In a twitter comment the other day someone used these four letters YMMV and I wondered what in the world they meant. I did a little research in a variety of urban dictionaries and discovered that ……….
YMMV is short for ‘your mileage may vary’ and originates from its use in advertising for cars. Car manufacturers started using the phrase in the 1970s and 80s when they were promoting the favourable gas mileage on their various car models.
Due to truth in advertising regulations they needed to add a disclaimer to their ads about their cars’ gas mileage since they couldn’t guarantee a certain gas mileage. Weather conditions, road conditions and the habits of individual drivers could impact the kind of mileage a car received.
Currently however YMMV is used in a much wider context to compare individual experiences, opinions, and ideas and acknowledge the fact that others may have a different response or result than you did.
You can use it when you write an evaluation of a service or treatment. “I had no reaction whatsoever to the Pfizer vaccine but YMMV.”
You can use it to review a product you’ve bought. “I find my new Eddie Bauer jacket to be totally waterproof but YMMV.”
You can use it to give an opinion about a television show you’ve seen. “The series Ted Lasso often leaves me in tears but YMMV.”
You can use it to comment on a trip you’ve taken. “We found British Columbia to be a cold and very wet place on our recent visit but YMMV.”
Now that I know about YMMV look out for it in future blog posts.