A daughter and their dorms

When writers drop their article off at their editor’s desk, the last thing they want to think about is the likelihood of its containing grammatical errors. At least one Yahoo! Beauty didn’t think about grammar (or her reader) when she wrote this:

their-dorms-bea

According to that excerpt, parents — not the daughter — are the ones living at dorms — not a dorm. It takes a special kind of determined reader (like moi) to try to decipher that sentence and ascertain what caused the train wreck. It’s pretty simple: the wrong pronoun (it should be her, not their) and a wrong plural (it should be dorm).

Let’s run through that again

Let’s run through this one more time for the folks at Yahoo! Style: If you’re unsure of the spelling of a word, consult a dictionary. If a word looks funny (like, oh, say, maybe throughs), consult a dictionary:

run-throughs-sty

If the writer had done that, she might have seen that run-throughs is a noun requiring a hyphen. Just in case incidents like this happen to arise, editors can cut them out and replace them with the correct word. Editors can also be sure pronouns (like them, not it) match their antecedents (which in this case is incidents).

Women and her lifetime

Will Yahoo! Style writers make the same mistakes throughout their lifetime? Will they fail to understand that a plural noun (like women) requires a plural pronoun (like their)?

women-her-sty

An editor needed for he

A Yahoo! TV writer demonstrates the need for an editor with a single word:

for-he-tv

A competent editor for him might point out that the objective case, not the subjective case, is correct for the object of a preposition like for.

It was bound to happen

Ever since the grammar gods choose to look the over way when writers used the plural pronouns they and their to refer to a single person of unknown gender, it was bound to have unintended and ungrammatical consequences. And here’s the proof from Yahoo! Style:

their-sty

The pronouns their refer to one male and both should be his.

Not a high school graduate?

Doesn’t every high school graduate know that the pronoun who refers to human beings? Apparently not. There must be colleges that accept applicants who don’t know that and at least one editor at yahoo.com who’s unaware of the rule:

fp colleges who

It’s so unclear

After reading this on yahoo.com, I can’t figure out which players were fined:

fp its players

Were all WNBA players fined? It seems unlikely, but I’m hard-pressed to find any other singular noun that could be the antecedent for its. It’s more likely that the players on three teams were fined. If that’s the case, it’s clear that the writer should have referred to their players.

To whoever is reading this

To whoever is reading this: The Yahoo! Sports writer is confused about the use of whomever (which is the objective case of whoever and is used as the object of a preposition) and whoever (which can be the subject of a verb like was listening):

to whomever spo

This writer isn’t alone in his confusion. To many people, it appears that whomever is the object of the preposition to, but it’s the entire clause that’s the object of the preposition. And whoever should be the subject of the verb in that clause.

If you’re not into being grammatically nitpicky and you’re faced with the choice between who and whom or whoever and whomever, go with who or whoever. In more the half the cases, you’ll be correct, and even if you’re wrong, your writing will sound more authentic and less stilted and formal.

Thanks for clarifying that

Folks looking for clear information about the effects of Brexit on the US should steer clear of Yahoo! Finance, which offers this prediction:

has fin

Can you overlook the obvious disconnect between the plural subject (economy and market) and the singular verb (has)? I should have stopped reading at that point, because the next sentence is a mess of pronouns with no antecedents, except maybe in the mind of the writer. What does “it does have one… exposure” refer to? Does the pronoun it refer to the US economy or the US stock market or the UK economy? And what does its refer to? Some country?  I have no freakin’ idea. What I did learn from this? I won’t be reading the accompanying article.

Whoever did it should be embarrassed

There’s a dearth of competent editors over at Yahoo! Sports. Heck, there may be no editors at the website because any editor would know that the nominative case he is wrong following a preposition like between:

between he 1

Any editor would know that there’s a word missing in what should be a couple of years:

between he 2

And why can’t the writer and/or editor choose correct pronouns? The pronoun whomever is the objective case of whoever, which is the word the writer should have used since it’s the subject of the sentence.

Whoever wrote or edited this article should be embarrassed.

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