Nothing says ‘I don’t give a crap’ like umf

There’s lots of bad writing on the Internet, even by paid professionals. And when they don’t give a crap about their writing, you’ll likely see factual errors, misspellings, and incorrect word choices. That’s what I was thinking when I read this on Yahoo! Travel:

breakfast travel 1

This is allegedly about something called “Hearty Eggs,” but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s really about haggis. It’s clear the writer was a tad confused about her subject, just as she was confused about the difference between further and farther, the word that refers to real, physical distance.

But nothing says “I don’t give a sh*t” like umf, which I take to be a lazy writer’s attempt at oomph. Umf is not a word, but it is an abbreviation and according to the Urban Dictionary it means “ugly motherf***er,” which I don’t think the writer meant. Although if she reads this, she may be thinking that.

Not a geography expert?

Not the winner of the National Geographic Bee, but still think you got what it takes to write about places around the world? No worries! You can write for the Yahoo! front page, where knowledge of geography (or just about any subject) is not required:

fp cabo

Even if you think that there’s a town named Cabo in a Mexican state called San Lucas, you could work at Imagine how far you’d get if you actually know that the city is Cabo San Lucas.

It’s not just a replica

Jerry “The King” Lawler doesn’t own just a replica of a famous car, he owns a replica version of it. Which is something different, I guess — at least in the minds of staffers:

fp version 60s

Also different in their minds is the plural 1960s, which really doesn’t need that apostrophe.

Maybe you should learn to read first

Before attempting to become a professional writer, make sure you can read. It makes things a lot easier for you and helps ensure the accuracy of what you write. I’m thinking that if the writer for Yahoo! Style were a better reader, she might not have mistaken the word married for met:

married met style

I guess it’s possible that the writer just couldn’t hold that many words in her brain when it came time to type the quotation. That’s possible. I guess.

I gotta hand it to ‘em

I gotta hand it to the editors at Yahoo! Style— they commit the best typos in all of the Interwebs:

fist look style

Joan Rivers? Almost

The late Joan Rivers is a little less on the Yahoo! front page:

fp joan river

I hope that it’s just a typo and that the writer doesn’t think that the possessive of Rivers is River’s.

Awful timing for typo

It’s an awful time and place to misspell Heisman, but it’s not surprising that it’s on

fp hesiman

That is not right

Abbreviations are handy little devices for communicating quickly and for conserving precious space online. But some abbreviations are so often misused that they’re not worth the time and space savings. That’s the case with the abbreviations i.e. and e.g., as illustrated by Yahoo! Style:

ie style

Even if the writer had included the period after the E and a comma after the entire abbreviation, it would still be wrong. The abbreviation stands for the Latin id est, which means that is. The writer meant e.g., the abbreviation used before an example.

These abbreviations are not only used incorrectly by most writers, but they’re also misunderstood by 90% of all readers. So why risk using the wrong abbreviation and confounding your readers? There are simple words (e.g., that is or for example) that you can use with confidence.

That would be where Baja is

Where else would a hurricane in Baja be? Obviously the editors at Yahoo! News do not trust you to know that Baja is Baja California:

baja news

I almost dozed off reading this

If the sleep aid for geeks involves a dose of Ambien, then maybe they’ll be dozing off sooner rather than later. Perhaps that’s what the writer for Yahoo! Movies took just before writing this:

dosing movies


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