To whom it may concern

I wonder if Yahoo! Style has editors and writers who have shared information about the difference between nominative and objective pronouns. I think not:

The nominative pronoun who can be the subject of a verb like, oh, say, maybe have shared. The objective pronoun whom can be the object of a verb or preposition, like “to whom it may concern” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

I have a question

I have a question for the editors at Yahoo! Finance: Who the heck edited this? Anyone?

Am I supposed to mail my taxes to Yahoo!? Not a chance. If the intent was to tell readers to email a question, then them should be it.

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.

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.

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