun, each is generally singular, but there are exceptions. Here’s what the American Heritage Dictionary says:

…the subject of a sentence beginning with each is grammatically singular, and so the verb and following pronouns must be singular: Each of the apartments has (not have) its (not their) own private entrance (not entrances). When each follows a plural subject, however, the verb and subsequent pronouns remain plural: The apartments each have their own private entrances (not has its own private entrance). When each follows the verb, it has been traditionally considered acceptable to say either The boys have each their own bike or The boys have each his own bike, though both of these (and especially the latter) are likely to seem stilted in comparison to The boys each have their own bike or The boys each have their own bikes. ·

Casting about for the right word

Ugh. Did the writer of this headline on Yahoo! Style really write that? Is there a professional writer or editor who really thinks that the past tense of cast is casted? Yes. And it’s appalling.

casted sty hp

Just in case the writer or editor is reading this, let me explain: The past tense of cast is cast. It’s just that simple. Now go find someone to explain what a past tense is.

Each with her own mistakes

Yahoo! Style publishes articles by several women, each with her own style and her own interpretation of English grammar.

their own sty

At least one gal thinks it’s OK to use a plural pronoun (like, oh, say, their) to refer to a woman. It’s not. The correct pronoun is her.

Biometrics leads the way

Biometrics leads the way, except on the Yahoo! front page, where grammatical errors are in the lead:

fp biometrics

It’s like mathematics, physics, forensics, and ballistics — which all take a singular verb.

Stay in school

Now that school’s out, I think the Yahoo! Celebrity editors should hit the grammar books and learn a little something about the use of an apostrophe in a contraction:

schools out cel

When Selena Gomez is the subject

What makes this stand out on the Yahoo! front page isn’t the picture of Selena Gomez and her co-stars. It’s the glaringly obvious mismatch of the subject (which is photo op) and its verb (which should be makes):

fp photo op make

It’s a ballistics show

It looks like a plural, but according to the American Heritage Dictionary, ballistics is a noun that’s used with a singular verb. Just because the folks at yahoo.com treat it as a plural, don’t assume that it’s correct:

fp ballistics

I guess it’s like mathematics and physics, which also are used with singular verbs.

When her is she

It’s hard for me to imagine that there’s an English-speaking adult writing for Yahoo! Celebrity who thinks that this is correct:

of her cel

This might just be part of a growing trend to replace objective case pronouns (like me, her, him) with subjective case pronouns (I, she, he) because they sound more erudite.

Miley Cyrus is just one

Miley Cyrus is one the many celebrities who have been the subject of articles on Yahoo! Makers. And of course, those articles contain mistakes. It doesn’t take a 22-page book on grammar to understand the errors and how to correct them:

that has been diy

It should be easy for anyone with a basic English education to spot them. Although that isn’t grammatically incorrect, it’s considered impolite to use in reference to a person; who is preferred. The verb has been is just out-and-out wrong, since the verb should agree with the plural subject celebrities. The compound adjective 22-page requires a hyphen.


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