How many spots are on Pluto?

Can you spot the incorrect word in this headline on the Yahoo! front page?

fp spots puzzles

Either there were multiple spots on Pluto, and puzzles is wrong, or there was only one spot and spots is wrong. But the reader doesn’t know which is true.

Fans watch out

I’m probably one of the few grammar fans who always watch out for mismatched subject-verb pairs. It stems from childhood when my friends and I would each pick a subject and then try to find the correct verb. I would have been thrilled to read this on Yahoo! Sports, with its mismatch of subject (fans) and verb (which should be watch) and where instead of when:

watches spo

Biometrics leads the way

Biometrics leads the way, except on the Yahoo! front page, where grammatical errors are in the lead:

fp biometrics

It’s like mathematics, physics, forensics, and ballistics — which all take a singular verb.

If spelling and grammar are not your thing

If spelling and grammar are not your thing, and you’re a professional writer, perhaps you should employ the services of a competent editor. You don’t want to embarrass yourself like this Yahoo! Style writer:

hiking boating is sty

When Selena Gomez is the subject

What makes this stand out on the Yahoo! front page isn’t the picture of Selena Gomez and her co-stars. It’s the glaringly obvious mismatch of the subject (which is photo op) and its verb (which should be makes):

fp photo op make

It’s a ballistics show

It looks like a plural, but according to the American Heritage Dictionary, ballistics is a noun that’s used with a singular verb. Just because the folks at yahoo.com treat it as a plural, don’t assume that it’s correct:

fp ballistics

I guess it’s like mathematics and physics, which also are used with singular verbs.

Miley Cyrus is just one

Miley Cyrus is one the many celebrities who have been the subject of articles on Yahoo! Makers. And of course, those articles contain mistakes. It doesn’t take a 22-page book on grammar to understand the errors and how to correct them:

that has been diy

It should be easy for anyone with a basic English education to spot them. Although that isn’t grammatically incorrect, it’s considered impolite to use in reference to a person; who is preferred. The verb has been is just out-and-out wrong, since the verb should agree with the plural subject celebrities. The compound adjective 22-page requires a hyphen.

Cast aside like an old shoe

This attempt at forming the past tense of the verb cast on Yahoo! Style should be cast aside in favor of the correct cast:

casted sty

There’s the rub

Does the writer at yahoo.com think that a rub and a barbecue sauce are one and the same?

fp rub sauce

Um, no. They’re two different things and when they’re the subject of a sentence, they take a plural verb (like are). Of course, describing a rub as “thick, chunky” is a little weird. I suspect the writer has no idea what a rub is; it’s a mixture of ground herbs and spices. Maybe next time the writer will read the actual article before writing about. Just a thought.

Who was the bomber

Is this as confusing to you as it is to me? This headline on the Yahoo! front page has me wondering: Was the mosque bomber a Shiite or did the bomber attack a Shiite mosque?

fp id-ed

A hyphen would have made it clear that it was a Shiite-mosque bomber. And where did the missing hyphen go? It went into ID-ed, which should be ID’ed (according to the American Heritage Dictionary).

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