Incidents of mismatched subjects and verbs are unfortunately common on Yahoo! Style:
If only there were a way for the Yahoo! Style writer to verify the spelling of the captions she writes. Maybe if she had a picture of the eau de parfum she’s writing about, she wouldn’t make these misspellings:
Oh, wait! Here’s the actual picture that goes with that caption:
Maybe she didn’t think she needed to look at it. But when writing this caption:
. . . don’t you think she should have checked out the picture of the bottle of eau de parfum, which is quite different from cologne and eau de cologne:
Well, she finally got the product right in this caption:
. . . but not the name of the manufacturer:
If these captions didn’t appear right next to the product pictures, perhaps no one would have noticed that the writer can’t copy words right under her nose. But they’re there and there’s no amount of eau de parfum that can cover the stink.
The writer and editor at Yahoo! Style — neither of whom is a grammatical genius — thought this was correct:
In general neither, used as a pronoun, is grammatically singular and takes a singular verb like is, not are. Some experts are OK with neither taking a plural verb when it is followed by of and a plural, like: Neither of us know much about grammar.
The writer over at Yahoo! Style got my attention with this attempt to form a possessive:
She may have gotten other people’s attention, too. At least the attention of those who know that people is a plural noun and you form the possessive of a plural noun not ending in S with an apostrophe followed by an S: Like women’s, children’s, men’s, and people’s.
The writer and editor of this excerpt from Yahoo! Style probably think they know when to capitalize a word:
In this case, they would be wrong. When referring to the United States, States is a proper noun. (So, if you live in Australia and want to visit three states, you have to travel to the States.) They probably also think they know the title of that TV show called “So You Think You Can Dance.” They’re almost right: There is no question mark in the title.
Nobody knew that forming a plural possessive was so complicated! Nobody! OK, so maybe everybody knew it was pretty simple except the folks at Yahoo! Style, who seem to be confused:
I know that you know that the plural of Kardashian is Kardashians and possessive of the plural Kardashians is Kardashians‘.
There are rules to writing that we all try to follow so that we communicate clearly and so that we don’t look like idiots to our readers. These are not editors’ rules; they are language rules. And there’s one that’s just been broken on Yahoo! Style:
The plural of parent is parents; the possessive of parents is parents’. I think that means that parents’s is the singular possessive of the plural parents. Or maybe it just means the writer has no idea what she’s doing.
You don’t need to be an expert in geography to write for Yahoo! Style. If you don’t know an English town from an English county, don’t worry — you could still making the writing team. The author of this gem did:
Berkshire is not a town outside of London; it is a county. St. Mark’s church, the site of Ms. Middleton’s wedding, is in Englefield, Berkshire. Englefield is the town outside of London.