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.

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.

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

Oooh, nice figure you got there, Kate

What kind of compliment would a “high waist and color blocking” pay to Kate Winslet’s figure? That’s the question we all want answered after reading this on Yahoo! Movies:

compliment celeb

When you say something nice, you compliment a person. When two things go well together, they complement each other.

That’s quite a fete!

Yes indeedie! Spending a week in the desert in the summer with 70,000 others is a festival. At least according to the writer for Yahoo! Travel:

fete travel

It’s also quite a feat. Which is probably what the writer meant, but I’m not sure. Is it possible she thinks fete is pronounced FEET? That would simply compound the error, because it’s pronounced like FATE or FET.

Just in time for Oktoberfest: Teutonic plates!

What does one use to serve bratwurst, sauerbraten, and wiener schnitzel? Teutonic plates! I think someone needs to explain to the writer for Yahoo! Style that Teutonic means Germanic and that the shifting plates of the Earth’s crust are tectonic:

teutonic plates style

More off-shored writing?

When I write that Yahoo! must be out-sourcing the writing of its content to third-world countries, I think I’m being sarcastic. After seeing this on yahoo.com, I think I may be accurate:

fp south lc

It seems more likely that a writer in Bamako, and not one in the United States, would not know that South is capitalized when referring to the southeast region of the U.S.

If the writers really work in the U.S., then you’d think they’d know how to capitalize Bay Area, especially since it is home to Yahoo! headquarters:

fp bay area lc

Do you swear on the Bible?

Would you swear on the Bible that this is the correct capitalization on the Yahoo! front page?

fp bible lc

According to the Associated Press, which publishes the journalists bible, Bible is capitalized when it refers to the Old Testament or the New Testament, but lowercase when it’s a nonreligious term.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom” from the Yahoo! front page, it’s apparent that the writer of the top module didn’t really think the U.S. is officially at war, but the writer of the bottom module thought it was:

fp at war

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