That is wrong

Here’s a novel idea: Don’t use abbreviations you don’t understand. If the writer for Yahoo! Makers had followed that advice, she wouldn’t have used the abbreviation i.e. (which is short for the Latin id est, or that is):

ie for eg mak

The writer is giving an example of an “infinite” mystery, not explaining what it is. If she’s going to use a Latin abbreviation, the correct one is e.g. — not that I’m recommending it. Writers, editors, and readers don’t understand i.e. or e.g. There are alternatives to using e.g., like such as, for example, for instance, and like.

Caught off-guard

It seems that the editors for the Yahoo! front page never considered that one day they might have to write about the United Kingdom. Or maybe they had never heard of the United Kingdom. That might account for their inability to decide how to abbreviate the country. Somebody thought it needed periods:

fp uk per

and someone thought it didn’t:

fp uk no per

That kind of embarrassing inconsistency is why legitimate news organization follow a style guide such as the Associated Press Stylebook.

Do they work for the same company?

Sometimes I think the people who write for work for differ companies; or maybe they work for the same company, but in different countries and they speak different languages and cannot communicate with each other. How else can I explain the inability for these “journalists” to agree on how to abbreviate United Nations?

fp un 2

Maybe no one would notice if these abbreviations didn’t appear together — again —  on the same page minutes later:

fp un

Why is it so hard to agree on something this basic? Is it that they just don’t care?

Didn’t get that H-1B visa?

I think this writer for Yahoo! Finance was rejected for an H-1B visa, so is writing from Mumbai, where they don’t know that there’s no hyphen in CEO and only one hyphen in H-1B:

ceo fin vid

Abbreviation mistakes: an example

If you’re using an abbreviation for a Latin phrase, make sure you know what you’re doing (i.e., use the correct one). Using an incorrect abbreviation can be make you look like another poorly edited website (e.g.,

fp putting green

Don’t do that. Don’t use the abbreviation i.e., which is short for the Latin “id est” or “that is.” You are bound to use it incorrectly. This writer is giving an example of an outrageous request and if any Latin abbreviation had to be used, it should have been e.g., which means “for example.” But really, your readers don’t know what those abbreviations mean and will skip over them when reading or mentally make up their own definition.

If you’re giving an example you could use “for example,” “for instance,” or the informal “like.” And there are always the new clichés that are used when the example is a person (like “I’m looking at you, Yahoo! editor” and “Yahoo! writer, anyone?”).

That’s an F for failure

If this photo caption from Yahoo! Style were written by a fourth grader, it’d get an F for a big fat failure:

show pre-nuptials sty

How the heck does this get published by one of the largest Internet companies in the world? The repeated word, the use of an apostrophe for an abbreviation, the misspelled launched and polka are all bad. Very bad. But the worst of these horrendous errors is the totally nonsensical, meaningless pile of words that ends the paragraph.

You write the top, I’ll write the bottom

In this episode of “You Write the Top, I’ll Write the Bottom,” we see the results of disagreement in the correct abbreviation of pounds:

fp lb lbs

So, which is correct and why are they the same? Most authorities would side with lb., without the S. Why are there two versions of the abbreviation? Because this is ‘Nuf said.

Not going to great lengths

The writer for Yahoo! Style didn’t exactly go to great lengths to come up with the right word for a common idiom and a common abbreviation:

through lengths sty

The abbreviation for identification is ID; its plural is IDs (though the singular is probably correct in this context).

High school diploma optional

I always thought that professional writers were college graduates, but after reading this on Yahoo! Style, I don’t think they have to be high school graduates. It seems that a fourth-grade education is more than adequate.

This is possibly the most outrageous of the writer’s claims. She apparently thinks matriculate is a synonym for graduate. It is not; it means “to admit or be admitted to a college or university”:

matriculated 1

That was my first hint that this writer hadn’t attended an institution of higher learning. And there’s no doubt she doesn’t hold a Ph.D. What does she think P.h.D. stands for anyway?

matriculated 2

Clearly, there were no classes in logic (or English) in her educational background. If there were, she would never have written this about a really, really good-looking college instructor name Boselli:

matriculated 3

So, Boselli proves that “beauty is nothing without the brain.” In other words, the poor man is a brainless Adonis. But somehow he managed to earn a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering? At least he has a degree (or two or three).

Ancient artifacts date all the way back to today

I’m appalled. It apparently took an entire team of  “Yahoo Style Editors” to come up with one of the most ridiculously ignorant statements I’ve read this week. Let’s skip over the arbitrary and totally incorrect comma, the mismatch of a subject and verb (which should be ranges), and focus on the B.C/A.D times:

bc ad style

It took the entire brain trust of editors to declare that ancient artifacts date back to “B.C/A.D times.” WTF? Are they really that ignorant? Do they not know that AD means all the time from the birth of Christ to the present day and beyond? (It seems like overkill to mention that they think that one period is enough for an abbreviation of two words.)

After that disaster, I suggest readers imagine a website with educated adults at the keyboards. And that ain’t Yahoo! Style.


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