Don’t get cute with foreign phrases unless you know what they mean to the letter. I read an article on Yahoo recently about businesses that are risky start-ups for aspiring entrepreneurs. One example was the restaurant business. At the end of an otherwise clear and cogent description of narrow profit margins and managerial skills was this two-word closer: Chef Emptor.
The writers (there were two of them; you’d think one of them would have caught this) were trying to say “chef beware,” based on caveat emptor, meaning “let the buyer beware.” Too bad they actually said “chef buyer.” Caveat means warning, emptor means buyer.
Of course, it’s not just the writers’ fault. Where was the copy editor in all this? Oh wait, this was on-line. What copy editor?