A couple of S’s?

It’s become almost a daily occurrence at Yahoo! Style: the inability to form possessive of a plural noun:

What the heck is so hard about this? If you’re writing about one couple, it’s couple’s. If more than one couple, it’s couples’. If you’re really confused, it’s couples’s and it’s wrong.

While I’m pondering the reason for that common mistake, perhaps you’ll solve another mystery for me: Why did the writer (and presumably her editor) refer to a boy with the pronoun her? Is this a transgender thing?

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Duggar family renting to religious tenant

The Duggar family, known in the States for their reality TV show, their strict fundamental beliefs, and their overly large family, is renting space to a religious tenant.

The Yahoo! Style article doesn’t mention if the renter is living with the Duggars. But renting to a Christian is certainly in keeping with the family’s religious tenets.

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’m a writer, not a mathematician!

Yahoo! writers aren’t known for their mathematical ability. Or even their 3-grade arithmetic ability. It’s enough that they manage to write a sentence with both a subject and a verb, like this one:

legs-sty-1

So, don’t be criticizing this writer because this is almost correct — meaning that it is completely wrong:

legs-sty-2

At 51.5 inches, the woman’s legs are 4 feet, 3.5 inches long. That’s not almost 4 feet, 3 inches because almost means “slightly short of; not quite; nearly,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary. But at least the sentence has a subject and verb. There’s that.

 

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