A message to whoever wrote this

This is a message to whoever wrote this for Yahoo! Finance: You used the wrong pronoun.

Although it looks like you’re dealing with the object of the preposition to, you’re not. The entire clause starting with whomever lasts… is the object of the preposition. The writer should have used whoever, which is the subject of the verb lasts.

Here’s a good rule from grammarbook.com:

The presence of whoever or whomever indicates a dependent clause. Use whoever or whomever to agree with the verb in that dependent clause, regardless of the rest of the sentence.

What makes this different from correct

If I could, I’d ask the Yahoo! Style writer if she knows what makes this wording different from, say, the correct wording:

The American Heritage Dictionary covers the use of different than and different from. Here’s the part that’s relevant, though you may want to read the full discussion:

Traditionally, from is used when the comparison is between two persons or things: My book is different from [not than] yours. Note that noun phrases, including ones that have clauses in them, also fall into this category: The campus is different from the way it was the last time you were here.

Throw it back

There are so many things wrong with this paragraph from Yahoo! Style that if I were writer’s editor, I’d throw it back at her and say, “Try again, honey. It’s not worth my time to try to fix this.”

throw-back

Is it really that bad? Yes. Yes, it is. An editor could change the pronouns their and they to its and it, since they seem to refer to Milan. And an editor could add the word the before Milanese’s and change that to the plural possessive Milaneses’. But the sentence still wouldn’t make any sense. It’s a straight-up (notice the hyphen?) mess. It’s a throwback (notice it’s one word?) to the days of our youth, before we knew about grammar and spelling and punctuation and sentences with actual verbs.

But that’s not all. The Cure should be The Cure’s and the random capitalization of some of those song titles has me scratching my head and dusting the dandruff off my keyboard. And the noun throwback is still one word.

They was there?

Anyone have any idea how this grammatical gaffe slipped by the eagle-eyed editors at Yahoo! Style?

was

Her subject and verb aren’t perfect

Whenever I see a grammatical goof this blatant, I wonder what the heck the writer was thinking:

silhouettes-and-palette-is

Then I remember I’m reading Yahoo! Style and there probably was no thinking involved.

The subjects and verb was wrong

Let’s take the charitable view and call this grammatical gaffe on Yahoo! Style a typo:

walls-runway-was

The writer meant to type were but her fingers slipped and she typed was. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

It took me less than 2 seconds…

It took me less than 2 seconds to spot this error on Yahoo! Style:

fewer-minutes

Lots of people know that when you’re talking about countable things, you use fewer and not less: We’d like to see fewer grammatical errors and less pretentious writing. But fewer people know there are exceptions to that rule. If you’re writing about time, money, distance, or weight, the correct word is less, not fewer: less than $100, less than 3 miles, less than 20 pounds, and less than 15 minutes.

How much more does it take?

If crop tops, chokers, neon everything and more trends aren’t enough to merit a plural verb, what more does it take? You’d have to ask the Yahoo! Style writer who can’t seem to match a verb to its (very plural) subject:

wasnt-enough-sty

Nice try. But wrong

Looks like this Yahoo! Style writer was trying to be excruciatingly correct, but wound up being completely wrong:

whomever-wears-sty

The word she should have used is whoever, because it’s the subject of the verb wears.

If you’re unsure if you should use who or whom (or whoever or whomever), go with who (or whoever). You’ve got a 50-50 chance of being correct. If you use whom or whomever and you’re wrong, you look like a pretentious high school dropout.

I almost had a stroke

I almost had a stroke when I read this on Yahoo! Style:

stroke-a-pose-sty

Did the writer really think that the past tense of strike was stroke? I’d say that she struck out with that word choice.

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