This needs to be fixed

I wish I could say that neither the writer nor the editor needs to brush up on grammar, but I can’t. Someone at Yahoo Lifestyle needs a refresher on matching a verb to a subject:

When a subject consists of two nouns joined by neither…nor, the verb must agree with the noun closer to it. So these are both correct:

  • Neither my sister nor my mother needs to read junk like that.
  • Neither my sister nor my parents need to read junk like that.

A series of mistakes

A series of mistakes has lined up on Here’s just one of them:

The word series is both a singular and plural noun. If it’s preceded by the indefinite article a, it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s singular.  So, it requires a singular verb, like has and not have.

Says who?

This is a common grammatical mistake on, says blogger:

One of two words is wrong in that teaser, but which one? The hapless reader doesn’t know if one official or multiple official made a statement. Sad.

Warning: Profanity ahead

Warning: This headline from Yahoo News contains content unsuitable for children:

Lots of news outlets are now including the profane words of America’s current president, as if it were acceptable speech. But most of them are also using correct grammar and are able to match a verb and its subject. Some of them also follow standard guidelines and don’t capitalize the word senator unless it directly precedes a senator’s name.

Writing and editing are exciting

OK, so maybe writing and editing aren’t exciting — at least not all the time. Perhaps if the editors at Yahoo Lifestyle found them exciting, we wouldn’t be subjected to this:

You needs a proofreader

Just in case you need some proofreading inspiration, take a look at this from Yahoo Lifestyle:

They sat or were seated?

I don’t know what the correct wording is here at Yahoo News, I just know this is wrong:

Either were sat should be simply sat or were sat should be were seated.  The implication of each is different, so the reader is left wondering if the subjects were told where to sit. Or maybe the editor is just grammatically impaired.

That is wrong

That is just plain wrong on Yahoo News’:

If you think is should be are (because subject-verb agreement) you are right.

Both are keeping the error

When this appeared this morning on Yahoo News, I was sure it would be corrected:

Well, the headline was edited, but the mismatch of a plural subject and a singular verb remains:

I guess the editors are keeping the mistake.

According to my research

According to my research, it’s not acquiring more readers that makes bloggers happier, it’s writing grammatically correct sentences. If that’s true, the Yahoo! Beauty writer responsible for this subject-verb mismatch can’t be too happy:

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